Haven offers camps at no cost for children, youth and families who have lost a loved one. Children and youth suffering a loss can often benefit from the development of coping skills to handle their emotions. Supported by Haven’s professionals and volunteers for over 15 years, Camp Safe Haven provides fun and therapeutic activities to help children work through feelings of grief.

“Camp was so important for my son because it helped him learn not to hold it in. The information they provided me also helped me look for warning signs to make sure he was doing okay,” said Renita Mixson, who attended Camp Safe Haven with her son and goddaughter in 2012 after the loss of her husband and returned with her goddaughter this year after her mother died suddenly. “He carried the burden for a long time and felt responsible because he could not save his dad. Camp Safe Haven helped him talk about it and understand that there wasn’t anything he could do.”

Camp Safe Haven is free and open to children and youth, ages 5-18, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, regardless of how that loss occurred. Attendance at camp will give participants the tools they need to acknowledge that a change in their life has occurred and to accept that change through a three-step approach:

» Encourage participants to acknowledge their feelings, thoughts and behaviors related to loss.
» Empower participants to learn how to manage their grief reactions.
» Enlighten participants with the understanding that grieving is a natural process, it’s okay to feel sad, and it’s okay to express their feelings and learn that others experience grief too.