Camp Resources for the Grieving

Experience Camps

Locations: California, New York, Maine, GeorgiaScreen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.05.12 PM
Ages served: Boys in Maine, Boys & Girls in California, New York and Georgia, entering grades 5 – 11
2017 Dates:  California: August 15-20; New York: August 14-19; Maine: August 21-26; Georgia: August 1-6.

Description of program: Experience Camps provides boys, entering grades 5-11, who have experienced a significant death-loss with a free one-week summer camp program that helps build confidence, encourage laughter and navigate their grief through friendship, teamwork, athletics, and the common bond of loss. It is a safe environment where kids can explore their grief, break the isolation they may feel with their non-camp peers, and have a whole lot of fun. They have the opportunity to meet and bond with kids who are going through similar things, while getting all of the benefits of the traditional summer camp experience. Through team sports, individual challenges and community living they learn about leadership, confidence and cooperation. Under the guidance of professional bereavement staff, campers have the opportunity to share stories and remember the one who died, while exploring skills that will help them after camp.

For questions or referrals, please contact Sara Deren at sara@experience.camp. To apply online, visit www.experience.camp and click Apply.

Camp Kita

Location: Thompson Lake, Maine
Ages Served: All children between the ages of 8-17
2017 Dates: August 13-19

Description of the program: Camp Kita is a non-profit 501(c)3 summer bereavement camp open to children ages 8-17 who are survivors of a loved one’s suicide. It was established in 2013 by the Mosher siblings after losing their father to suicide. The camp is made possible by volunteers, including medical and clinical professionals. Provide a safe, nurturing environment where child survivors can connect with one another while learning constructive ways to deal with the often unspeakable and fierce emotion of losing a loved one to suicide.  By creating a space for child survivors, we effectively ease the stigma around what it means to have lost a someone to suicide.  The campers’ shared loss and experience affords them the opportunity of forming deep, knowing bonds with others and thereby forging supportive connections that we hope will last a lifetime.  As a community of survivors, our week-long focus will be to provide and explore constructive forms of self-expression.  We will practice self-awareness as a way of identifying feelings and communicating them in a focused way.  Our focus on grief—on shattering apart—will dovetail with an equally important focus on hope—the power and purpose of piecing oneself together.  Most importantly, we will empower campers to utilize the tools and resources we provide so that they may draw upon them throughout their lives.

For more information or to apply for camp: Visit www.campkita.com or email info@campkita.com

Circle of Fleur de Liscircle-logo-150x147

Location: Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
Ages Served: Girls between the ages of 9-12
2017 Dates: August 20-25

Description of the program: For more than a decade, Circle Camps for Grieving Children has been providing a week-long overnight camp program in Maine for bereaved girls. We are excited to bring our program to Camp Fleur de Lis in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, in August 2013.

At Circle Camps, we know the value of overnight camp. We know the value of play, of engaging in healthy activities such as swimming, kayaking, and canoeing, tennis and archery, arts and crafts, softball and basketball, and singing around the campfire. We also know the value of helping children talk about the losses in their lives. Circle of Fleur de Lis brings these together, so our campers can have summer days of childhood fun, meaning, and bonding. Our program integrates traditional overnight camp activities with the opportunity to do “grief work” in a safe and caring setting. Under the guidance of professional bereavement staff, surrounded by supportive peers, campers are able to share their stories and remember the parent who has died. The program is entirely free to campers, and transportation will be provided.

For more information or to apply for camp: Contact Ellen Dezieck, LISCW at ellendezieck44@comcast.net or visit www.circlecamps.org

Circle of Tapawingo

Location: Sweden, Maine
Ages Served: Girls 8-16
2017 Dates: August 20-25

Description: Camp Tapawingo, a program of Circle Camps, is a week long traditional, overnight camp for girls ages 8-16 that have experienced the death of a parent. If you would like more information, or have questions, please visit the following: Circle Camps website.

Comfort Zone Camp

Location: Camp Burgess & Camp Hayward, Sandwich, MA
Ages served: 7 to 17 & 19 to 25Comfort zone camp

Description of program: These free weekend-long camps will include confidence-building programs and age-based support groups that break the emotional isolation grief often brings. There will also be fun activities including a challenge course and bonfire. Because everyone here has had a loss and can relate on a level that few others can, you will make lasting friendships. Camp is mostly about fun. We play games, hike, sing karaoke (or watch), and eat s’mores. But there are also times throughout the weekend where you will be able to hear other kids’ stories, and have the chance to tell your own. Everything is done by choice, so you can share as much – or as little – as you want.

For more information or to apply for camp: Visit www.comfortzonecamp.org. For Massachusetts camp resources visit www.comfortzonecamp.org/locations/massachusetts or call 781-756-4840

Camp Angel Wings logo

Camp Angel Wings

Location: Cathedral Camp for Boys & Girls: 167 Middleboro Road, East Freetown, MA
Ages served: 6-15
Dates: July 16-17th

Description of program: Southcoast VNA will be hosting its annual Camp Angel Wings. A two-day bereavement camp experience for children and teens, ages 6 through 15 who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

For more information or to apply for camp: Download the registration form at www.southcoast.org/vna/camp.html or contact Lindsay Coe, Camp Angel Wings Coordinator at 508-973-3219.

