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For Immediate Release Contact: Ernest Landante, Jr.
March 21, 2014 609-292-0422

Trenton - Continuing its commitment to assist families in their ongoing recovery from Superstorm Sandy, the Christie Administration is providing educational summer camp experiences for seventy-two youth in counties hit hardest by Sandy, New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Allison Blake announced today.

"Summer camp is a staple of recreational activities for children and youth because of the opportunities it offers for fun and relaxation as well as learning.  The Summer Life Skills Camp is a valuable experience for young people to learn and develop skills as they start their journey to adulthood, while at the same time just having some fun," said Commissioner Blake.  "The camp also helps build in these youth the resiliency they need to cope with natural disasters."

Open to youth ages 13 through 17 in Superstorm Sandy impacted counties, the camp will provide youth friendly and safe environments while their parents continue the family's recovery efforts.  The camp will help youth develop or further enhance their life skills, preparing them for independence and self-sufficiency. The camp will also teach them to prepare for, respond to and cope with natural disasters.

The life skills curriculum will be centered around the Casey Life Skills tool, which assesses the behaviors and competencies of individual youth and helps them develop a personal plan for overcoming their challenges and achieving their dreams.

The Summer Life Skills Camp will be operated by Ranch Hope, a non-profit organization based in Alloway.  Since 1964, Ranch Hope has served children, youth and families throughout New Jersey.

"Ranch Hope is pleased to be able to help youth affected by Superstorm Sandy," said Dave Bailey, Jr., Ranch Hope's CEO.  "Thanks to this unique summer camp opportunity, these teens will learn the life skills they need to recover from this natural disaster and grow into successful adults."

The summer skills camp is funded by $90,000 from a federal Social Services Block Grant.

The three 14-day long camps begin July 12, July 26 and August 9.  Information about enrolling in one of these three camps is available by either calling DCF at 1-855-INFO-DCF (1-855-463-6323) or contacting Ranch Hope at 1-856-935-1555 or

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