how does this camp help my family?
Our mission is bringing hope and healing to grieving families. Spending time together as a family and with others their own age, family members begin to understand they are not alone in their grief. This ‘normalizing’ of their grief experience is especially important to children and teens who have not experienced the death of a loved one before. In school or at work, most people want the grieving to stop. The acceptance of all feelings at camp builds a new community of people who ‘get it’.
Participating in memorializing activities helps campers continue remembering their loved one, eliminating the concern that now that they are no longer in their daily lives they will be forgotten. Activities that define hope and express gratitude give campers a positive sense of the future. Camp is also fun, full of laughter and life, giving families the experience and acceptance of life continuing on. Their family has changed, but they are still a family.
Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp has been designed to meet the Tasks of Mourning defined by grief professionals William Worden and Alan Wofelt . All program activities are designated with a specific grief task. Understanding that grief is a developmental process, not a one-time event, and that family members will continue to grieve and move through the tasks as they grow and learn, Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp is a step along the grief journey.
is there a charge?
There is no charge for attending the camp. Due to the generosity of our supporters and our annual fundraising events, we are able to provide the weekend-long program free of charge. A refundable family deposit of $150 is required due to the expectation of the facilities who host our camp. Our cost for a family of four to attend Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp is $1,000.
can my family come to camp right after the death?
Yes. The first days and weeks after the funeral can be the most difficult. If your family would like to attend camp and the death has been within the past month please contact our Executive Director for consultation.
can my family come to camp if it has been more than a year since the death?
Yes, a family can attend any time after the death has occurred. Often times children who have experienced the death of a loved one at the age of five have a different understanding of the impact of the death and an upsurge of emotional grief as adolescents; we welcome families wherever they are on their grief journey.
Do i need a young child to attend?
No. Our adult family member program is separate from our children and teens programs, though at the same facility. Many of our group activities beginning the weekend and ending the weekend do include children and teens of other participants.
Does my entire family need to come?
No. Not all family members are able or willing to attend camp; we welcome whoever in the family wishes to attend.
What time does camp start and end?
Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp begins Friday at 6pm with registration, settling in and getting to know each other. Camp ends Sunday afternoon at 1pm after lunch.
what should i pack?
A complete packing list can be found here.
can my family come back to camp?
Families can return to another camp session free of charge if another death has occurred. If they would like to return to continue their journey from a previous camp session there would be a fee charged. Contact the Executive Director to determine the fee.