Children grieve differently than adults and have special needs to work through their grief and loss. We at State of the Heart provide an important outreach for them – a grief camp for children, called Camp BEARable.
The camp, for kids ages 6-15, is held annually in the summer at the Spiritual Center of Maria Stein, Ohio. The camp is a safe environment where children are surrounded by other kids who are experiencing the same feelings they have. Games and fun activities are mixed with dialogue about feelings of loss and grief. Each child is paired with a specially trained adult “buddy.”
Children sleep in air conditioned facilities and are provided meals and snacks. They participate in a variety of group activities and discussion time.
At the end of camp, children go home with new friends they can talk to and special keepsakes they’ve made over the weekend.
What do the kids say?
“It was good to talk openly and freely about my loss. People understood; for the first time, I realized there were other kids who felt just like me.”
“I learned CMT – it’s ok to cry, be mad, and talk.”
“Camp let me share feelings I hadn’t been able to express yet.”
Who can attend?
- Any child, age 6-15, living in eastern Indiana or western Ohio who is grieving the death of a loved one. The family doesn’t have to have a previous relationship with hospice or State of the Heart Hospice. You must fill out a camp application first (mail completed application to State of the Heart Hospice, 1350 N. Broadway, Greenville OH 45331).
- Adults who would like to volunteer as trained camp buddies.
How much does it cost?
There is no cost to the family for children attending Camp BEARable. We rely on community support to fund the program.
Our cost to send one child to Camp is $300. If you would like to donate to this program, you can:
- Call us at 800.417.7535.
- Mail your gift to State of the Heart Hospice, 1350 N. Broadway, Greenville, OH 45331. Please designate Camp BEARable on your check memo line.
- You can donate online with our secure processing site using any major credit card. Click on our logo below to make your donation today!
We truly appreciate our donors and volunteers who make this camp possible for grieving children in our community. Thank you!
For more information, please contact Meredith Carpe, Bereavement Support Specialist and Camp Director, at 800.417.7535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.