Camp Jour­ney be­gins ‘08 reg­is­tra­tion

Abbey Hospice camp geared to­ward griev­ing lo­cal youths

The Covington News - - Local News - By Rachel Oswald

Abbey Hospice, lo­cated in So­cial Cir­cle, is spon­sor­ing Camp Jour­ney, a free onenight camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for chil­dren and youth who have re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced a death in their fam­ily. Through fun- filled ac­tiv­i­ties and re­flec­tive mo­ments, chil­dren and youth will be in­vited to ex­plore how they feel, to un­der­stand them­selves in the griev­ing process, to meet other youth who share the same feel­ings, and to have a great time.

This spring at Camp Twin Lakes in Rut­ledge, Ge­or­gia, chil­dren will be do­ing more than play­ing games and ex­plor­ing the beauty of the wild. On April 26 and 27, chil­dren will be re­mem­ber­ing their loved ones at Camp Jour­ney.

Grief is a dif­fi­cult ex­pe­ri­ence for any­one. It is in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult and peo­ple of­ten feel unimag­in­able pain. Adults of­ten strug­gle with how to deal with their feel­ings and over­whelm­ing emo­tions. Los­ing a loved one, no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stances, is com­plex and of­ten we are left with ques­tions of what the fu­ture will bring with­out them in our lives. De­spite the strug­gle, the de­vel­op­men­tal pro­gres­sion of adult­hood helps in the griev­ing process. Adults are able to ex­press how they feel and how much they miss some­one.

Chil­dren of­ten

can­not ex­press their grief in the same way. Be­cause chil­dren do not have the de­vel­op­men­tal skills to fully ex­press them­selves, they of­ten have dif­fi­culty shar­ing how much they miss their loved one. They strug­gle in un­der­stand­ing what death is and can be­gin to fear both their own death and the death of other loved ones.

Some ways that chil­dren demon­strate their grief is through be­hav­iors. Some of the key be­hav­ioral changes to watch for are: • Sad­ness • With­drawal from ac­tiv­i­ties

• Hav­ing dif­fi­culty un­der­stand­ing death

• Be­gin­ning to fear their own death and the deaths of fam­ily mem­bers

• Hav­ing dif­fi­culty school

• Hav­ing dif­fi­culty with friends and peers

• Ex­hibit­ing anger and even rage

If your child is ex­hibit­ing any of th­ese be­hav­iors, please seek a pro­fes­sional for your child to speak with. It does not mean that there is some­thing wrong with your child, but get­ting them help sooner rather than later is the best means of help­ing them through this dif­fi­cult time.

Camp Jour­ney is free to

in all par­tic­i­pants and is led by trained vol­un­teers and staff that are ded­i­cated to help­ing your child in his or her grief. Reg­u­lar clothes, shoes and a sleep­ing bag or twin sheets are needed, but there is no need to bring food or any spe­cial camp­ing equip­ment.

If you are in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing to at­tend Camp Jour­ney April 26 and 27 please con­tact Cal­lie Cur­ing­ton at Abbey Hospice, ( 770) 464- 5858 or be­reave­ment@ abbey­hos­pice. com. Par­ents and/ or guardians are asked to com­plete an ap­pli­ca­tion and chil­dren are ac­cepted by level of need.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Fun and games: Campers par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the 2007 Abbey Hospice Camp Jour­ney. Reg­is­tra­tion is un­der way for the 2008 camp.

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