2019 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

2019 Dates: Friday, July 13 through Saturday, July 14
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.
Details: Camp Angel Wings is free for all campers, but space is limited and registration is required. If you are planning to send more than one child to camp, separate application for each child must be completed. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible or no later than June 21, 2019.
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

2019 Dates: Friday, August 16 – Sunday, August 18 – 9:00 – 4:00pm daily
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.
Details: Free of charge; applications are due by May 1, 2019. Interviews conducted March-June 2018. Due to space limitations, Camp Erin Boston only accepts 50 campers each session. Preference is given to those who have never attended Camp Erin. 
For more information or to apply: Visit http://www.camperinboston.org, or contact Jennifer Wiles, Director at [email protected] or 508-309-5107.

Camp Kangaroo

2019 Dates: Friday,  July 13 – Saturday, July 14
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.
Details: Free of charge; deadline for registration is June 14, 2019. Upon completion of the Inquiry Form; a staff member will contact to follow up and complete an interview.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://seasonsfoundation.org/camp-kangaroo, or contact Luisa Kcomt at 847-692-1000 or [email protected].

Camp Kesem

2019 Dates: Dates are specific to each location and are listed on their website, camps are typically one week in length.
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.
Details: Free of charge; applications are first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information: Please visit their website, http://campkesem.org/camp-kesem.

Camp Kita

2019 Dates: Sunday,  July 14 – Saturday,  July 20
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.
Details: Free of charge; register by filling out their online application
For more information or to apply: Visit http://campkita.com or contact [email protected]

Camp Stepping Stones

2019 Dates: TBD July 2019 (One-day family retreat)
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.
Details: 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.cfmContact Care Dimensions at 855-774-5100 (toll free: 888-283-1722) or [email protected]

Circle Camps for Grieving Children

2019 Dates: Circle of Tapawingo: August 25–30; Circle of EKC: August 11-17
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.
Details: Free of charge; registration and online application is required
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

2019 Dates: Listed below
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.
Specifications: Online registration and completion of application is required.
For more information or to apply: Visit http://www.comfortzonecamp.org/parents-and-guardians, or call toll-free: 866-488-5679

Start Date: Friday, May 17, 2019 – 4:30pm
Title: 2019 May MA Camp
Age Range: 7-17
Location: Camp Burgess in Sandwich

Manitou Experience Camp (for boys)

2019 Manitou Dates: Monday, August 19 – Saturday, August 24
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.
Details: Free of charge; register by filling out their online application
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) 

2019 Somerset Dates: Monday,  August 19 – Saturday,  August 24
Location: 11 Somerset Lane, Smithfield, ME
Ages served: Girls, ages 9-12 years old (entering grades 4 through 7 in the 2019-2020 school year)
Description: Camp Somerset for Girls will reopen in 2018. 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.
Details: Free of charge; register by filling out their online application
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

2019 Summer Dates and Locations:
    Maine Appalachian Backpacking: June 22-29 and July 23-29
    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 – 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.
Details: 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

2019 Dates: Varies please see website
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.
Details: Boston Wellness Weekend Registration opens June 11th on a first come, first serve basis. All Adult survivors 18 and older are invited to join.
For more information or to register: Visit http://www.taps.org/Seminars/