Camp

Experience Camps are free one-week camps for boys and girls who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. We provide a safe environment where kids can explore their grief, break the isolation they may feel with their non-camp peers, and have a whole lot of fun.

WHAT WE DO

We combine the best elements of summer camp with a clinically-informed peer support model that normalizes grief and allows kids to connect with other kids who “get it,” creating a sense of community that lasts long after the last bus departs. 

GRIEF AND PLAY: A CORNERSTONE  OF OUR MODEL  

The first thing you will notice when you step foot into any Experience Camps is that it looks just like any other camp. There are cabins with bunkbeds and swinging screen doors. There are basketball hoops and campfire pits. And there are children running, playing, cheering, laughing, singing, and jumping.

What you might not notice right away is that each element of camp has a purpose. Those cabins create a communal living environment that require cooperation, problem-solving, and respect for each other. The athletic facilities provide a backdrop for play: the common language of childhood. They allow kids to connect without words and build trust and familiarity before opening up. The campfire pits become a place of nature, reflection and quietude at the end of a full day.

Through these essential elements of childhood, campers are learning coping and communication skills in developmentally appropriate ways. We are allowing them to be kids after a loss has altered that critical time in their lives.

CLINICALLY INFORMED FUN

Each of our camps are supported by a Clinical Director, a licensed, masters-level clinician that directs a team of staff specializing in youth development and bereavement who are assigned to each camper cabin. The clinical team supports the emotional well-being of campers and volunteers, facilitates peer-support opportunities and oversees bereavement activities designed to develop coping skills, sharing opportunities, and expressions of grief.

Camper activities

Activities are different at each camp, but here’s a sample of what you can expect.

Rock
climbing

Rock
climbing

Watersports

Watersports

Archery

Archery

Team
sports

Team
sports

Talent
show

Talent
show

Camp
fires

Camp
fires

Sharing
circles

Sharing
circles

Hiking

Hiking

The power of play

Campers can play their favorite sports, engage in creative activities, and explore new skills, like rock climbing, waterskiing, and archery. A full day of fun and rewarding activity takes place in the beautiful outdoors, surrounded by accepting friends, supportive counselors and fresh air.

The power of connection

Campers have the opportunity to meet and connect with kids who are coping with similar challenges, while getting all of the benefits of the traditional summer camp experience. Through team sports, favorite camp traditions and community living they learn about leadership, confidence and cooperation.

The power of sharing

Under the guidance of professional bereavement staff, campers have the opportunity to share stories and remember the one who died, while exploring skills that will help them after camp.

Dates & Locations

See below for the dates and camp locations for each program this summer.

Please note: all staff are expected to arrive the day before campers arrive for an in-person orientation. Specific dates and times for arrival and departure will be shared closer to camp.

Georgia

July 31-August 5, 2022

For boys and girls entering grades 4-11 in the 22/23 school year. At Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, GA.
1391 Keencheefoonee Road, Rutledge, GA 30663

California (Boys)

August 8-13, 2022

For boys entering grades 4-12 in the 22/23 school year. At Green Oak Ranch in Vista, CA.
1237 Green Oak Road, Vista, CA 92081

California (Girls)

August 15-20, 2022

For girls entering grades 4-12 in the 22/23 school year. At Green Oak Ranch in Vista, CA.
1237 Green Oak Road, Vista, CA 92081

Pennsylvania

August 15-20, 2022

For boys and girls entering grades 4-12 in the 22/23 school year. At Camps Equinunk and Blue Ridge in Equinunk, PA.
788 Legends Path, Equinunk, PA 18417

Maine (Girls)

August 22-27, 2022

For girls entering grades 4-10 in the 22/23 school year. At Camp Somerset in Smithfield, ME.
11 Somerset Lane, Smithfield, ME 04978

Maine (Boys)

August 22-27, 2022

For boys entering grades 4-12 in the 22/23 school year. At Camp Manitou in Oakland, ME
47 Camp Manitou Cove, Oakland, ME 04963

Michigan

August 23-28, 2022

For boys and girls entering grades 4-10 in the 22/23 school year. At Camps Lake of the Woods and Greenwoods in Decatur, MI
84600 47 1/2 St, Decatur, MI 49045

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