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ProMedica and Heartland Hospice Host Camp Fearless to Help Grieving Children

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ProMedica Hospice serving Northwest Ohio hosted Camp Fearless, a summer bereavement camp for children and adolescents who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The free bereavement day camp features therapeutic activities, arts and crafts and team building exercises led by a team of professional counselors, hospice team members and trained volunteers. Children explore issues related to the impact that loss can have on their lives in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

Ava, Kaiah and Kali Duncan shared photos of their mom with other campers at Camp Fearless. “Our mom passed away when we were really little. We’ve been doing really fun projects, some just for us and some for our lost loved one,” said Ava. “It makes you feel better,” said Kali. “It makes you feel like, happy. Not sad or anything,” said Kaiah. The girls lost their mom about eight years ago and have been going to Camp Fearless the past three summers.

Camp Fearless is offered in a number of communities across northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan during the summer. The theme for camp this year is “Growing in Grief” in which the kids are making pop bottle planters and piecing broken pots back together. “Our goal is to teach them healthy coping skills so that they can move forward in their adventures in life,” said Kelly Macy, ProMedica Hospice Social Worker.

Through the activities; volunteers and camp leaders encourage the kids to find different ways to cope with their emotions and let them out. The camp leaders notice a true transformation. “They’re really awesome kids and how they come from being afraid to walk in the doors, to being best friends with people by the time they leave,” said Kelly.

The program also provides an opportunity for parents and guardians to meet individually with camp leaders to discuss the individual needs of the children and family following loss. Hospice staff provides information and connects families with additional resources to help children continue to grow and move forward on their grief journey.

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