Camp Good Grief
Camp Good Grief celebrated its 21st annual children and youth bereavement camp this June at Singing Hills Girl Scout Camp, Oil City, PA. This fun-filled day camp was held at Singing Hills Girl Scout Camp that accommodated an average of 60 campers from all over Northwest Pennsylvania from the aged of 5-18 attended.
This year, campers experienced a restorative nature experience with activities that included: yoga, creating bongo drums and music, swimming, creativity with arts and crafts, small group talks, a feelings exercise and a candle light memorial service to end the daylong event.
"It helps to know how to deal with (loss). Everyone else is going through the same things."
- Youth Camper
Horses for Healing
Coping with losing a loved one can be difficult at any age. Many children and youth struggle with fear, questions and loneliness after the loss of their beloved family member or friend. That’s why the Venango VNA Foundation has partnered with certified bereavement counselors from the Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County and other local volunteers to establish a therapeutic bereavement camp for children and youth in Venango County.
Jane Byham and Valerie Motter, both Certified Bereavement Facilitators and Social Workers with VNA, organized and planned Horses for Healing held this summer at VARHA (Venango Area Riding for the Handicapped Association).
This day camp was filled with expressing feelings through arts and crafts, small group discussions, and creating memory boxes while learning tools on how to better cope with grief. Along with hands-on activities, campers learned how to groom, saddle and ride a horse. With help from the VARHA staff, campers were able to perform several riding exercises while gaining a therapeutic riding experience.
Hope for the Holidays
Holidays can be a fun and exciting time, but for many, it can cause sadness and mixed emotions. Hope for the Holidays was held on Saturday, November 8th, a half day bereavement camp for children and youth who are grieving a loss of a loved one. This camp is held each November at Victory Heights United Brethren Church in Franklin.
The event is coordinated and led by VNA Social Workers and Bereavement Facilitators, Jane & Val. Children and youth who attended this event worked in small groups with volunteer counselors, created crafts in memory of their loved one, shared feelings and learned coping techniques. A Thanksgiving lunch was served, which was catered by Bob Evans.