Hospice of South Georgia, Inc. provides an annual bereavement camp for children who are trying to cope with a significant loss in their lives. Camp Hope will promote a journey through the grief process. This camp is offered to children ages 5 to 17 who have experienced the loss of someone close to them. Camp Hope helps children recognize that grief is a natural response to losing a loved one and find healing by offering a comfortable and safe environment, allowing free expression of their feelings and loss.
Children attending Camp Hope will participate in a variety of activities alongside other children their age who are dealing with emotions and feelings of loss much like their own. They will also be grouped with caring adults who are trained to offer support and valuable information as they journey through the grieving process. Campers will be encouraged to express their feelings and emotions at their own comfort levels, and in turn better understand those feelings associated with grief and bereavement. Professional staff is also available to children and their families following the camp to continue to assist with any grief or bereavement related needs.
What We Do:
Campers will build friendships while playing and talking together in a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, music therapy, games and sports recreations, and much more. The children will be able to share emotions with others like them and recognize that grief is a natural response to losing someone. Together they can learn to help each other with their grief and loss, and learn ways to help themselves as well.
To provide children with an opportunity to meet in a safe and accepting environment to share their experiences and feelings with others children their age who have lost a loved one.
To increase the child’s understanding of grief and the journey through mourning.
To provide information on grief in order to facilitate better understanding and expression of their feelings.
To enable children to merge their feelings with memories of their loved one.
To increase the child’s awareness of available support systems.
To instill feelings of hope and life for the future within children who have experienced a loss.
CAMP HOPE 2013, a grief camp for children sponsored by Hospice of South Georgia, was a tremendous event. Over 40 children between the ages of 5 to 17 participated. This year’s curriculum was entitled “Lessons from Lions” and was based upon the Disney movie “The Lion King”.
CAMP HOPE began Friday evening with registration, the giving out of CAMP HOPE T-shirts and pictures being taken with Leo the Lion. Afterwards everyone enjoyed a pizza supper followed by a fun puppet show and then ended the evening by watching the “Lion King” movie. The movie helped the children and their parents/guardians understand grief concepts in a very new and unique way.
Saturday’s CAMP HOPE activities began with a wonderful breakfast at the campsite. Then the children divided into separate groups and spent quality time with trained and experienced counselors exploring their feelings of grief for their lost loved ones. Next they were allowed to express these feelings through arts and craft activities.
After a much needed and delightful lunch and seeing another puppet show, the children divided into age groups and watched videos that were helpful in explaining additional ways to cope with grief. The children were then asked to verbalize their losses and share how they felt. This was a productive time which allowed them to open up to the presence of their loss.
CAMP HOPE 2013 came to a close with the children’s parents/guardians returning to the campsite and being given the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings during a parent’s session. The children returned to their groups for one last time of therapy. And then the parents and children were reunited and a very poignant memorial balloon release was held to share the feelings of grief for lost loved ones that had been experienced through the day.
CAMP HOPE 2013 was made possible by over 70 volunteers surrendering and sacrificing their precious time, wisdom, and energy and through the generous giving of individuals, organizations, and companies that contributed with financial and in-kind donations. It just could not have happened without these people.
Hospice of South Georgia was once again proud to have offered a helpful opportunity for children and parents to find healing over the loss of loved ones. CAMP HOPE 2014 is already now in the planning stages and the time and dates will be announced in the very near future.
If you know of a child that may benefit from this years camp or would like more information please contact our office, at 912-588-0080 (Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5:00)