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Hospice hosts Camp Promise

9/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Hospice of VNS
COPLEY — Akron General Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service created Camp Promise eight years ago to help children learn to manage and understand their grief through creative activities such as journaling, sand tray therapy, music, drama and art therapy. The free camp focuses on helping children ages 6-11 who have experienced a significant loss, such as that of a parent, grandparent or sibling.

Forty-one children participated in this year’s camp, shown above, which took place Aug. 5-8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily on the grounds of the Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center. A total of four teens and 20 adults volunteered their time.

Throughout the week, the children keep journals that capture their feelings, drawings, songs and pictures of their new friends, and are encouraged to reference them throughout the year, particularly on difficult days. The camp also gave the children an opportunity to interact with others their age who are experiencing loss and to learn that they are not alone.  

Parents or guardians attended an hour-long session about “Helping Your Grieving Child” early in the week to help them understand what their child is experiencing and gather practical tips on how to help them at home. They were also invited back for a closing ceremony, at which the campers performed songs they had learned that week and displayed their craft projects.

Participants attend the camp for free thanks to area donors. Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring next year’s camp may contact the Akron General Foundation at 330-344-6888.

For more information on children’s bereavement programs offered by Hospice of VNS, call 330-668-4662.

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