In 2021, the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with the Norfolk Family Justice Center, established Camp HOPE Norfolk, the first summer camp and mentoring program in Virginia for children who have experienced primary or secondary abuse or trauma. Camp HOPE Norfolk is modeled after other Camp HOPE programs throughout the United States but is the only Camp HOPE in the country lead by a sheriff’s office.
Thirty-three camp attendees, who range in age from 8 to 13-years-old, will spend a week at YMCA Camp Silver Beach in Jamesville, VA participating in a variety of activities offered by Camp Silver Beach and learning from a clinically proven curriculum designed to help children overcome trauma. Nine Norfolk Sheriff’s Office staff and two YWCA staff will accompany the youth participants, with some serving as camp counselors. The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has procured a federal grant that will cover the cost of the camp for the youth attendees, making the camp free for each child to attend.
The goal of Camp HOPE Norfolk is to create an environment where youth can feel safe, seen, heard, encouraged, and cared for. In addition to the week-long camp, monthly activities are held throughout the year to bring Camp HOPE participants together and introduce them to new experiences, hobbies, team-building activities, and more.
“Camp HOPE Norfolk is near and dear to our hearts. As the first and only sheriff’s office to oversee a Camp HOPE America program and to be the agency who brought the program to Norfolk means a lot to us. Through the Camp HOPE program, we hope to break the cycle of violence and assist children in their healing process. At the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, our purpose is to make a positive difference in the lives of others as far as we can reach. Camp HOPE Norfolk is just one of the many ways we are doing that. I continue to be inspired and proud of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office staff and the hours of training and certifications they have completed to make Camp HOPE Norfolk a success.” stated Sheriff Joe Baron.
For more information about Camp HOPE Norfolk, visit https://norfolk-sheriff.com/community/camp-hope-norfolk.
For more information about the Camp HOPE America program, visit https://www.camphopeamerica.org/.
Pictures from previous Camp HOPE Norfolk events available upon request.