Free 'Camp Junior' opens in honor of murdered Bronx teen

THE BRONX (WABC) -- Fifty kids from low-income families boarded buses in the Bronx to head to Camp Junior, the sleepaway camp named after Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz.

The campers, ages 9 to 13, are on their way Harriman State Park for two weeks.

The free camp will serve 500 campers this summer and they're hoping to double that number next year.

With the mission of creating an alternative to joining gangs, Camp Junior will focus on social and emotional learning and provide fun outdoor engagement.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized the use of 47 acres in the park for the Fresh Air Fund to operate Camp Junior.

Cuomo gave $2 million to pay for the camp's long-term needs, and the New York State Assembly also allocated $1 million a year for the next three years to help fund it.

Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of a bodega on East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue -- the intersection that now bears his name -- in June 2018 and murdered with a machete in what is believed to be a tragic case of mistaken identity.

His murder outraged the community and the nation, put a spotlight on gang violence, and led to the #JusticeForJunior slogan.

"It's amazing to see all those kids who's going to have a good experience," said Leandra Guzman-Feliz, Junior's mom.

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