NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Camp Hope is one of few camps on the East Coast to help break the cycle of violence.
This year, Norfolk Sheriff’s Office deputies and counselors will give 33 kids an opportunity to be young and free.
“We’re happy that this year, we were finally able to expand it. We went from 20 kids to 33 children signed up for Camp Hope. We’re trying to break the cycle of domestic violence and make sure that we are providing some hope in children’s lives,” said Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron. “It’s an opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of these children.”
For the third year, kids who have experienced abuse or witnessed domestic violence are referred to the Camp by the Family Justice Center in Norfolk.
“If you grow up in an atmosphere of domestic violence, you’re nine times more likely to become an offender yourself or a victim yourself because that is what you think love is all about. We’re just trying to break that cycle,” said Sheriff Baron.
The group of campers will take a trip to Silver Beach for one week.
“Through talking about things, having fun experiences and letting go, they can regain their childhood. Some of these kids have lost their childhood,” said Lt. Meryah Breeden with the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.
Every year, there is a camp affirmation, this year it is ‘together we are stronger!’
“They have fun, go ziplining, sail boating, and we have campfires. The real work happens in the evening when we gather around and ask, “where did you find hope today.” Lt. Breeden explains, “We’re really here to let the kids work through the things that they just can’t work through other places.”