ROCHELLE – Serenity Hospice will be hosting a day camp at The REC in Rochelle on Aug. 2 for bereaved kids ages 6-15.
The camp will allow kids to meet peers who have experienced the same type of loss while enjoying games, crafts, swimming and other traditional summer camp activities. They will also learn coping strategies to help with their grief.
“We have had a lot of young families with significant losses with young kids,” Serenity Bereavement Coordinator Cathy Warren said. “We knew there was a need. I trained with a doctor in Colorado on helping children and have met with other hospice workers that had done weekend camps and wanted to offer it here.”
The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and any child is welcome whether or not they were a hospice family. The camp is free to participants and is being funded by a grant from the Rochelle Area Community Foundation.
The camp will be the first of its type that Serenity has done in Rochelle. It has done camps in the past in Oregon and COVID-19 put them on hold.
“We just got started with these grief programs for the youth and we’re excited to do more,” Warren said. “We got a grant from RACF. It’s perfect to have another place to do it. It was nice of them to offer, because we do these free of charge.”
Warren said there aren’t many programs like this for youth in the area, which she believes creates a “huge” need.
“I think especially in small communities with kids in elementary or middle school, very few of their friends have lost someone and they may feel alone,” Warren said. “Some of their friends have maybe never even been to a funeral before. Being with others like them makes them feel less alone. Others with experiences in common understand.”
Serenity offers numerous grief support programs and groups. Their programs are available to everyone in the community, not just families who have had loved ones at the facility.
For more information or to register for the day camp, phone Warren at Serenity Hospice at 815-732-2499.