WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -- Among the art projects and trips, theme days and contests, movies and games, a special lesson was taught and re-enforced at this summer's Recreation Camp. That lesson: Kindness Matters.

For the first time, the Wood-Ridge Recreation Summer Camp celebrated Camp Kindness Day, which is Tuesday, July 23.

"Our goal in celebrating Camp Kindness Day was to have a fun filled day and remind the boys and girls how easy it is to be kind considerate everyday," said Jackie Goldklang, Director of Recreation for the borough.

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She said they spoke to the children in the morning and explained easy ways for them to be kind, focusing on the positive and encouraging intentional acts of kindness instead of what they should not do.

The 353 campers and staff received tie-dyed rubber bracelets with the kindness theme. On one side it read "Kindness Matters" and on the other side "I Pledge to be Kind Everyday."  

Another planned activity was to create a Chain of Kindness at both of camp locations. Doyle School hosts students in grades first through third. Fourth through eighth graders attend at Wood-Ridge High School.

Hundreds of strips of fluorescent paper were provided to the staff and children. Each staff member wrote an act of kindness that they pledged to perform and put the strips together to form a chain of kindness. The boys and girls were encouraged to do the same. Some pledges were as simple as 'Say thanks' or helping parents, to donating money and showing unconditional love.

"The project was so well received that we decided to continue the chain through the remainder of the program which ended on August 2," she explained "We hung the paper chain of kindness in the main room where the boys and girls played as a constant reminder to be kind and they added links to the chain right up until the final day." 

"Everyone deserves kindness at home, school and even at Summer Rec," she said. 


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