We want to let you all know about an exciting new relationship Hospice Austin has forged with the Moyer Foundation that will impact Camp Brave Heart.
First, some background. In the 20 years Hospice Austin has held Camp Brave Heart, it has become increasingly difficult to secure funding. Not because our community doesn’t value and love the camp. They definitely do! But because funders are often looking for new programs to fund. Camp costs about $40,000 a year, or about $400 per camper, so not inconsequential.
About a year ago, we heard about the Moyer Foundation and their Camp Erin program and were intrigued because the mission for the camp sounded so similar to Camp Brave Heart. We reached out to the Moyer Foundation for a conversation. Maggie Cochran, our Bereavement Supervisor, then spoke by phone with her counterpart at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Nevada who had, like us, held their own grief camp for over 20 years before joining forces with the Moyer Foundation. She told us that their camp stayed basically the same, only changing the name to Camp Erin, with some little tweaks that actually improved the camp experience for campers and their families. In addition, it gave them greater visibility, inclusion into a network of almost 50 Camp Erin locations utilizing best practices, and access to a robust online bereavement resource center.
So Hospice Austin decided to take the next step and apply for the five year grant ($10,000 a year for five years with an option to renew) and we found out recently that we got it. Very good news, indeed! The most difficult part, of course, will be changing the name from Camp Brave Heart to Camp Erin Central Texas. In reality, it will be the same wonderful camp and we will still talk about the importance of having brave hearts as often as possible. We want you to know that we are very enthusiastic about the new opportunities for growth this will make possible. We hope you will join us in our excitement about this new chapter, giving thanks for Camp Brave Heart as, in its 21st year, it becomes Camp Erin Central Texas.
Here’s a link to the Moyer Foundation web-site with more information about Camp Erin: https://moyerfoundation.org/camps-programs/camp-erin/
And here’s to 20 more years of providing children who are grieving the death of someone they love with hope, compassion, and healing.
Rev. Nancy Chester McCranie, M.Div.
Director of Volunteer and Bereavement Services