Haven hosted 25 campers at the Haven E.T. York Hospice Care Center on Saturday, October 20 for Camp Safe Haven, a camp offered by Haven at no cost for children and youth who have lost a loved one.

Children 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.

“The impact of Camp Safe Haven is tremendous. We are always amazed to see the campers respond to what is shared in a space of safety and how their courage helps to empower and encourage one another,” said Haven Social Worker Vonceil Levine. “The courage of all the campers to come together with strangers and the bond that is created is absolute magic. It is an honor to help create a haven for these young people during a difficult time.”

Some of the activities featured at Camp Safe Haven included an obstacle course designed for campers to interact with and assist one another in order to complete the course, decorating candles/candle holders with words of encouragement to be used during a memorial candle lighting at the end of camp, a drum circle performed by Just Add Rhythm LLC, and a miniature horse visit courtesy of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses.

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 deal with their feelings of loss
  • Empower participants to learn how to manage those feelings
  • Enlighten participants with the understanding that grieving is a natural process, it’s ok to feel sad, and it’s ok to express their feelings.

To learn more about Camp Safe Haven, please visit www.beyourhaven.org/camp or call 1.844.544.4836.