This past weekend, well over 100 kids and teenagers at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer spent several days splashing in a pool, tackling obstacle courses, hanging out with therapy dogs, doing arts and crafts, buzzing down zip-lines, playing sports, writing music and hanging around campfires?
Just the picture you get in your head when you think about a grief camp, right?
Good Samaritan Hospice (GSH), a mission of Concordia Lutheran Ministries, hosted two overnight bereavement camps on June 15-17 for children and adolescents who have lost a loved one. Make sure to check out some pictures from the weekend below.
Both camps, Camp ErinTM and Camp Good SAM, were free thanks to generous support from businesses, foundations and individuals. These fun-filled camps provide a safe, caring place for grieving children to share feelings with others who have experienced a similar loss. They offer a combination of supportive discussion, crafts and recreational activities to help campers strengthen coping skills.
Camp ErinTM is for teens ages 13-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. This camp is a collaboration between The Moyer Foundation - a nonprofit organization founded by World Series Champion Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen - and GSH.
Camp Good SAM is for children ages 6-12, and is specially designed for that age group, with goals aimed to build trust, enhance positive self-esteem and strengthen coping skills.
This year's camps were a major success, but were also a little bittersweet, as this was GSH Camp Director Anna Olszewski's last year. She's retiring this summer and we wish her all the best! Special thanks to the approximately 150 volunteers, the camp staff, GSH staff, donors and, of course, campers for making this another year to remember.