The weekend was magical and families had the opportunity to share experiences with other campers who has suffered the loss of a loved one. On Friday evening after dinner we kick the weekend off with families creating their family trees, and sharing with the group who passed away. This is an important step for each family along their grief journey. During the day we break out into age appropriate grief support groups providing a safe place for campers to share, learn, and grow. Group time can be draining for everyone, so we make sure to provide positive outlets. Although we shared tears, we also exchanged plenty of smiles, laughter, hugs, and fun. Saturday night we hosted our family talent show, and finished up the evening with our famous New Hope dance party.
On Sunday just before noon we gave each family member a balloon, they tied love notes to the balloon for their loved ones who were no longer with them. Together we let our balloons go up into the beautiful blue sky; this has been a New Hope Camp tradition for years. After our balloon ceremony we gave each of our campers a hug and a Hershey kiss for the road.
We are so grateful to our dedicated volunteers, staff, and the courageous campers who made our weekend one that will not be forgotten. Our families may still have some miles to go on their grief journey, but we rest confidently knowing they received the tools, hope, and encouragement they will need to move towards their “new normal” one day at a time.
This opportunity was made possible by the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation and the generosity of our donors who believe that no family should have to grieve alone.
Fall 2013 Family Camp Photos