We are excited to share that despite the many complications, setbacks, and challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, Camp HOPE America–Bridgeport is not cancelled this summer.

While our traditional setting in the Massachusetts Berkshires at YMCA Camp Hi-Rock has made the understandable decision to remain closed, we are grateful to find a temporary home for the summer component of our year-long therapeutic camp and mentoring program at Camp Tepee, a 38-acre ACA accredited day camp operated by the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA in Monroe.

Some aspects of Camp HOPE will certainly look different this summer, but the core elements of our program will remain the same.  Our campers– CFJ clients between the ages of 8 and 17 who have been impacted by the trauma of domestic or sexual violence–will still benefit from our therapeutic mentoring program and the many joys of outdoor summer camp fun, including hiking, swimming, rope courses, mini-golf, archery and water sports.

To comply with Connecticut’s Covid-19 related regulations impacting sleepaway camps, we will hold this year’s session as a day camp with activities from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. CFJ will transport campers to and from Camp Tepee each day. Additionally, we will comply with all of Camp Tepee’s health and safety guidelines to ensure the wellbeing of our campers, staff and counselors.

Our highly-trained staff will be on site and with the campers at all times. As we have done for the last four summers, our campers will participate in the evidence-based Camp HOPE curriculum, which has been clinically proven to help them cope with the trauma of the adverse experiences they have faced in their young lives. Most importantly, we will continue our year-round Pathway to Healing mentoring program, providing continued access to CFJ’s staff and supportive services.

After our summer session has concluded, we will host a reunion, encouraging campers to maintain the supportive friendships they make at Camp HOPE. If current public health guidelines allow it, we are also hopeful about gathering our campers for a back-to-school event. We hope you will consider supporting that effort later this summer.

We are confidant you are as excited as we are that hope is not cancelled and we can continue the life-changing Camp HOPE experience and traditions this summer.

We thank you for your donations and support which have allowed us to offer another Camp HOPE season.

If you are interested in doing more to make the week possible, we are accepting donations for the following items:

  • Daily lunches
  • Beach towels
  • Bug spray
  • Suntan lotion
  • Gift cards for swimsuits (Target, Walmart, or Kohl’s)
  • Flip flops
  • Swim goggles
  • Backpacks
  • View the full wish list

You may drop these items off at CFJ’s office at 753 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT beginning July 6th when we open our headquarters to the public again. (Drop-offs will be accepted weekdays between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Please call our main number at 203-334-6154 to schedule your drop-off in advance.)

While this isn’t the summer we had imagined just a few months ago, we remain incredibly excited about this year’s Camp HOPE season. We anticipate returning to Camp Hi-Rock next year, and until then, we look forward to providing a week of fun and a year of mentoring to our youngest, most vulnerable clients.