Kids are always learning. Whether it’s from teachers in school, parents and siblings at home, friends on the playground, pastors at church, coaches on the field – there are always new experiences and information to absorb.
Good childhood educators make learning new information/skills fun and exciting. The BEST educators present the lesson in a way that kids don’t even realizing they’re learning. And that is exactly what happens at Camp Erin Pittsburgh, a weekend-long bereavement camp that was held June 8-10 at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer, 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. The camp helps children and youth learn about grief, and understand that everyone experiences in their own way.
This year’s camp, which was free thanks to grants and generous community donations, hosted 108 campers, from 6-17 years old, who have experienced the death of a loved one. There were also more than 75 volunteers that helped supervise and lead the activities (thank you all – you’re the best!)!
Activities at camp included arts and crafts, camp fires, swimming, zip lines, ropes course, sports, journaling, archery, music, pet therapy, luminary and much more! One highlight of the weekend, among many others, was a drum activity, led by a certified music therapist. Some of the campers also especially enjoyed an exercise called “What would you say,” which opened a discussion on some of the ignorant things people say to kids going through grief – whether cruel-intentioned or not – and how to possibly respond.
Enjoy the photos below (click to enlarge), and feel free to leave a comment! For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering next season or know someone who might want to be a camper, please visit www.camperinpittsburgh.org or call Camp Director Heather Beachler at 724-624-0934. We release the new camper and volunteer applications around the New Year, and we are always looking for new volunteers and first-time campers!
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