According to Crossroads Hospice, nearly 5 million children in the U.S. experience the death of one or both parents. Sadly, this number does not include the loss of other significant people in their lives.
To aid those grieving, the Cleveland area provides a number of summer programs, including grief camps and support groups, for children who have recently lost a loved one. These programs provide a safe and supportive environment for children to share their experiences with others facing similar challenges.
As the school year winds down and your kids have more time on their hands, we encourage you to take a look at this list of summer programs in and around Cleveland.
Please note that these programs are listed in order of appearance and highlight important information you need to know about registration.
1. Cornerstone of Hope: Camp Cornerstone
Cornerstone of Hope offers bereavement camps for grieving children and teens that are looking to connect with others who have experienced a similar loss. For younger children (ages 6-12), consider Camp Cornerstone.
Camp Cornerstone is a day camp that features high-energy games and challenging activities, geared towards those kids who are suffering from a loss or grief. Campers are provided with breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day and are chaperoned by trained professionals.
Note that registration priority is given to first-time campers.
Price: $50 registration fee.
Program Details: Monday, June 10 – Friday, June 14 at Cornerstone of Hope in Independence, Ohio 44131.
>>>Related Resource: How to Help Children Cope with Death and Funerals [Free Download]
2. Cornerstone of Hope: Camp Erin
In addition to Camp Cornerstone mentioned above, Cornerstone of Hope also offers Camp Erin, which is geared towards older children and teens, ages eight to 16.
At Camp Erin, campers participate in age appropriate grief activities led by trained professionals. This camp is designed to provide children and teens with emotional support through peer bonding. Meals and snacks are provided each day for overnight campers. To register a camper between the ages of eight and 16, click here.
Program Details: Friday, July 19 – Sunday, July 21 in Vermillion, Ohio 44089.
3. Cleveland Clinic: Camp Promise
Camp Promise helps children process a significant loss with others their age that are experiencing loss and to learn that they’re not alone. Children will learn how to manage their grief through creative activities, such as art, drama and music therapy. Meals and snacks are provided each day to the campers.
To pre-register a camper between the ages of six and 11, click here.
Program Details: Tuesday, July 30 – Thursday, August 1 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center in Akron, Ohio 44333.
4. Hospice of the Western Reserve: Red Oak
Looking for a camp to meet the unique needs of a grieving child or teen? Hospice of the Western Reserve offers a variety of camps throughout the spring and summer. Red Oak is a three-day bereavement camp for children and teenagers who have experienced the death of a loved one. Led by experienced facilitators, campers will express their emotions in various forms, including art, music and nature activities.
To register a camper between the ages of six and 13, click here. Registration ends July 8, 2019.
Price: $25 per camper.
Program Details: Tuesday, August 6 –Thursday, August 8 at Red Oak Camp in Kirtland, Ohio 44094.
5. Joel’s Place for Children: Adult and Children Grief Support Groups
Joel’s Place for Children is a bereavement center that offers support groups for children and their families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Trained professionals encourage participants to express their feelings in a hope-filled environment. Your child can also participate in age-appropriate crafts, games, books and more, while you navigate your own grief journey with other adults.
Joel’s Place for Children offers a variety of support groups throughout the summer months. View their events calendar for scheduled activities, or learn more about their twice-monthly grief support groups.
Program Details: Groups meet every other Tuesday between 6:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. at Bay Presbyterian Church in Bay Village, Ohio 44140.
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If a child is connected to a loss, it’s likely a parent or grandparent is too. To help you through your grief journey, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter: A Journey Towards Healing. When you subscribe, you’ll receive weekly emails across an entire year to connect with reliable information as you embark on life after a loss.