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Camp Courage

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.

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.

CONTACT

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 bereavementcamps@geisinger.edu.

 

Understanding Your Grief: Hope for the Holidays


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  • COVID-19 articles from Dr. Alan Wolfelt
  • Grief: General

    These thoughtful articles provide guidance and direction for anyone touched by grief.

    • The Journey Through Grief
    • The Mourner's Bill of Rights
    • Helping Yourself with Grief

      Someone you love has died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who died. It is an essential part of healing. The following articles provide many practical suggestions to help you move toward healing in your unique grief journey.

      • Too Much Loss: Grief Overload and Its Causes
      • The Grief of Dementia Care Partners
      • First Aid for Broken Hearts
      • Why Choose A Final Resting Place for Your Loved One
      • What's Your Love Language
      • Teeter-Totter of Resilience and Vulnerability in Grief
      • You Must Say Hello Before You Say Goodbye
      • You Must Make Friends with the Darkness Before You Can Enter the Light
      • You Must Go Backward Before You Can Go Forward
      • Mustering the Courage to Mourn
      • Love and Grief: In Communion and Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts
      • Will I Befriend My Feelings Or Will I Deny Them
      • Will I Grieve or Will I Mourn
      • Helping Yourself Heal When Someone Dies
      • Helping Yourself Heal When Your Child Dies
      • Helping Yourself Heal When Your Spouse Dies
      • Helping Yourself Heal When a Parent Dies
      • Helping Yourself When a Baby Dies
      • Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season
      • Helping Dispel 5 Common Myths About Grief
      • Helping Yourself Live When You Are Seriously Ill
      • Helping Yourself Live When You Are Dying
      • Exploring the Uniqueness of Your Suicide Grief
      • Healing Your Traumatized Heart: Seeking Safety, Understanding, and Peace Part 1
      • Healing Your Traumatized Heart: Seeking Safety, Understanding, and Peace Part 2
      • Healing Your Grieving Body: Physical Practices for Mourners
      • The Spiritual Path to Healing: An Introduction
      • The Spiritual Path to Healing: Mourning Ideas, Part 1
      • The Spiritual Path to Healing: Mourning Ideas, Part 2
      • The Spiritual Path to Healing: Mourning Ideas, Part 3
      • The Spiritual Path to Healing: Mourning Ideas, Part 4
      • Dispelling the Misconceptions About Suicide and Grief and Mourning
      • The Capacity to Love Requires the Necessity to Mourn
      • Helping Yourself Heal When an Adult Sibling Dies
      • Helping Your Family Heal After Stillbirth
      • Healing Your Grief About Getting Older
      • Embracing the Sadness of Grief
      • Helping a Friend or Family Member After a Cancer Diagnosis
      • When Your Soulmate Dies
      • Helping Others with Grief

        A friend has experienced the death of someone loved. How can you help? The following articles provide many practical suggestions for helping others with grief:

        • The Misconception of the Funeral as a Rite of Closure
        • Helping a Friend in Grief
        • Helping a Man Who is Grieving
        • Helping a Friend Who is Dying
        • Helping a Friend Who is Seriously Ill
        • Helping a Suicide Survivor Heal
        • Helping a Homicide Survivor Heal
        • Helping a Grandparent Who Is Grieving
        • Helping a Grieving Friend in the Workplace
        • Helping AIDS Survivors Heal
        • Helping SIDS Survivors Heal
        • Helping Your Family When a Member is Dying
        • Helping Your Family When a Member is Seriously Ill
        • Helping Your Family Cope When a Pet Dies
        • Helping Your Family Decide if Organ and Tissue Donation is Right for You
        • Helping a Friend or Family Member After a Cancer Diagnosis
        • Helping Your Family Heal After Miscarriage
        • Helping Yourself Heal When Someone You Care About Dies of a Drug Overdose
        • For and About Grieving Children and Teenagers

          Children and teenagers have special needs following the death of a friend or family member. The following articles provide wonderful insight in helping children and teens understand and express their grief.

          • Helping Children Cope with Grief
          • Helping Teenagers Cope with Grief
          • Helping Infants and Toddlers When Someone They Love Dies
          • Helping Children with Funerals
          • Helping Children Understand Cremation
          • Helping a Child Who is Seriously Ill
          • Helping a Child Who is Dying
          • Helping Grieving Children at School
          • Helping Bereaved Siblings Heal
          • Finding the Right Words: Guidelines on how to talk to grieving children about death
          • Funerals, Memorials, Cremation and Related Topics

            The days following the death of a loved one can be filled with sadness and confusion. The following articles can help you understand the importance of the rituals surrounding death.

            • Helping Your Family Personalize the Funeral
            • Helping Create a Meaningful Eulogy
            • Ten Freedoms for Creating a Meaningful Funeral
            • Why is the Funeral Ritual Important?
            • For Hospices and Other Caregivers

              Caregivers have special needs of their own. The following articles are designed to help caregivers take care of themselves as well as those who are suffering from loss.

              • Companioning the Bereaved: An Introduction
              • Tenet 1: Companioning Principle
              • Tenet 2: Companioning Principle
              • The Awesome Power of "Telling The Story": Why I'm Proud to be a Grief Counselor
              • Caregiver as Gardener: A Parable
              • Companioning vs. Treating: Beyond The Medical Model of Bereavement Caregiving
              • Growing Through Grief: The Role of Support Groups
              • Responding to Problems in the Support Group Setting
              • The Bereavement Caregiver's Self-Care Guidelines
              • Apply to attend Camp Courage

                Camp Courage campers play a game

                To learn more about Camp Courage call Geisinger Home Health & Hospice at 1-800-349-4702.

                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.