Summer Programs for Grieving Children & Teens
There are several summer camp programs in Massachusetts and beyond that have been developed for children, teens, and families who are grieving the loss of a family member.
The programs listed below are not affiliated with The Children’s Room but may be of interest to your family. Each year we compile details for summer programs of which we are aware; this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. If you need additional information on specific programs or would like to register your child, please contact the camp directly.
Camps & Programs
Camp Angel Wings
2017 dates: Weekend of July 16-17
Location: Camp Welch, North Main Street, Assonet, MA
Ages served: 6-15 years
Description: Southcoast VNA will be hosting its annual Camp Angel Wings, a two-day bereavement camp experience for children and teens, ages 6 through 15, who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
For more information or to apply: Download the registration form at www.southcoast.org/campangelwings or contact Camp Angel Wings at 508-973-3426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camp Erin Boston
2017 dates: Session 1: Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11; Session 2: Friday, August 18, through Sunday, August 20.
Location: Camp Bauercrest, Amesbury, MA
Ages served: 6-17 years
Description: Camp Erin Boston is a FREE weekend overnight camp for children and teens ages 6 through 17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. This three-day, two-night experience will be filled with traditional and fun camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support and will be facilitated by bereavement professionals and trained volunteers. The Moyer Foundation has partnered with Parmenter Community Health Care in Wayland, Massachusetts, as the Boston area Camp Erin provider. Parmenter Community Health Care has been a leader in Children’s Bereavement Services since 1992 with its award-winning HEARTplay program.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://www.camperinboston.org, or contact 508-309-5107.
Ages served: children 5-13 and families
Description: Camp Kangaroo provides a camp experience and a supportive atmosphere for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, grandparent, or significant friend. The primary goal during this weekend will be to provide children the opportunity to meet other children who have lost a loved one and to share and normalize the feelings surrounding their experiences. Activities throughout the weekend will focus on memorializing their loved one, self-care techniques, building relationships, and having fun in spite of a difficult time.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://seasonsfoundation.org/camp-kangaroo.
Locations: Camp Kesem locations can be found nationwide, but they have 9 Northeast chapters located across the region. Northeastern locations include: Becket, MA; Tuftonboro, NH; Madison, CT; and Hartford, ME.
Ages served: 6-16 years
Description: Camp Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. Camp Kesem serves children who have lost a parent to cancer, have a parent undergoing cancer treatment, or whose parent is a cancer survivor. NOTE: Camp Kesem does not serve children and teens who have been affected by a sibling’s cancer.
For more information: Please visit their website, http://campkesem.org/camp-kesem.
2017 dates: August 13 – 19
Location: Pine Tree Camp, Rome, ME
Ages served: 8 – 17 years old
Description: Camp Kita is a week-long summer camp program open to children 8 – 17 years old who are survivors of a loved one’s suicide.
For more information: Visit http://campkita.com or contact email@example.com
Camp Stepping Stones
2017 dates: Saturday, July 8 (One-day family retreat, 10 am – 7 pm)
Location: Glen Urquhart School, Beverly Farms, MA (74 Hart St., Beverly, MA)
Ages served: Children and their families
Description: The Bertolon Center for Grief & Healing, a program of Care Dimensions, has developed a day camp to support children and their families who have experienced the death of someone close to them. The camp offers a combination of child-focused activities including arts and crafts, water activities, and games. The camp also offers relaxation activities and workshops for adults. The entire family will have fun while learning new coping skills. Free of charge after the nominal registration fee, space is limited and advance registration is required.
For more information or to apply: Visit https://www.caredimensions.org/grief-support/childrens/camp-stepping-stones.cfm; Contact Care Dimensions at 855-774-5100 (toll free: 888-283-1722) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Circle Camps for Grieving Children
2017 dates: August 20 – August 25 (dates applicable to both locations)
Locations: Sweden, ME, and Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
Ages Served: Girls, 8-16 years
Description: Circle Camps for Grieving Children provides free week-long overnight camp programs for girls who have experienced the death of a parent. They support an environment that empowers girls to address their grief while year after year enjoying the adventures and fun of living and playing together.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://www.circlecamps.org, or contact Circle Camps at email@example.com or 412-491-8151.
Comfort Zone Camp MA
2017 dates: TBD
Location: YMCA Camp Frank A. Day, East Brookfield, MA
Ages served: 7-17 years (18 years, if still in high school)
Description: These weekend-long camps will include confidence-building programs and age-based support groups that break the emotional isolation grief often brings. There will also be fun activities including a challenge course and bonfire. Because everyone here has had a loss and can relate on a level that few others can, lasting friendships are formed. There are also times to hear others’ stories, and to tell your own. Everything is done by choice, so you can share as much – or as little – as you want.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://www.comfortzonecamp.org/parents-and-guardians, or call toll-free: 866-488-5679.
Manitou Experience Camp
2017 dates: August 21 – 26
Location: 47 Camp Manitou Cove, Oakland, ME
Ages served: Boys, ages 9-16 (entering grades 4 through 12 in the summer of 2017)
Description: Manitou Experience provides bereavement support to children who have lost a parent, sibling or loved one. Manitou Experience Camps are one-week summer camp for boys that help build confidence, encourage laughter and navigate grief through friendship, teamwork, athletics, and the common bond of loss. We’ve put together a selection of the best activities that a summer camp has to offer. We have land sports, water sports and creative activities. We have integrated the camp program with bereavement activities and projects designed to help the boys express feelings, explore memories, build confidence, and find comfort in the presence of their peers.
For more information or to apply: Visit www.experience.camp, call 203-286-2886 (winter and summer), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outward Bound Programs – Expeditions for Grieving Teens
Summer 2017 Dates and Locations:
- Maine Appalachian Backpacking: June 17 – June 23
- See additional locations and dates across the United States on their website (additional scholarships may not be offered in these additional locations)
Ages served: 14 – 18 years old
Description: Grieving Teens Programs offered by the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School are now enrolling. These 7-day journeys are a life-changing opportunity. They are for those seeking a fresh challenge in a unique environment and in an intense team setting. Grieving Teens expeditions help participants acquire coping skills, build an ongoing supportive peer network, and to honor the griever through compassionate, purposeful grief processing and activities. Through the generous support of the New York Life Foundation and other donors, this program is being offered at reduced tuition. Additional need-based scholarships are available.
Note: Discounted tuition is available, but is limited to 10 participants on each course.
For more information: Visit http://www.outwardbound.org/group-programs/grieving-teens
Programs Especially for Military Families
TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Survivors
Location: New England area
Ages served: Children, teens and adults
Description of program: The TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Good Grief Camp for children and teens provides support and comfort for children and teens facing the loss of a loved one in military service. The safe and supportive atmosphere offers opportunities to learn coping skills, establish and identify support systems and create awareness that they are not alone in the grief of their loved one. Children and teens meet others of their own age to share and learn together. Each Good Grief Camp participant has a military mentor who serves as a companion throughout the weekend, providing them with special one-on-one attention and showing them that the military has not forgotten about them. Other summer camps are offered across the US.
For more information or to register: Visit http://www.taps.org/Seminars/