Home & Hospice Care
of Rhode Island Sponsors
Free Bereavement Camp for Kids,
Aug. 20-21

Registration deadline Aug. 11 – Kids 6-17 receive help with grief over loss of loved ones

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – This August, Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island once again will sponsor Camp BraveHeart, a free bereavement day camp to provide an appropriate emotional outlet for Rhode Island children 6-to-17-years-old who have experienced the death of a loved one. The necessity for such a camp is borne out by research that shows children rarely receive bereavement intervention and are at much greater risk for depression, suicide and substance abuse, according to Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island bereavement coordinator Deanna Upchurch, who holds a mater’s degree in counseling psychology and founded the camp.

Camp BraveHeart takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 20 and 21, at YMCA Camp Fuller in Wakefield, which is collaborating with Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island to conduct the camp. The camp is free to all, and transportation is available from pre-arranged pick-up and drop-off points. Anyone interested must call 401-312-2363 before Aug. 11 to register.

Camp BraveHeart will provide children with fun activities and grief support. Camp activities will include swimming, kayaking, archery, rock climbing, karate, gardening, art and music activities and story telling. In addition, counselors will provide grief and emotional support through discussions, opportunities to memorialize lost loved ones and remembrance circles.

“Children often feel isolated in their grief, but rarely receive bereavement intervention,” Upchurch says. “We’ll provide an appropriate emotional outlet to children who have experienced the death of a loved one by offering them grief support in an environment of fun recreational activities, and we’ll help them understand that what they’re experiencing, although painful, is perfectly normal.”

Upchurch knows from personal experience how helpful camps like Camp BraveHeart can be. “With two daughters who lost their father to leukemia,” she says, “I’ve seen how amazing these camps can be in helping children deal with loss. Children who experience the loss of a loved one often feel alone in their grief, and two-thirds of what we’re accomplishing with Camp BraveHeart is just bringing them together.”

Camp BraveHeart has been made possible through generous donations from YMCA Camp Fuller in Wakefield, Valuna Restaurant in Saunderstown, RI, and the Maureen Carlson Camp BraveHeart Fund. Anyone wishing to donate to the Camp BraveHeart Fund may send a tax-deductible contribution to: Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, Department of Philanthropy, 169 George St., Pawtucket, R.I. 02860.

The Bereavement Program at Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island helps guide people of all ages through the difficult times that follow the death of someone special. Support groups are held throughout the state at various times throughout the year. The groups are free and open to the public, even to those who are not using the organization’s hospice services. For more information, call 401-727-7070.