Campers, Volunteers Invited to Camp Rainbow

by | Dec 13, 2014 | Non-Profits

By Susan Larson

Camp Rainbow, a weekend day camp for children grieving the death of a parent or other caregiver, is now accepting applications for camp attendees and adult volunteers.

Hosted by Hospice Support Care of Mary Washington Hospice, Camp Rainbow pairs “Little Buddies” (campers) with “Big Buddies” (trained adult volunteers), allowing grieving children to explore their feelings through age appropriate crafts, activities, discussions and one-on-one time.

One in seven American children will experience the death of a loved one before the age of 20, according to Mary Washington Healthcare News. “Sadly, few are prepared to deal with the grief that follows. From profound sadness and heartbreak to confusion and anger, a child’s grief can be devastating and lonely.  At a time in life when fitting in is important, grief can make kids feel different and isolated.”

Throughout the camp weekend, emphasis is placed on:

Developing a basic understanding of death and dying.
Expressing thoughts and feelings appropriately.
Normalizing feelings of loss and grief, learning  ways to cope.
Creating relationships with other children who are experiencing a loss.

Over the years, Camp Rainbow has been successful in helping children ages 6 – 14 understand what grief is, discuss normal responses to death, and learn ways to express and cope with their grief.  Camp Rainbow also offers traditional camp activities such as canoeing, fireside singing, crafts and team building activities.

This year’s camp will take place October 4 – 5 at the Virginia Outdoor Center –  Friends of the Rappahannock Center, 3219 Fall Hill Ave., in Fredericksburg.  Applications for Little Buddies and Big Buddies are available online or by contacting Tara Hoit at [email protected] 540-741-1874.  Applications are due September 5.

All volunteers must attend mandatory training from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on either Saturday, Sept. 6, or Saturday, Sept. 20. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Camp Rainbow is free to all participants, and is made possible through grants from the Fredericksburg Area Service League, Silver Companies and Ballantine Management Group.

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