Today’s news:

Just back from Camp Bernie

More than 20 Brooklyn kids returned home after a special two-week camp experience sponsored by Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC).

The children, who returned from the YMCA Camp Bernie in Port Murray, NJ, were the second group in two years to benefit from this program. FCRC, along with its Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) partners, worked with Summer Camp Opportunities Provide an Edge, Inc. (SCOPE), a not-for-profit organization that focuses on helping children, for the second time, to create the special opportunity. To help underwrite the program, FCRC is donating $20,000 to SCOPE.

Along with all of the usual camp activities, such as swimming, arts and crafts, basketball, archery, horseback riding, volleyball, canoeing and mountain biking, the children had a chance to participate in a variety of environmental classes. Animal Tracking, Aquatic Ecology, Habitat Hunt and Learning from Light (about solar energy) were among the classes offered.

SCOPE’s mission is to provide children in need the edge to succeed in life through the summer camp experience. Children are encouraged to stay in school and are invited to return to camp if they do so. SCOPE works with 40 ACA accredited camps that offer outstanding, fun and safe camp programs for children.

While the camp provided the kids with a hands-on opportunity to learn about our environment, the lessons are supported throughout the rest of the year by classes run by Brooklyn Endeavor Experience, Inc. (BEE) a CBA partner. At these classes the kids are reminded about their role in defending and improving the environment.

All children who participated in the program were between 10 and 15 years old and are enrolled in free or reduced lunch programs at public schools.

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