Hospice of Southwest Georgia Seeking Volunteers and Campers for Camp H.E.A.L.

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Hospice of Southwest Georgia Seeking Volunteers and Campers for Camp H.E.A.L.

Friday, August 6, 2013

The loss of a parent, sibling, grandparent, other family member or friend is likely to occur at some point in a child’s early years. And when a loved one dies, it can be difficult to know how to help kids cope with the loss, especially if you are working through your own grief as well.

This fall, Hospice of Southwest Georgia will host the eighth annual Camp H.E.A.L. (Healing and Encouragement After Loss), a bereavement day camp that helps children ages 6-13 learn to cope with the loss of a loved one.

The camp, open to the public, is offered in Thomasville and Bainbridge.

“Camp H.E.A.L. has really grown over the years and each year we’re able to help more children dealing with grief,” said Pam Miller, vice president of Archbold Health Services. “Hospice of Southwest Georgia staff and volunteers work year-round to prepare for Camp H.E.A.L., and to ensure we reach as many children as possible.”

Camp H.E.A.L. gives children a safe environment to bond with other children that have also experienced the loss of a loved one. The camp is unique because of the therapeutic value of addressing each child’s needs while also combining fun activities, education and emotional support to let them know that there are other children who share the same feelings.

Trained professionals and volunteers assist with the therapeutic activities offered at the free camp—horseback riding, pet therapy, arts and crafts, music and educational discussions on grief and bereavement—while helping the children discuss the loss of their loved one and how to work through grief.

“Volunteering as a camp counselor at Camp H.E.A.L. was very rewarding and a fulfilling experience for me,” said Thomas University senior professional academic advisor Stacie R. King, M.S., CRC. “Camp H.E.A.L. brings all of the campers together for not only support and healing, but also incorporates fun activities for the children to enjoy. Even though the children are still grieving from their loss, they’re able to have fun for the day with the other campers and volunteers.”

“I was very fortunate to work as a Camp HEAL volunteer last year,” said Thomas University student Brenda A. Sanders-Daniels. “I helped facilitate games, talk sessions and even got a chance to ride a horse for the very first time in my life. This program not only gave the kids a chance to say goodbye and a way to deal with their grief in a healthy, professional environment, but as volunteers, it was fulfilling knowing we really made a difference in the lives of these children who needed us.”

Camp H.E.A.L. will be held in Thomasville on October 19, from 9am–5pm at Camp Piney Woods. The Bainbridge camp will be held November 9, from 9am–5pm
at the Bainbridge College Kirbo Center.

To reserve a spot for a camper at one of these camps, register by or before registration deadlines: September 30 (for Thomasville camp) or October 21 (for Bainbridge camp).

Applications are also being accepted for Camp H.E.A.L. volunteers. The deadline for volunteer applications for the Thomasville camp is Friday, September 13 and the Bainbridge camp deadline is Friday, October 4.

For more information on registering a camper or becoming a Camp H.E.A.L. volunteer, call Hospice of Southwest Georgia, 1.800.290.6567, or visit www.archbold.org/campheal