New Jersey National Guard C h i l d & Yo u t h P r o g r a m A n n u a l 1
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Pictures from top-bottom, left-right: 1. Spring Break Trip to NYC: April, 2012 2. Youth Trip to Crayola Factory: August, 2012 3. Mad Science at Teaneck Armory: April, 2012 4. Archery at Youth Camp: July, 2012 5. Yellow Ribbon in Atlantic City: June, 2012 6. Echo Company at Youth Camp: July, 2012 7. Survivor Outreach Services Family Picnic: August, 2012
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New Jersey A n n u a l
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Mission The New Jersey National Guard Child & Youth Program is here to help provide support and resources for military youth and teens to promote stability, resiliency and a sense of community. Goals
Deliver recreational, social, and educational programs for military youth living in civilian communities.
Increase participation of NJ Resource and Referral Agencies in each county
Assess the needs and interests of NJ National Guard families with children, youth and teens
Collaborate with schools to ensure that staff are attuned to the unique needs of military students.
Offer opportunities for youth to socialize with other National Guard youth through camps, day trips, trainings, support groups and retreats.
“The Child & Youth Program provide my children with opportunities to develop leadership skills and a passion for volunteerism. The program has been the vehicle in which they have connected and developed lifelong friendships with other military children” - Army NG spouse & mom of 3 who has experienced 2 deployments Volunteers
Over 125 adults, both military and civilian, have volunteered for various programs to support military youth and families across NJ
There are currently 11 Family Readiness Group Child & Youth Chairpersons (FRG CYC) that are statutory volunteers throughout NJ
Youth and Teens Served
565 NJ NG Youth ages 6-12
314 NJ NG Teens ages 13-18
35 Army Active Duty Youth/Teens
23 Air Force Active Duty Youth/Teens
13 Navy Reserve Youth
1 Coast Guard Youth
**Top picture: Youth creating plates & bowls at Spring Break Camp: April, 2012 **Bottom picture: Group photo of 117th CSSB Youth & Teens after their Hero Pack Ceremony: September 8, 2012
18 Yellow Ribbon events, Family Days& FRG meetings
11 partnership events with NJ Operation: Military Kids 2 Volunteer Trainings; 1 included CPR training
7 Military Appreciation Days at sporting events, camps, fairs or the NJ Shore
2 National Guard Youth Camps with 207 youth & teens
2 Military Child Education Coalition Trainings
2 Guard Teen Panel meetings & events
2 Military Family Picnics with other organizations
“The NJ National Guard Child & Youth Programs are great and a unique experience for sponsored kids to connect and become friends. I enjoy everything the program's offered and the new friends I have made over the years. The latest trip I did was an overnight stay in Gettysburg, PA. Even though I have been there before, I learned and did new things I never thought I would do with my family, like ghost hunting.” - 15 year old teen
NJ National Guard Spring Break Camp April 10-12, 2012 marked the second annual Spring Break Camp for NG dependents ages 5-12 years old With the help of the NJ Guard Teen Panel and community supporters, the Child & Youth Program held a successful 3 day Camp at the Teaneck Armory in North Jersey for 32 youth. The first two days were spent at the Armory working in round robin activities to include, Chef on the Go from NJ Operation: Military Kids, Color Me Mine, Mad Science, Petting Zoo and much more!! A local VFW provided lunch for the youth and the Chef on the Go program provided everyone enough snacks for the three days. On Thursday April 12, the group took a field trip to Liberty State Park where we caught a ferry to Ellis Island to learn all about immigration and our country’s history. From there, we took a ferry to Battery Park and then walked through NYC to the 9-11 Memorial. This was a very memorable trip for all as the teens and adults remembered 9-11 by sharing their recollections with the younger youth. This day’s trip was a great conversation for many and an excellent way to wrap up a very well received Spring Break Camp.
