Camp helps kids cope with loss

Annual Camp Skylark returns to Camp Squeah Sept. 12-14

Camp Skylark’s bereavement camp for children aged seven to 12 returns to Camp Squeah Sept. 12-14.

Camp Skylark’s bereavement camp begins it’s 10th year sponsoring children aged seven to 12 who have suffered a loss in their lives.

The camp Sept. 12-14 takes place under the canopy of an old growth forest located at beautiful Camp Squeah, just 20 kilometres north of Hope.

In a Hope Standard story last year, former camp director Kim Campbell articulated eloquently how children often suffer loss, quietly and in isolation. Quite often children are confused by what the loss means or if it really happened at all and will mask their feelings in hopes it will just all go away.

“As this is my first year as camp director, I feel both humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to participate in such a giving cause,” said Ken Hurley.

Through a variety of shared activities at Camp Skylark, such as remembrance ceremonies that they build themselves, music therapy, rock climbing, archery, hiking, exploring the surrounding forest, shared time around the campfire, art, and other fun activities each child has an opportunity to open up, to better enable them to share their feelings with their peers and the volunteers who facilitate the activities.

The experiences described by some of  the volunteers and campers who have attended the camp over the past 10 years is that the feeling of isolation, or suffering alone, seems to be magically lifted through these shared experiences. Camp Skylark will allow the child to begin to build meaningful remembrances of their loved ones, something they can then take with them as they walk life’s path.

“Our hope is that through these experiences the memories they build at camp, will sustain and empower their lives while guiding them to a kinder, gentler acceptance of their loss in the future,” said Hurley.

If you are interested in attending camp as a volunteer, or if you know a child who would benefit from attending, contact Hurley at 604-807-5444, campskylark@gmail.com or visit the website at http://www.frasercanyonhospice.org/camp-skylark.html to get a camper application form.

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