For children who have lost a loved one, finding a way to express their emotions is a crucial part of healing. To help children who have experienced this heartbreak, SSM Health at Home Hospice offers annual one-day grief retreats called Camp MAGIC.
Camp MAGIC (Mending A Heart, Grief in Children) is designed for children ages 6-12.
Camp MAGIC Goals
- To provide children a safe place to express themselves.
- To engage children in special activities focused on helping to normalize their feelings.
- To allow children to experience a sense of togetherness with other children who have lost loved ones.
- To promote communication between children and parents regarding their loss, as well as to provide resources to parents.
At each camp, every camper is paired with a trained volunteer to provide companionship, support and supervision throughout all activities. The camps help provide children with a safe space to express their grief, engage in special activities to help normalize their feelings and enable kids to experience a sense of togetherness with other children who have lost loved ones.
Camp MAGIC can make a lasting impression on a child. The parent of a 12-year-old wrote to express her gratitude after her son went to camp following the death of his father:
"The camp was so heartfelt and you touched me and my son deeply. He had a wonderful time and told me how great it was to express his feelings about his father to a one-on-one person and tell that counselor things he couldn't tell me. He came home and filled his memory box with all his memories of his dad and actually has picked up his Bible to read every evening. I've been trying so long to get him to read God's words . . . I believe that God was with us that day . . . Our loved ones knew we were here to celebrate them and remember them . . . I thank you from the bottom of my heart."