Camp Hope set for July 10 at Zephyr Cove
The Gardnerville-based Center for Hope and Healing hosts their free summer grief camp, Camp Hope, on July 10 at Round Hill Pines Beach Resort in Zephyr Cove.
The daylong camp is designed for children and teens ages 7-17 who have experienced the death of a loved one. Campers will enjoy beach activities, arts and crafts, and games followed by a family barbecue in the evening.
Center co-founder Jodi Wass said Camp Hope is comprised of three distinctive parts.
“The first part is dedicated to helping kids identify their feelings about their loss,” she said. “We do icebreakers and activities where we all come together and share. Part two of camp is learning coping skills to help deal with the death of a loved one. We intertwine healthy ways to cope through activities, art projects, and groups discussions. The final piece is honoring and memorializing the loved ones who have died. They may not be with us physically, but we share remembrances of them through pictures and stories.”
This year’s camp theme is “Stars,” so inspired by a quote from author Richard Paul Evans: “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.” Campers will create a lighted “star jar” as a remembrance of both their loved one and the camp experience.
“Grief can be long, and dark, and hard, but there is always a shining light somewhere that helps us along our journey, such as a loved one, poem, or song,” said Wass. “At they end of the day, campers have something tangible to help keep the memories alive in their hearts.”
The camp’s community-based approach provides an opportunity to share and heal against the serene backdrop of Lake Tahoe.
“Death and loss can make you feel so isolated,” said Wass. “Returning campers tell us the camp makes them feel connected to other kids who have gone through similar experiences.”
She added, “Death is a part of life. We offer the camp to children and teens to help them learn ways to express their grief and cope with it in a healthy way early on… it is meaningful to me that they are learning tools that will help them all throughout their lives.”
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the center relies on grants, sponsorships, and donations in order to “keep our doors open and our services flowing for people,” said Wass. “We are going on our 10th year (in operation) and we provide all our services for free.”
This is the fifth year for Camp Hope, which is funded via a community grant through Douglas County.
“We are very grateful to Douglas County for providing us the grant money that makes the camp possible,” Wass said.
Camp Hope is scheduled from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. with an evening family barbecue to follow. Reservations are required as space is limited, and campers must provide their own transportation. Applications for Camp Hope are due no later than July 1 and may be found on the center’s website at douglascenterforhopeandhealing.org.
The website features a video that includes images from past camps as well as information about their upcoming Summerfest 2019 fundraiser, “Brats, Bands, and Brews,” scheduled for Aug. 9. Call 775-450-0329 for information.
Amy Roby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.