While issues of grief and loss are hard for anyone to handle, they can be especially confusing and painful for children and teenagers. Each year, we invite youth to take part a unique camp for young people who have experienced the death of someone they love. For young people, sharing with other children and teens in similar situations and knowing that they are not alone can be very helpful. Any child or teen between the ages of 6 and 18 and grieving the death of a special person – family member or friend – is welcome at camp.
Healing Hearts Grief Camp
For children ages 6 to 12
Grief Camp for kids addresses the special needs of children ages 6 to 12 and their families as they grieve the loss of a loved one. Activities center around learning to cope with grief through workshops and activities in a supportive environment and building skills to help now and in the future. Grief groups are balanced with activities such as hiking, volleyball, singing, art work, friendly pet visitors and new friendships. Sharing with other children in similar situations can be very helpful.
Children often carry a heavy burden when someone they love dies. We cannot take away the grief. Our hope is that we can give children an opportunity to learn some coping tools, develop a better understanding of their grief, and help them preserve positive memories of their loved one. Healing Hearts Grief Camp addresses their special needs of companionship and coping tools for grief. This camp helps kids build skills for now and the future and encourages kids to make friends their own age. The registration deadline is September 17, 2021.
For teens ages 13 to 18
Our Teen Retreat offers teens ages 13 to 18 the opportunity to interact with others their age who have experienced the death of someone they love. In the retreat atmosphere, participants cook meals, interact, watch movies, enjoy outdoor activities and spend time memorializing their special person. The Teen Retreat is a relaxed opportunity to remember a loved one and learn coping tools to deal with the loss.
We have learned that teens respond to people who choose to be a companion to them on the grief journey, rather than to direct it. Grief for a teen is different from that of a child or an adult, compounding and complicating his or her already complex life. When someone close to a teen dies, they may suddenly find themselves dealing with unresolved issues with the person who died, the circumstances of the death, dramatic changes in his or her life situation or changes in relationships with others after the death.