Kaweah Health Hospice set to host Oct. 22 camp to offer children hope and healing

Children who have experienced the death of a significant person in their lives are invited to learn how to cope with grief and find healing on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Kaweah Health Hospice’s “Good Grief Camp” in Visalia.

The free camp, intended for children (ages 5-12) and a parent or guardian, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Visalia Nazarene Church, 3333 W. Caldwell Ave.; attendees will receive a camp T-shirt and lunch. To register, call 733-0642. With safety as the highest priority, all attendees will be asked to wear masks. Childcare will be provided for children between the ages of 1-4 years, however pre-registration is required. If requested, a Spanish interpreter will be provided.

“For those in the midst of grief, sadness is often the primary emotion, and very few, especially children, know how to process deep sadness,” said James Susee, Kaweah Health’s Bereavement Coordinator. “While the camp doesn’t take away grief, it helps create a safe and fun place for a child to experience joy and peace in the midst of sadness. Yes, their love one has died, but their love for them lives on.”

The camp, led by people trained in child development, mental health and education, provides a safe space for children to explore grief and embrace healing. Throughout the camp, the use of crafts will be balanced with caring instruction to provide coping skills for attendees, Susee said. “There will most likely still be some tears, but there will also be water balloons. Both tears and fun can help us heal,” he said.

Children will also be taught that they are not alone in their grief. A parent or guardian will participate in this event with their children, but will also attend a separate workshop during the event to address the importance of self-care, while balancing how to help their child through this time. Children should bring a 4 inch by 6 inch picture of the loved one they are grieving for use in projects they will take home after camp.

Good Grief Camp is sponsored by Kaweah Health Hospice and is provided free of charge thanks to the support of the Kaweah Health Hospital Foundation, an independent non-profit fundraising organization that exists to support Kaweah Health’s Hospice program, along with individuals in the community who have made contributions to underwrite the camp. Kaweah Health Hospice is a not-for-profit hospice that provides end-of-life services for adults and children in Tulare and Kings counties.

Kaweah Health is a publicly-owned community healthcare organization that provides comprehensive health services to the greater Visalia region and Tulare County. Kaweah Health is committed to meeting the community’s health needs through state-of-the-art medicine, high-quality preventive services and specialized health centers and clinics. For more information, visit www.kaweahhealth.org. #

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