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. Most offer free or discounted programs.
The programs listed below are not affiliated with The Children’s Room but may be of interest to your family.
All camps are subject to individual state COVID-19 directives and should be contacted directly for an update.
Camps & Programs
Camp Angel Wings
Location: Camp Welch, North Main Street, Assonet, MA
Ages Served: 6-15 years old
Description: Southcoast VNA will be hosting its annual Camp Angel Wings, a two-day bereavement camp experience for children and teens, 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 [email protected].
Camp Erin Boston
Location: Camp Avoda in Middleboro, MA
Ages served: 6-17 years old
Description: A three-day, two-night camp experience for any child or teen who has experienced the death of someone close to them in their lifetime, which 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 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 Jennifer Wiles, Director at [email protected] or 508-309-5107.
Locations: Riverband School in Natick, MA (Nationwide locations, see link below)
Ages served: 5-13 years old and families
Description: Camp Kangaroo provides a camp experience and a supportive atmosphere for children who have experienced the loss of loved one in the last two years. Participants receive grief education and emotional support combined with fun camp activities that help them learn effective coping strategies. It gives an opportunity for children to find new meaning following the loss of their loved ones.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://seasonsfoundation.org/camp-kangaroo, or contact Luisa Kcomt at 847-692-1000 or [email protected].
Locations: Camp Kesem locations can be found nationwide, but they have 9 Northeast chapters located across the region. Northeastern locations include: Becket, MA; Lenox, MA; Dublin, NH; Center Tuftonboro, NH; Madison, CT; and Hartford, ME.
Ages served: 6-18 years old
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.
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 who are survivors of a loved one’s suicide.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://campkita.com or contact [email protected]
Camp Stepping Stones
Location: Glen Urquhart School (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.
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 [email protected]
Circle Camps for Grieving Children
Locations: Sweden, ME and Morgantown, WV
Ages served: 9-12 years old; teen program 13-14 years old
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.Through multi-year camp and leadership programming, Circle prepares girls to become confident young women.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://www.circlecamps.org or contact Circle Camps at [email protected] or 412-491-8151.
Comfort Zone Camp MA
Location: Listed below
Ages served: 7-17 years old (18 years old, if still in high school)
Description: Provides Family Programs (one-day camps), as well as weekend-long camps that 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
Title: 2019 May MA Camp
Age Range: 7-17
Location: Camp Burgess in Sandwich
Manitou Experience Camp (for boys)
Location: 47 Camp Manitou Cove, Oakland, ME
Ages served: Boys, ages 9-16 years old (entering grades 4 through 12 in 2019-2020 school year)
Description: The 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. They’ve put together a selection of the best activities that a summer camp has to offer. They have land sports, water sports and creative activities. They 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 [email protected].
Somerset Experience Camp (for girls)
Location: 11 Somerset Lane, Smithfield, ME
Ages served: Girls, ages 9-12 years old (entering grades 4 through 7 in the school year)
Description: Similar to the Manitou Experience, Camp Somerset is a one-week camp for girls who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. It’s a place where kids can laugh, cry, play, create, remember the person who died, or forget the grief that weighs them down. It’s a place where they can feel “normal”, because everyone there has been through something similar and understands what it’s like to lose someone important to them.
For more information or to apply: Visit www.experience.camp, call 860-850-0397 (winter and summer), or email [email protected].
Outward Bound Programs – Expeditions for Grieving Teens
Ages served: 14 – 17 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.
For more information: Visit http://www.outwardbound.org/group-programs/grieving-teens
Wildflower – Providing Support for Summer Camp Experiences to Grieving Children
Ages served: campers up to 18 years old.
Description: Wildflower provides the gift of summer camp and enrichment opportunities to children who have lost a parent. Our unique program provides individually tailored support for grieving families. Wildflower provides emotional and logistical support to the surviving parent, and the opportunity for at-risk children to receive the incredible experiences that summer camp brings.
For more information: Visit https://www.wildflowerforkids.org/
Programs Especially for Military Families
TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Survivors
Location: New England area including Boston
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/