Camp Erin Pittsburgh Continues to Change Lives (photos)

June 17, 2014

“I miss you a lot but you are always in my heart.”

These words were scrawled on a slip of neon yellow paper by a 7-year-old Camp Erin Pittsburgh camper, just before he folded it up and buried it in a bottle of sand art that he was in the process of making.

DSC02647Afterwards, the boy had the chance to show off his work and explain the inspiration to his 100+ fellow campers: Less than one year earlier, this young boy had tragically lost his father, and this sand art – with his special message inside – will help keep his dad close to him.

And this, at its core, is the essence of Camp Erin Pittsburgh: Using interaction and activities to help kids understand the grief process with other children who have experienced a loss.

But that’s not all it is. (photos below)

Camp Erin Pittsburgh is splashing in a pool (or mud pit!), tackling obstacle courses and hanging out with therapy dogs. It’s buzzing down zip-lines, playing sports, writing music and hanging around campfires. Camp Erin Pittsburgh is making lifelong friends and finding contentment and normalcy in the otherwise confusing and devastating feelings that come with losing a loved one at such a young age.

Once again, the Camp was free for campers and their families thanks to generous support from businesses, foundations and individuals. Special thanks to New York Life for their monetary contribution as well as for sending many of their staff members, both current and retired, to help out.

Here is the complete list of sponsors who helped make Camp possible. We're extremely grateful for:

  • Ascension Lutheran Church
  • Bruster’s Ice Cream
  • Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  • Clicks for a Cause
  • Concord United Methodist Church
  • Costco
  • Giant Eagle
  • Highmark Caring Place
  • KIND Healthy Snacks
  • Kohls – Kohls Cares program
  • La Roche College & Sage Dining Service
  • The Moyer Foundation
  • New York Life
  • PA Doves of Love
  • PepsiCo
  • Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pirate Parrot
  • Target
  • YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer

Camp Erin Pittsburgh is a collaboration between Good Samaritan Hospice, a mission of Concordia, and The Moyer Foundation – a nonprofit organization founded by World Series Champion Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen.

This year's Camp was a major success thanks to our amazing volunteers, the camp staff, Moyer Foundation, GSH staff, donors and, of course, the campers. It was another year to remember!

We have a few more pictures over on our Facebook page, so make sure you check those out too! And if you have any pictures from the weekend, post them to the Concordia Facebook Wall. Feel free to leave a comment below, and be sure to check the Events & News page for coming events at Concordia.

For more information on the bereavement camps or Good Samaritan Hospice's compassionate end of life care, call 724-933-8888, visit GSH online or e-mail us here.

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