This Camp Helps Kids to Heal From Losing Loved Ones [VIDEO]

Comfort Zone Camp teaches kids to cope in a healthy and loving way

Nov 2, 2016

For children, losing a parent or sibling is such a traumatic life event that without the proper support system, their lives can often be entirely derailed. Founded in 1998, Comfort Zone Camp is a non-profit organization that seeks to make the healing and grieving process for kids just a little bit easier. The camp, made up entirely of 7-17-year-olds who have lost a parent, sibling or primary caregiver, takes the experiences of having lost someone and turns them into a way for campers to grieve in a supported, welcoming, and healthy environment with an emphasis on creating new, happy memories, that cherish those who have passed on.

At the free camp, therapy sessions disguised as fun activities like singing karaoke and making s'mores are as imperative to the program as confidence-boosting sessions, age-based support groups that focus on communication and breaking down emotional grief through discussion, as well as a buddy program that pairs trained volunteer mentors to support each child's individual needs.

The result is more than feeling less alone in one's experience, but also building lasting friendships. As a way to keep campers in touch year-round, an online community called HelloGrief was established alongside Comfort Zone Camp, as a way for campers to keep each other updated on their day-to-day lives. Comfort Zone Camps are made possible through generous donations from well-meaning people and organizers say they truly transform the lives of the kids who come and learn coping skills for their grief.

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Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.