County creates free day camp for kids impacted by drug abuse

Camp Cardinal will take place on Saturday, Aug. 26, at YMCA of the Pines in Medford

The Burlington County Commissioners have approved the creation of a free day camp for children impacted by the opioid epidemic.

The commissioners voted unanimously last month to allow the county’s Department of Human Services to use opioid settlement funds for creation of what will be called Camp Cardinal.

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The free camp will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, at YMCA of the Pines in Medford. It is exclusively for children between the ages of 7 and 14 who have experienced substance use disorders in their immediate families. 

The camp will provide children with a safe space to interact and participate in activities as they learn coping skills to build resilience to stress, anxiety, depression and other mental-health issues.

The Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth, an interactive statewide network of professionals with experience in mental health, suicide prevention, trauma response and resiliency enhancement will also assist with the camp.

Funding for the program is expected to cover staffing; training; transportation; meals; supplies; and other materials, including T-shirts and water bottles. About 30 campers are expected.

A meet and greet for participating children and families will be held on Thursday, Aug. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the county’s human services building.

Families interested in the program can apply online at

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