More than 75 campers participated in two one-week sessions of Delaware Hospice’s Camp New Hope in Bear and Milford.
Camp New Hope in Bear was June 20-23 at Lums Pond State Park and camp in Milford was hosted June 27-30 at the Delaware Hospice Center. Each camp invited youth ages 6-18 who have lost a loved one to attend the free four-day camp.
Camp incorporates traditional camp activities along with age-appropriate bereavement activities. “Many times, children do not have the opportunity to meet other kids who are going through similar experiences,” said Camp New Hope Director Earline Vann. “Camp gives kids the opportunity to mourn their loss but to remind them that they are not alone.”
“Camp has been awesome,” said Tony K. Tony, age 11, and his two younger sisters attended camp after their mom passed away earlier this year. “My favorite activity was ‘blowing bubbles for a calming breath.’ The counselors showed us that when you blow really fast and short that you are not able to get big bubbles. If you take deep, long breaths, you can get really, really big bubbles.”
Another favorite activity of the campers was paddle boarding. Tony also mentioned how on the first day of camp he was nervous to attend camp. But by the Friday, he had “had the most fun and was sad to leave camp.”
Camp New Hope is the capstone of New Hope, a program of Delaware Hospice. Through a variety of activities, campers have opportunities to interact with other children who have experienced loss. The camp also offers group projects, counseling, individual support, education and free time to allow children to process emotions and ask questions. The camp hosts a memorial service, which celebrates and honors the life of each child’s loved one.
For information, visit delawarehospice.org.