Upcoming Relief with Camp Good Grief

Published 5:33 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

As many of you know, our 15th Annual Camp Good Grief, a free day camp for kids between the ages of 5-18 who have experienced the death of a loved one, is right around the corner.  Held on April 6 at the Opelika SportsPlex, this camp is a wonderful opportunity for children and teens to spend the day having their feelings validated and recognizing that they are not alone in their grief journey. 

Children of all ages grieve when experiencing the loss of a loved one and thus the reason and the basis for presenting this camp from year to year. Engaging kids in therapeutic activities with kids their same age and gender can provide some sense of normalcy as well as allow kids the opportunity to express themselves in a safe setting.

Because of the recent devastation in our community from the tornadoes that made their presence known in such a brutal fashion, it is expected that more kids will be in attendance at camp this year.  For some, the loss is still very raw and fresh, while others are already feeling the scars of older wounds jump back up onto the surface, causing unexplainable pain and sadness. At Camp Good Grief, the goal is to allow campers an opportunity to heal as well as develop some coping mechanisms that might serve them in their grief journey. They learn that laughter is OK and that it is a part of healing, and they also learn very quickly that it is ok to cry. Do you know how important this is for children?

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If there can be some blessings gained from our community’s recent tragedy, one of them has to be the timing of this camp. Because it is upcoming and not already passed, we have been given a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact on our area children and their families. Parents, teachers and clergy — please reach out to your families and help us identify kids that could benefit from attending. 

I would caution you to delve deeper into a family’s loss and remind them that kids have the right to grieve too and just because they may “appear” to be OK on the outside does not mean that they are not harboring some very difficult feelings on the inside. 

Whether we like to believe it or not, no matter how hard we try to protect them or shield them from pain, they are still struggling through grief. 

So please, if your family has lost a loved one (and there is no time limit on that loss), consider registering your child for Camp Good Grief. 

The registration deadline is March 25 and registration forms are available at area schools or through Hospice Compassus and Bethany House.