I remember when we started Camp Brave Heart for grieving children over 20 years ago. We were certain that the need was there – most kids and teens knew no other child who had a loved one die and felt very isolated – but we weren’t sure how it would go. Would anyone attend? Would it be fun? Would it be healing?
Last year we had those same questions when we decided to hold the camp online over Zoom. A surprising number of kids attended. And yes, it was fun; yes, it was healing. The kids made connections, both with one another and with their own grief.
For one of the activities, we asked campers to illustrate their feelings on a simple drawing of themselves using colors of their choosing to identify the various feelings in their body. One little girl showed her drawing and explained, “I feel sadness in my stomach (blue), anger in my head (red), fear in my chest (purple) and love in my heart (green).” She had green rectangles coming out of her eyes. She said, “I cry my love.”
Camp Brave Heart, Hospice Austin’s free camp for grieving children in grades 1st – 12th during the 2020/2021 school year will be held online again this year from June 8 – 11. The camp is free, thanks to our wonderful donors. It is open to any child grieving the death of someone they love.
Last year, we were moved by the connections and healing that took place in a virtual setting and look forward to the camp this year! CBS Austin’s filmed a wonderful story about last year’s virtual Camp Brave Heart: CBS Austin news story
If you know a child who might benefit from this camp, their caregiver can learn more at HospiceAustin.org/campbraveheart. Applications are due by May 25. It can really make a difference in a child’s life.