Chestertown, MD—June 16, 2004—Pulling his weight over the climbing wall, a young Camp Sunrise participant looks down at his mother as she slowly scales the wall behind him. Having taken on the role of “Dad” since his father died a year ago, the nine-year-old begins to realize that his mother is stronger than he thought.
Experiencing the death of a loved one is never easy, especially when that loved one is a parent. Since 1996 Kent Hospice Foundation has offered Camp Sunrise, a bereavement camp, for families in the region who have experienced the death of a family member. The camp, which is a collaborative effort with four other hospice programs from the Eastern Shore, is operated by an experienced, compassionate team of bereavement counselors and volunteers.
Families who come to Camp Sunrise will have spent, on average, about a year trying to deal with the grieving process. During the weekend-long stay at the camp they can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities which include canoeing, hiking, ropes and climbing courses and arts and crafts.
“We engage these families in group activities that are designed to get them working again as a family unit,” says Ann OConnor, LCSW-C, of Chester River Home Care & Hospice, who is a member of the camp's bereavement team. “The activities are designed to be therapeutic in nature,” OConnor adds.
Camp Sunrise is available to families free of charge thanks to a grant from the Local Management Board for Children & Family Services of Kent County and private donations from the community and coordinating hospices. Space is limited, so the camp requests a $25 refundable deposit as a reservation. This year Camp Sunrise will be held Friday, September 3, through Sunday, September 5, at Camp Fairlee Manor Recreation and Education Center in Chestertown, Md.
For more information on Camp Sunrise or to register for the camp, contact Ann OConnor, LCSW-C, of Chester River Home Care & Hospice at 410-778-1049 or 410-758-3238.