When children or teenagers and their families experience the death of someone close to them, they need help dealing with the strong emotions of grief. Geisinger Home Health & Hospice has a mission to help their grieving process in a safe and nurturing environment through Camp Courage.
Camp Courage is a weekend bereavement camp with the mission to help children and their families heal from losing a significant person in their lives, while providing a safe place to express themselves through their healing experience.
WELCOME TO CAMP COURAGE
Open to those between 7- and 18-years-old, campers come together with other children and teenagers who have experienced similar losses in their lives and learn new ways of dealing with grief. The camp is free and offers many fun activities.
Camp Courage is held twice a year at the beautiful state-of-the-art Camp Victory in Millville, Pennsylvania. During camp, grief work is balanced with fun-filled activities as children and teens enjoy the many amenities offered at Camp Victory.
Prior to attending Camp Courage, campers and their family members are invited to attend a pre-camp session, held at The Village in Eyers Grove, two miles from Camp Victory. Pre-camp offers an opportunity for the campers and their family members to meet each other while enjoying a kid-friendly meal. This meet and greet allows the campers to be introduced to the bead lady and others regarding their role at camp. The campers who attend pre-camp look forward to seeing their new friends and perhaps even sharing the same cabin when Camp Courage begins.
HOW WE HELP HEALING
Every Camp Courage camper is paired with a “Big Buddy” for the weekend. The Big Buddy is there for the camper if they want to talk; provides careful supervision throughout the weekend; and guarantees the camper has a friend at every activity.
The campers learn a variety of ways to express their grief through journaling, music, physical activity, creating memory boxes and other guided activities. In addition, campers are encouraged to share their feelings and provide support to one another in a safe, caring environment with small groups of peers and adult volunteers.
Free time gives campers and their Big Buddies a chance to explore the many camp activities including archery, rock wall climbing, zip line, fishing, paddle boating, visits with therapy dogs, games and sports.
Support volunteers ensure activities are organized and ready for campers and provide a break for Big Buddies several times throughout the weekend. Campers typically come from Columbia, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties in Pennsylvania. Campers from other areas are accepted.
Delicious meals are provided by a professional kitchen staff. Large cabins, housing up to 16 campers and volunteers, are heated and offer restroom and shower facilities. The camp is universally accessible. A nurse, a professional counselor, security personnel, several hospice staff members and a multitude of volunteers ensure a safe and well supervised weekend.
SUPPORTING GRIEVING KIDS
Camp Courage is free to all campers. In order to help Geisinger Hospice meet its mission of supporting and helping grieving children heal, volunteers, sponsorships and donations are necessary.
Funding for this year’s camping season is provided by many individuals who support Geisinger Hospice, community members, churches and area businesses. Click here to learn more about becoming a camp volunteer, to sponsor a camper or to donate to the camp.
To inquire about Camp Courage and the pre-camp session, call Geisinger Home Health & Hospice at 570-784-1723 or 1-800-349-4702. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
Once a child’s application is received, we will call the parent/guardian to schedule an interview.
We also welcome the opportunity to speak to organizations, civic groups, churches and schools about our programs. Contact us at 570-784-1723 or 1-800-349-4702 to learn more or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEREAVED PARENT RETREAT
Learning to cope with a child’s death is a long and difficult process. At times, this grief may become overwhelming. Adults can participate in a free healing retreat where parents learn to find strength to face tomorrow.
No parent has ever wanted to outlive their child. Bereaved parents are encouraged to take the step and join other bereaved parents in a safe and non-threatening setting. The retreat is held at Camp Victory on the last Saturday of October. Camp Victory is gorgeous at that time of year and the retreat takes advantage of the surrounding natural beauty. During free time, parents are able to choose from a variety of outdoor activities or simply relax in the magnificent tree house.
Click here for a retreat application.
To inquire about the retreat, call Geisinger Home Health & Hospice at 570-784-1723 or 1-800-349-4702.