Camp GK Bear – Grief Camp for Children
Next Camp is Saturday, April 8, 2017
Rice Hospice at Rice Memorial Hospital offers a one-day grief camp for kids in grades K – 6, called Camp GK Bear. It’s a special opportunity for children who have experienced the death of a significant person in their lives.
“We have seen an increasing need for a program like this in West Central Minnesota,” says Mary Beth Potter, Rice Hospice Director. “Children are often overlooked in the grieving process. We structured the camp to accommodate the needs of children in our area.”
Camp Coordinator Judie Dunlop says, “Our goal is to help children understand the grief process and teach them the skills they need to help them heal.”
Through generous donations and grants, along with the help of Rice Hospice volunteers, Camp GK Bear is offered free of charge. This camp provides children an opportunity to better understand their own grieving process and to take part in some fun activities.
The camp’s program centers around three main themes:
- the life/death cycle
The children create a Memory Box to collect items that are special to them and that belonged to the person(s) who died. Other projects are specifically designed to be worked on during camp and then completed at home.
One parent commented, “Thank you–it was all my kids could talk about for four hours. I think it helped them know that they are not the only kids who have lost someone close.
Camp GK Bear has received the “Innovation of the Year Award for Patient Care Enhancement” from the Minnesota Hospital and Healthcare Partnership.
Anyone wishing to volunteer for Camp GK Bear must first complete Rice Hospice volunteer training.
For more information contact:
Judie Dunlop — LSW, CHP-SW, Rice Hospice Social Work Coordinator