SUMMIT, NJ - A highly anticipated rite of passage for all incoming 6th Graders at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS), the Stokes Outdoor Experience Program, or just "Stokes" as it is commonly known, recently celebrated its 41st anniversary.

For the past three years, two members of the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad (SVFAS) have traveled with the group in an ambulance to provide medical coverage for the event.

The SVFAS covers many community events., and especially noteworthy due dedication of tvolunteers Linda Wolf and Greg Vartan.  Vartan is attending Lycoming College, and returned home for the weekend.  He was a Stokes counselor as well as a junior member of the First Aid Squad while in high school, and has served as an adult squad member for the past three summers.

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Wolf, who moved with her family to Virginia last year, returned for the 2013 event and, after recently relocating again to Georgia, she made the trip again this year. 

VArtan and Wolf arrived on Thursday night of Stokes Week to check out and prepare one of the Squad’s four ambulances for the trip,and departed for Camp Fairview Lake early Friday morning.  As in past years, they spent the entire weekend at Camp Fairview Lake with the students, staff, and counselors.

“Linda certainly wins the award for the longest distance traveled to cover a squad call," said SVFAS Squad President John Christmann.   The Squad’s Captain John Staunton added, “While we always try to have the latest equipment, and have been working to build a new headquarters, it’s our dedicated volunteers that have always been our most valuable asset.  Linda and Greg are great examples of why the First Aid Squad has been such a successful organization for over 50 years.”

Matthew Block, LCJSMS Principal, praised the efforts of Vartan and Wolf as, “invaluable assets to the Stokes program."  “Stokes is truly a community event, and we are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad," he said.  The new sixth grade class showed their appreciation as well by making a $500 contribution to the First Aid Squad.

The all-volunteer First Aid Squad is always looking for new members to join its ranks.  All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided.  For information, call 908 / 277-9479, or visit