Summer camp reminds grieving children to Grin Again

Local News


Losing a loved one is never an easy thing to handle, and it can be incredibly tough a young child to process.

That’s why folks with Hospice are hosting their annual Camp Grin Again summer camp to help children process the loss of a loved one.

The children attending the camp talk about their feelings, emotions, while learning coping skills. This years theme was mission impossible and organizers with the camp said by the end of the camp these children will learn that anything is possible.

Izzy Duron is a part of the camp for the first time since her father died of a heart attack, but with the help of folks with Hospice of Wichita Falls, she’s learning the necessary tools to cope with her father’s death.

“I went to the counseling sessions before this and it’s helped a lot with guilt, anger, sadness and it just helped me through everything,” Duron said.

Children’s Program Coordinator Amanda Culley said she’s seen first hand the impact that this camp can have on grieving children.

“It’s kindergarten through 8th grade, so they start in kindergarten and sometimes they’ll go all the way until they age out. It’s really nice to see the progression and the way they deal and cope with things whether its a loss or its something else going on in life, the techniques and skills that we teach them during this camp they can basically use for just about anything,” Culley said.

This years theme is Mission Impossible, something that Culley says allows the kids, at the end of the camp, to see that anything is possible.

“We’re kind of teaching them that sometimes when we think it’s impossible to get through the grief that by the end of the week we want them to know that they’re possible, so it comes from impossible to I’m possible,” Culley said.

During camp kids will go through counseling classes, speaking about experiences they’ve had or what has helped them get through their loss, in turn, helping other kids see what they need to do to continue moving forward with their loss.

“We know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, everything will be okay and it is okay to if you just need to break down, its okay to break down , if you need to punch a pillow or something its okay to do that because there are stages for grief,” Duron said.

Losing a loved one will always hurt but with the right tools, these children will learn how to grin again.

Camp Grin Again will wrap up this Friday, and organizers said if anyone wants to sign kids up, they won’t turn anyone away. However, they want to remind parents that the camp is a week-long program, so if they sign children up they will have missed out on what others learned earlier this week.

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