Hospice offers free grief camp for kids

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Lower Cape Fear Hospice will offer free, five-day summer camps in June and July for children coping with the death of a loved one. At Sunshine Camp, young people talk, play, create, eat, cry, laugh and make friends. They are encouraged to share memories, express feelings, release anger and learn from their life experiences.

Three Sunshine Camp sessions will be offered in New Hanover County. All camps are from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Week one is June 22-26 for rising second- and third-graders. Week two is July 6-10 for rising fourth- and fifth-graders. Week three is July 20-24 for rising sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

“Sunshine Camp is a program that touches everyone’s heart…campers, staff and adults involved in children’s lives,” Dorene Harris, manager of bereavement operations, said. “Grief can take a particularly hard toll on children. They often feel alone in their grief. Sunshine Camp gives them the opportunity to connect with other children who have experienced loss. It’s a supportive environment where they can express their feelings and deal with grief. It can make a huge difference in the way they cope with loss throughout their lives.”

Directors for Sunshine Camp are Lorraine Perry, bereavement counselor and Express Arts therapist, and Marty Hernandez, children and youth bereavement counselor.

Space is limited. Call to get an application. Once an application is received, a meeting will be scheduled with a counselor at the camp site. Campers and their guardians must attend this brief meeting prior to camp. Camp is free. Donations are appreciated. For more information, call Melinda McKeon at 796-7991 or (800) 733-1476.

Lower Cape Fear Hospice is a nonprofit agency that provides healthcare and comfort to people with advanced illnesses; support and counseling to families; and education in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties in North Carolina, and Horry County in South Carolina. For more information, visit www.lcfh.org or facebook.com/lcfhospice.