NJ National Guard Youth Camp In 2012, the NJNG Youth Camp celebrated it’s eighteenth year at the NG Training Center in Sea Girt from 7-14 July. There were 165 youth ages 9-17 that participated at Camp as well as 30 Service Members and 60 volunteers that supported the Camp throughout the week. This Camp brings military youth from all over the state together to participate in round robin activities each day, which builds relationships with their peers who share similar experiences. Our tweens and teens also participate in community service projects, learn more on resiliency, and develop habits for healthy living. This year, had our traditional activities of archery, sports, arts & crafts and
Picture of Charlie Company Senior Counselors at Youth Camp; July 2012
beach as well as a phenomenal music program with Voices of Valor. The Voices of Valor program helped our Campers find inspiration for their song through their military experiences. They also worked with each Company to write a “hook”, create a finished product(s) and come up with choreography. The program was a success and enjoyed by all.
“My current involvement in the program is being a Junior Counselor with NJ National Guard Youth Camp and teen chaperone for youth trips. Since being a first time camper 8 years ago, I always wanted to be a counselor, that's why I come back every year. My favorite activity at this camp has to be archery.” - Air Guard Teen
NJ Operation Military Kids Family Camp For the third year in a row, NJ OMK had a tremendous response and overwhelming success with their annual Family Camp. Again this year, the max participation was reached within a week as 25 military families from 4 branches attended. It was held 17-19 August, at the beautiful L.G. Cook 4-H Camp in Stokes State Forest in North Jersey (10 minutes from NY border). The purpose of the camp is to help military families reconnect through traditional camp activities including boating, hiking, crafting, campfire activities and songs. Participants enjoy the great outdoors as a family as well as participate in various activities for all ages. Families work together on a Memory Book, scavenger hunts, and come together against other families in relay races and obstacles.
**Top Picture: Families that participated in NJ OMK Family Camp; August 2012 **Bottom Picture: The McDonald brothers show off the new iPad with their scary movie
“Shane (age 11) and Andrew (age 9)really enjoy the facility, staff, and activities. This was our second year attending the OMK Family Camp and they are asking me about going there again next year already. The day and night hikes around the lake were highlights of the weekend for them.” - LTC Pat McDonald, 57th Troop Command, deployed in support of OEF in 2011
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The New Jersey National Guard Child & Youth Program together with youth, adults, schools, civic groups, military and private organizations have created a statewide support network. Through these collaborations, many events, programs and support for our exceptional military children, youth, teens and families across NJ have been implemented.
Building Community Capacity
NJ Military Child Care Initiative was developed to help Service Members, specifically those in the National Guard, find qualified, appropriate child care in their communities that offer services during non-traditional hours. Some providers have even offered reduced fees and respite care. We currently have 2 of the 21 Counties in NJ on board, meetings with 3 other County Agencies and numerous requests from providers for more information.
From the relationships built at the MCEC trainings, we have had several school administrators, guidance counselors, in-home child care providers and classroom teachers request presentations and packets of literature on how to be “Military Friendly”.
Elks Military Appreciation BBQ & Resource Fair was held on Sunday 23 September for any military family. Five Elks lodges in Central Jersey came together to hold their first annual Military Appreciation BBQ & Resource Fair. 58 youth and 45 adults came out for an afternoon of fun, food, games, goodies and useful information. Three branches of service and all components were represented at the event where many connections were made. The Elks community plans on making this an annual event.
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Find the New Jersey National G u a r d C h i l d & Yo u t h P r o g r a m on the World wide web! “Like” us on facebook! Search: New Jersey National Guard Child & Youth Program You can also access information at: http://www.state.nj.us/military/ familysupport/youthprograms.html For more information please contact: Amanda Balas ~Lead Child & Youth Program Coordinator (HPSC Contractor) 1048 US Highway 206 Bordentown, NJ 08505 609-324-7018 [email protected]
Nicole Morgan-Lewis ~Child & Youth Program Coordinator (HPSC Contractor) 1048 US Highway 206 Bordentown, NJ 08505 609-324-7019 [email protected]
**Top picture: Teens posing while shopping in Gettysburg, PA: June 28, 2012 **Bottom picture: Campers playing in the sand at Youth Camp: July 12, 2012