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Camp helps grieving children

Grief knows no timeline. Whether a person has experienced the loss of a grandparent, aunt or close friend, coping with the loss is difficult for adults.

For children, the difficulty can be more severe.

“We understand that grieving is a long and hard process for an adult and especially for a child,” said Kara Hunt, account executive for Wiregrass hospice.

That’s where Camp Braveheart, a free weekend camp for grieving children ages 7-14, can help children learn to live with the loss.

Since 2001, the camp has helped children through the healing process.

“This is something where kids can get together, can be with friends or other kids that they can meet, and really know that they’re not by themselves,” Hunt said. “What they’ve experienced, other people have too. It gives them an opportunity of how to heal.”

During the session, children experience a balance of outdoor activities and activites designed to have children express their grief. One project children can do is to make a memory box.

“It’s so they can learn to remember, and have good memories of them, and how to get past that, and how to go on.”

Leaders, who are trained clinical experts, also hold a special memorial service for all the children.

The closest camp session is in Alexander City at Children’s Harbor from July 30 through August 2. Any child who has experienced any loss and is experiencing difficulty grieving should apply for the camp. Transportation to the camp can be provided by caregivers or through Wiregrass hospice. Please let them know if the child will need transportation.

Each overnight camp can accommodate 60 children. The company is looking to help more than 400 children throughout the nine camps located in South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. On average, it costs $350 per child to attend a session.

Wiregrass hospice is part of Gentiva, a home healthcare provider. The camp is no cost to children because Gentiva underwrites the entire cost of the camp as a way to give back to the community.

Download an application at www.gentiva.com/hospice. For more information, contact John Sparks at 271-1293.