Announced by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. during his annual “State of the Borough” address on February 21, 2019, “Camp Junior” opened at Harriman State Park in the summer of 2019. This new camp was created in memory of Lesandro “Junior” Guzmán-Feliz, a 15-year-old who was murdered at the hands of gang members, a tragedy that galvanized the city and spawned the “Justice for Junior” campaign.

“Camp Junior” is administered by The Fresh Air Fund and has the full support of Lesandro’s parents, Leandra Feliz and Lisandro Guzman.

A Message from the Fresh Air Fund

The Fresh Air Fund has made the difficult decision to not run our traditional Camp or Friendly Towns programs this summer. This is hard news for our staff and leadership – and we know will be challenging and upsetting news for our Fresh Air children and families, hosts, volunteers, supporters, partners and all the members of our Fresh Air  family.

We came to this decision with the safety, health, and well-being of our children, families, volunteers, and staff as our utmost priority. With what we know now and the variety of unknowns that are still unclear about this summer, the risks presented by COVID-19 are simply too great. The decision was made with input from medical experts as well as our colleagues in the human services and medical communities together with guidance from local, state, and federal agencies.

Our commitment to our Fresh Air community remains steadfast and we are planning on how the outdoors can still be a part of the lives of our young people. We know the power of fresh air. We are designing an engaging and fun virtual programming season to keep our community connected and will share more details soon. The virtual programming will be focused on bringing the outdoors inside with enriching and interactive online experiences. The Fund is also exploring other ways we may be able to support our children, families, and broader Fresh Air community this summer.  We would be delighted to share our ideas which include everything from partnering with NYC based providers to help support summer in the city to ideas and opportunities for family camping for First Responders and our Fresh Air families.

All of us at The Fresh Air Fund are very grateful for the courage and compassion of our medical professionals, essential workers, first responders, and everyone who is working to keep communities safe.  COVID-19 has deeply affected members of our Fresh Air family, including our young people, and I extend my deepest condolences to members of our community who have tragically been affected. It has been helpful for me to remember during these unprecedented times that The Fresh Air Fund has served children in New York City since 1877 and, as we have during other difficult times, we remain focused on our commitment to our children and families.

During this challenging time, I am truly appreciative of all the members of our Fresh Air Fund family and thankful for the ongoing support and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times.

–Fatima Shama, Executive Director

Information on supporting Camp Junior

Please note that your donation to The Fresh Air Fund will not grant you any special access to city business, to New York City officials including The Office of The Bronx Borough President, or any preferential treatment.