Camp ErinCamp Eric

Location Host camp: Camp Bauercrest 17 Old County Rd, Amesbury, MA 01913
Ages served: 6 to 17
Dates: August 19-21st

Description of program: Camp Erin Boston is a FREE weekend overnight camp for children and teens ages 6 through 17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. This three day, two night experience will be filled with traditional and fun camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support and will be facilitated by bereavement professionals and trained volunteers.

For more information or to apply for camp: Call Jennifer Wiles, Parmenter Community Health
(508) 358-3000, ext. 244. For an overview of the Erin program http://www.moyerfoundation.org.

Camp Stepping Stones

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio at Given Campus
Ages served: For children & their families

Description of program: The Bertolon Center for Grief & Healing, a program of Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston, has developed a weekend day camp to support children and their families who have experienced the death of someone close to them. The camp offers a combination of child focused activities including arts and crafts, water activities and games. The camp also offers relaxation activities and workshops for adults. Parents or adult caregivers of campers will receive a comprehensive informational packet with suggested readings, common grief reactions of children, ideas on communicating more effectively and tips for helping children cope with grief. The entire family will have fun while learning new coping skills.

Locations: Given Campus and Allyn Campus
Offered: June 6, 2016 – August 5, 2015
Time: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Cost: $48 per day
Three Attendance Patterns:
Monday/Wednesday/Friday
Tuesday/Thursday
Monday through Friday
Transportation: Busing is available to our Given Campus from 6 area locations. – See more at:

For more information or to apply for camp: Contact the Hospice of the North Shore at 978-774-5100 or grief@hns.org.

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Camp Sunshine

Location: 35 Acadia Rd., Casco Bay, Maine
Ages served: Children & Families

Description of program: Nestled alongside the shores of beautiful Sebago Lake, Camp Sunshine provides respite, support, joy and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families through various stages of a child’s illness. The year-round program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour onsite medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement groups are also offered for families who have lost a child to an illness. There are lots of camps for specialty illnesses; please check the website for a comprehensive list.

For more information or to apply for camp: www.campsunshine.org

Camp Widow

Location: Tampa, FL (only)
Ages Served: March 11-13th; Widowed Men & Women

Description of program: Camp Widow® is a weekend long gathering of widowed people from across the country, and around the world. We come together to create a community that understands the life altering experience of widowhood. Camp Widow® provides practical tools, valuable resources, and peer-based encouragement for rebuilding your life in the aftermath of the death of a spouse…all in a fun, uplifting, laughter filled atmosphere. Camp Widow® welcomes anyone who has lost a life partner to participate in this program; all ages, men and women, married and not married widows, LGBT widowed, those with any/no faith background, remarried widows and their new partners. No matter how long you’ve been widowed, or how you joined our ranks, you will find a community like no other when you step up to the registration desk at Camp Widow®. We work hard to offer you a variety of resources that apply to any stage of the evolving journey of widowhood.

For more information or to apply for camp: Visit: www.campwidow.org

Heroic Journey – Summer Teen Experience/Outward BoundOutward Bound logo

Location: Various expeditions throughout the US
Ages served: 14-18 and 19-24

Description of program: Whether it’s climbing majestic mountains, rappelling down granite cliffs, or navigating across lakes and through forests, your teen will discover the strength they have within to face the challenges ahead. Heroic Journey is a unique Outward Bound program specifically designed for teens coping with the death of a loved one.

During this transformational seven-day wilderness adventure, participants experience powerful grief work activities woven into the context of the traditional Outward Bound curriculum. This adventure includes hiking, backpacking, or canoeing and a personal challenge day like rock climbing or high ropes, and much more. It is not intended to be counseling or therapy. It is teens connecting and building supportive relationships with peers going through similar challenges in life. At its essence, it is an intentional wilderness adventure joined with grief processing and support activities for learning coping skills and building an ongoing supportive peer network.

For more information or to apply for camp: Call an Admission Advisor at 866-467-7651 or visit http://www.outwardbound.org/

Wildflower Camp Foundation

Location: Wellesley Hills, MA

Description: The mission of the Wildflower Camp Foundation is to offer scholarship assistance for summer camp and enrichment programs to families in which a parent has died. It is our well-substantiated belief that this opportunity can provide a restorative experience both for the children and the surviving parent.

Why camp, you ask? Because summers are the most challenging time for single parent families; while parents work, children need a safe, nurturing place to go. The experience of carefree summer days, the comfort of new friends and wonderful mentors, a break from the pain and stress at home is an invaluable experience for grieving children and a much needed respite for the surviving parent.

For more information or to apply for assistance: Contact info@wildflowercampfoundation.org, call 781-861-1413, or visit www.wildflowercampfoundation.org