Hospice of South Georgia, Inc. provides an annual bereavement camp for students in grades 1-12 who are trying to cope with a significant loss in their lives. CAMP HOPE will promote a journey through the grief process. CAMP HOPE helps students 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.
Students attending CAMP HOPE will participate in a variety of activities alongside others their age who are dealing with emotions and feelings of loss much like their own. They will also be grouped with caring counselors who are trained to offer support and valuable information as they journey through the grieving process. Students 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 students and their families following the camp to continue to assist with any grief or bereavement related needs.
Students attending CAMP HOPE 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 students 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 students an opportunity to meet in a safe and accepting environment to share their experiences and feelings with others of 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 students to merge their feelings with memories of their loved one.
To increase the student’s awareness of available support systems.
To instill feelings of hope and life for the future within others who have experienced a loss.
WHAT HAPPENS AT CAMP HOPE
CAMP HOPE begins Friday evening with registration, the giving out of CAMP HOPE T-shirts and pictures being taken all around. Afterwards everyone enjoyed a pizza supper followed by a fun time of ice breakers and introductions. The students were given cards to write down the name(s) of their lost loved one. They were then asked to share something about their loss and to place the card on the Tree of Life.
This tree came alive after all the cards were attached and the lights were turned on.
After the tree lighting our very skilled and talented counselors shared scenes from The Lion King Movie helping the students to understand grief concepts in a very new and unique way. Following this the students were dismissed to their homes to return bright and early Saturday morning.
Saturday’s CAMP HOPE activities began with a wonderful breakfast at the campsite. Then the students 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 puppet show, the students divided into separate age groups and watched videos that were helpful in explaining additional ways to cope with grief. The students were led by the counselors 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.
This was followed by an extended time of recreational fun. Horse and carriage rides, fishing, jump house and slide, games at the “Man Cave”, jet skiing, and other activities were enjoyed by all.
After recreation the students returned to their groups for one last time of therapy. This is when the parents were asked to return to CAMP HOPE for a parent’s session. This session provided the parents an opportunity to also share their feelings and thoughts about their student’s grief. The lead counselor from each group was present and gave an insightful synopsis of what happened in the student’s group therapy. Much important information was given to the parents to help them be able to continue to support their student in the grief process.
Finally the day came to a close as the parents and students were reunited and a very poignant memorial balloon release was held by the lake to share the feelings of grief for lost loved ones that had been experienced through the day.
CAMP HOPE was made possible by over 70 well trained volunteers that surrendered and sacrificing their precious time, wisdom, and energy. Camp Hope is also made possible through the generous giving of individuals, organizations, and businesses that make financial contributions. CAMP HOPE could not have happened without all this support.
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)