Regional Hospice and Palliative Care (RHPC) hosted it’s annual “Good Grief” summer camp for children aged 6-12 who have experienced the death of a close family member.
The four-day summer camp took place from July 17th– 20th at RHPC’s Center for Comfort Care and Healing in Danbury, CT. The 12 campers, with the support of trained facilitators, explored their feelings, practiced new confidence-building activities and connected with one another in meaningful ways.
Special activities for the children were arranged throughout the week. This included a visit from Nadine’s Animal Friends, where the children met a skink, tortoise, lizard and even got to wear a python around their necks! They also participated in yoga, gardened, played with a therapy dog, did arts and crafts, and took a field trip to the Pegasus Therapeutic Riding horse farm in Brewster, NY, where they learned how to care for and ride horses.
One young child, whose sister died as a teen, said “I am happy at Healing Hearts because I can tell you all about my sister and why I miss her. And she liked pink – so I put pink on my visor to help me think of her!” Another grieving youngster shared his memory of his grandfather “working with his tools” around the house, and expressed that now he wants to learn to build things and be like his grandfather.
The power of the camp was best expressed by an 11-year-old who was planting marigolds in a flower pot that he decorated with his feelings and memories. He acknowledged that even though “he is sometimes sad and misses his grandmother,” the marigolds that he planted “will always remind him of how much she loved to garden and how much fun he had at the Healing Hearts Camp.”
A special thank you to all the generous donors and volunteers who contributed to make this camp a memorable experience for all. To support the “Good Grief” camp or other RHPC programs, visit MakingTheBestOfEveryday.org.