Camp Forget-Me-Not is a free day camp for children and teens (K-12) who have lost a loved one. Kids may have a more difficult time processing, expressing and coping with grief. Our camp is facilitated by Helios Grief Support professionals trained to address the special needs of grieving kids. Customized counseling, activities and resources help kids share their experiences as they move through their healing processes together – bringing some brightness back to their lives.
What is the purpose of Camp Forget-Me-Not?
The purpose of Camp Forget-Me-Not is to provide caring support in a safe place where children and teens can share their experiences as they move through their healing process.
Is the camp just for families who have used Helios Hospice Care?
Camp Forget-Me-Not is not just for hospice families. Camps are open to any school-aged child or teen in Otsego, Delaware and Schoharie counties who has experienced a personal loss. Even a friend who has lost a friend is welcome. We recognize that loss outside the family can be just as profound as a loss within the family.
Is the camp all “therapy work” or is there fun involved, too?
We allow more time overall at our camp for fun than we do for our more serious grief interventions. We provide free time and structured recreational activities in which the campers can form a supportive bond with each other. It’s a balance the campers enjoy and that works very well.
What benefit is the camp to parents and family members?
In any family system, if one benefits, all benefit. Let’s face it, parenting today is already challenging. When a loss occurs, in addition to their own grief, parents are confronted with the challenge of effectively parenting their grieving children. Many parents aren’t prepared for this situation and haven’t gained the knowledge to confidently deal with this significant issue. It’s comforting to know their children are in the care of grief specialists, relieving them of some of the pressure and stress. If a child/teen is better able to deal with their loss, so will their parents and other family members. During camp, we also provide education for parents or guardians about child/teen grief to better equip them to face the challenges ahead.
How do campers feel about being at the camp?
Often, children may be reluctant or afraid at first about attending the camp. By the end of the second day, campers feel a sense of pride to be part of an experience larger than themselves. They realize there are others who share a similar story and have bonded with them. They proudly wear their Camp Forget-Me-Not t-shirts knowing they have honored the person they loved and lost. We have received many comments from campers who wished the camp would go on longer.
Can campers attend more than one time?
Campers certainly can attend more than one camp. Actually, it is recommended that they do, as new grief issues may emerge as they grow and change.
Is there a cost for the camp?
There is no cost for the camp or for anything provided during the camp. Camp Forget-Me-Not is generously funded by local foundations and community donations.
Why should a parent consider having their child or children attend camp?
Sometimes, children and teens have difficulty talking about the loss of a loved one to other family members because they don’t want to upset them. The camp provides a safe place where they can feel comfortable in sharing their very personal grief. A realistic fear among parents is that unprocessed grief can lead to other difficulties, such as poor school performance or social problems. Camp Forget-Me-Not is here to help children learn positive ways to deal with their grief and to avoid potential difficulties.
Unable to send a kid to camp or want additional help? Helios Grief Support professionals have developed a Coping Kit to help children and teens deal with grief. This free toolkit includes resources and activities adults can implement with kids. The content of the kit includes principles we implement during our camps and has been developed and refined by our clinicians. To order your free Coping Kit, use the contact information below.