The Union Recorder

May 3, 2013

Youth find solace at bereavement camp

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Hospice Care Options (HCO) is offering support to area youth suffering from the loss of a loved one to help cope and heal through therapeutic activities during the 14th annual Camp Good Grief.

Camp Coordinator Brenda Knight encourages youth between ages 6 and 14 to register for the bereavement camp and begin grieving the death of someone close to them or a pet, parent’s divorce or separation, or moving to an unfamiliar town.

With the help of about 20 volunteers consisting of Georgia College students and local citizens, therapy to help youth heal include art therapy, music therapy, writing therapy, pet therapy and recreational games depending on the needs of each individual case.

“On the final day of the camp, parents are invited to eat lunch and closing activities include speakers and releasing a balloon,” Knight said. “The balloon release is a symbol of releasing your fears, letting go of the hurt feelings and realizing it’s going to be OK without that person or pet.”

Camp Good Grief is slated to be held at First Presbyterian Church Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. each day and conclude at 2:30 p.m. Lunch and snacks will be provided during the camp’s three-day duration donated by First Presbyterian Church and a local nursing home.

“This type of camp is important because when we grieve, we don’t think about children and a lot of children don’t understand. I encourage any child who has suffered any type of loss to attend this camp,” Knight said. “They will realize that there are others just like them dealing with similar situations and in the end, that child will come back a different person. They will understand why someone died, and we need to live life too.”

Applications forms can be picked up at HCO, located 811 N. Cobb St. near the old entrance of Oconee Regional Medical Center, and submitted before the Monday registration deadline.

“We buy T-shirts and backpacks full of goodies for each child, so it would be helpful for organizers to know as early as possible how many children are to be expected,” Knight said. “Last year we had 53 kids, which is the most we’ve ever had. The children just loved it, and some parents also said their kids talked about it for weeks after the camp was over.”

The funds for the camp are provided by HCO, the sponsor of Camp Good Grief. However, donations from the community are always welcomed and needed.

For more information about the annual camp, to register or donate funds, call HCO at 478-453-8572.

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