Young people who are grieving a loss came to the Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center on Nov. 2 for Camp Memory 2013.
This is the third year for the camp, which is for children 6 to 16 who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one – a parent, grandparent or sibling. It is led by Betty Medley, grief continuing care coordinator with Glenn Family Services. Medley is a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph Academy.
Most of the children have lost a parent, Medley said. They are often referred by a school counselor or family members the staff meets at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory, Medley said. The camp this year had 19 youths. The camp happens once a year for one day, but Medley would like to eventually have a weeklong camp.
At Camp Memory, the youths bring a picture of their loved one who died. They share stories and do a project. This year they made a picture frame to put their picture in. They play games, including a grief board game. After a memorial service in the Center chapel, they are each given an angel. They write a message on the angel, tie it to a balloon and release it in the circle in front of the Center.
The impact is immediate. “They don’t know each other when they arrive, but by the end of the day they are exchanging phone numbers and emails, Medley said. “They become friends.”
Here are some pictures from the day: