Camp Hope in West Milford Opens Spray Park and New Swimming Pool; Passaic County Freeholders, Administrators and Supporters Attend Ribbon Cutting on July 20

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Latest recreational upgrades at Camp Hope provide more opportunities for fun for disadvantaged children at Passaic County Camp; 14-unit spray park and new pool were funded by Board of Chosen Freeholders, which sponsors Camp Hope attendance.

Every year, our campgrounds have been greatly improved, thanks to the work and support of Give the Kids Hope. We thank the foundation for making such a big difference for our campers.

The Passaic County Freeholders along with the county sheriff, commissioners, engineer, adjuster and others gathered on July 20 to cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the new spray park at Camp Hope of New Jersey. The aquatic feature and a new swimming pool were the result of a two-year planning process that culminated with campers and adults enjoying some watery fun. Among them were the Camp Hope commissioners and Executive Director, Karen Cisco; West Milford Mayor Bettina Bieri; and Stephen Tilton, Jr. of Give the Kids Hope Foundation, Inc.(GTKH), a charitable non-profit organization that has been focused on efforts to support and improve the educational and recreational programs at the campgrounds since 2010.

The 2015 summer season opened with a new composite surface basketball court, the latest facility improvement funded by GTKH. Camp Hope provides underprivileged children the chance to experience all the wholesome fun of summer camp at no charge. The program, in its 77th season, is sponsored by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Cisco noted that two Passaic County Freeholders, T.J. Best, Jr. and Director Hector Lora had both attended Camp Hope in the early 1990s. “Now my former campers are my bosses,” she said with a smile, adding that, “Camp Hope has given a summer camp experience to many thousands of disadvantaged children from Passaic County for many years. We will host more than 2400 kids this summer—the most ever.” Campers come through different Passaic County social service agencies and organizations to attend Camp Hope on specified weekdays. Children from the Paterson Boys & Girls Club had their camp day when the spray park opened and were happy to test out the new feature, as were the freeholders and the mayor.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders and County Administrator, Anthony DeNova, got behind the plan for demolishing an outdated, high-maintenance pool and building a smaller, more efficient swimming pool with the 14-unit spray park. DeNova oversaw the project with County Engineer Steve Edmond.

Cisco credits the prior upgrades at Camp Hope, funded by donations from Give the Kids Hope Foundation, as providing the impetus for the spray park project.

“Every year, our campgrounds have been greatly improved, thanks to the work and support of Give the Kids Hope,” said Cisco. “We thank the foundation for making such a big difference for our campers.” Cisco added that the new basketball court has been a big hit with campers, many of whom opt to delay their swim time in order to get a few more minutes on the court.

“We are delighted to contribute to Camp Hope’s success in offering children such a positive summer camp experience,” said Stephen Tilton, Jr. co-founder with his mother, Judith Schumacher-Tilton, of the foundation.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders plans to construct a large pavilion next to the pool with a shower and rest rooms next year; the pavilion will replace the large tent that GTKH put up this year, providing a shady spot where campers could get out of the sun and relax. The tent will be used for other purposes next summer.

Camp Hope of New Jersey is located on 62 acres on the shores of Greenwood Lake at 1792 Union Valley Road in West Milford, N.J. For more information about Camp Hope, visit Information about Give the Kids Hope is at

About Camp Hope New Jersey
Camp Hope is a beautiful 62-acre wooded retreat located on the shores of Greenwood Lake in West Milford, New Jersey, that offers year-round activities for Passaic County residents. The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders sponsors all qualified children to attend summer camp free of charge in July and August, with a full range of recreational activities. Programs for senior citizens are offered the rest of the year. The Camp Hope Commission, the Freeholder Board and the camp's professional staff jointly run the facility. For more information call the camp office at (973)728-8166 or visit

About Give the Kids Hope Foundation, Inc.
Give the Kids Hope Foundation, Inc. (GTKH) is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2010 by Stephen Tilton Jr. and Judith Schumacher-Tilton of Schumacher Chevrolet Auto Group with locations in Clifton, Little Falls, and Denville, NJ. Charitable funds raised by the foundation support educational and recreational programs for underprivileged children in New Jersey. The foundation is currently focused on efforts to rebuild Camp Hope in West Milford, New Jersey. For more information, visit

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Maria Paladino-Fitz

Stephen Tilton, Jr
since: 07/2009
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