“I had a great time and I learned a whole lot about myself, my new friends, and how to deal with others when I am grieving. ”
Learning, Laughter, Fun
Camp Evergreen is a weekend grief camp in early summer for youth and teens and a Saturday family workshop for youth and parents/guardians in the fall. It is for those that have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. It is provided free of charge as a service to our community.
At camp the campers realize that many other youth and teens have experienced death. It also educates them on the grief process and positive ways to cope. Along with opportunities for healing and for sharing about their significant person, the teens and youth have a fun-filled experience. The family workshop includes a parent/guardian in the camper’s life and provides education and support for them in addition to joint activities with their camper.
The camp is run by Center for Hospice Care bereavement counselors and adult trained volunteers, some who serve as buddies. Each youth camper has an adult buddy who is paired with them for the day or weekend. A small group of teens share an adult buddy. Activity volunteers are also trained and they support the camp activities as needed.
Weekend Only – Archery, Outdoor Games, Swimming, Canoeing, Fishing, Campfires, Climbing Tower, Challenge Course (ages 12 and up)
Both Weekend and Workshop – Arts and Crafts Memory Making, Horseback Riding (weather permitting)
There is no fee for youth and teens to attend camp. Campers do not need a medical physical exam. Space is limited and a spot is reserved only after the completed application packet is returned.
Volunteers are needed to be adult buddies for each youth camper and for small groups of teen campers. We also need adult volunteers to assist with the general activities of camp. Center for Hospice Care trains all volunteers and offers support throughout the camp weekend and during the family workshop. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.
Camp Evergreen 2019 – By the Numbers
- 62 Total Campers
- 39 Weekend Campers
- 23 Family Workshop Campers
- 64 Dedicated & Passionate Volunteers
- Hundreds of memories
Youth campers at the 26th annual Camp Evergreen had the opportunity to take part in activities such as horseback riding, swimming, fishing, and games. Special bereavement programming such as talking about their loved one who died, creating a memory box in their loved one’s honor, and a tree planting ceremony where each child took part in planting the evergreen tree as their loved one’s name was read aloud. For the past 26 years, 1040 campers and 605 volunteers and staff have partook in this great program!
Teen campers had the opportunity to take part in a variety of camp activities including a high ropes challenge course. Teens also had large and small group time where they got the chance to tell their stories and learn about grief and coping skills. They remembered their loved ones in a nighttime luminary ceremony as well as a ceremony where their loved ones’ names were read aloud as they gathered around the evergreen tree.
One teen camper explained, “What I liked best about Camp Evergreen was being able to be around others in a similar situation.”
Grief can be a very isolating experience for kids and teens as they often feel like they are the only ones going through it. Camp Evergreen provides them with the opportunity to meet other kids and teens who are grieving too, making the experience a less lonely one. Camp is also a unique place for these kids and teens to be surrounded by caring adults who understand their grief and allow them to just be kids.
“I accomplished things I didn’t know I could do.” – Teen Camper
“I learned you have to communicate more, learn how to listen.” – Youth Camper
“This camp really helped me and I realized I’m not the only person going through this and that helped a lot.”
“The camp went smoothly and was a lot of fun! I look forward to volunteering next year.”
- Challenge Course for Teens
- Nature Walks
- Horses for Youth
- Arts and Crafts