by Chaplain Julia Rajtar, MAPS, BCC
Years ago, I attended a volleyball camp. I remember how much I wanted to attend, because I wanted to learn skills to become a better player, having learned all I could from others around me. I will never forget camp, the skills learned, or the friendships made. I will always remember the patience and understanding the coaches had with me while learning a specific skill which was a real struggle. They broke the skill down, step by step, and as we practiced each piece of the skill, I could feel the pride swelling in me as I began to “get it”, finally mastering that difficult skill, which I still use today.
Why Grief Camps?
So why would anyone want to attend a grief camp? It’s not like you’re going to do fun things, and make new friends and not cry, right? Who wants to bring up the pain of the death of someone we love by focusing on that pain a little more intently? Yet it is for these reasons, that I invite you to consider attending a grief camp, as a family or for your children only. Like the volleyball camp I attended, various methods of play, conversation, bonding and learning all allow the bereaved a unique and creative way to attend to their grief, individually and as a family. The bonds built, the skills learned and the attending to the pain of the loss are invaluable to helping families cope, not just now, but for a lifetime.
Most grief camps are a weekend long. Some are directed for children only, while others are directed toward the whole family. Grief camps can help decrease the isolation children and families feel after a death, and offer a safe space in a compassionate setting, to provide support and understanding.
Camps For You
Children’s Grief Connection https://childrensgriefconnection.com/ serves families who are devastated by the death of a loved one. Sometimes families struggle with feelings of fear, regret and disconnection. This isolation is broken by joining with other families who are experiencing the same heartache. Together in the safe and compassionate setting of Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camps, families make deep connections that provide support and understanding. Isolation is replaced with connection.
This link https://childrengrieve.org/find-support/9-find-support/29-programs-in-minnesota provides another list of other camps and resources to help children and families. Please consider participating in one and find some comfort and support in a fun and unique group setting.