Friday, September 11, 2009

Methodist Offers 10th Annual Grief Camp for Kids

Methodist Medical Center is accepting camp registrations for children age 5 to 18 who are working through issues of grief following the death of a loved one. Camp Courageous is a free one-day outing for 65 young people.

The Methodist Hospice Program first established the camp in 2000 with a goal of providing a safe arena for kids to share their grief with others and to learn healthy ways of coping with their loss.

This year’s camp will be held at Camp Manitoumi in rural Lowpoint on Saturday, October 3, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Buses will leave the Methodist Atrium Building (900 Main Street) at 8:00 a.m. and return by 5:00 p.m. The camp agenda will include games, face-painting, crafts, sports, and horseback riding. Methodist will provide lunch as well as transportation to and from the camp free of charge.

Coordinated by Linda McKinney, M.A.; M. Div. and Frank Valente, M.A., pastoral counselors with the Methodist Hospice Program, Camp Courageous is staffed by many Methodist employees and volunteers as well as a number of skilled professionals and volunteers from the Central Illinois area.

Linda McKinney says, “Statistics show that one out of twenty children will experience the death of a parent by the age of 18. The number of grieving children goes much higher when you consider those who have experienced the death of a sibling, grandparents, classmates and others who are important to them.”
She continued, “Children who have lost a loved one to death can experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, fear, anger, and guilt. It helps tremendously for them to share their thoughts and feelings in a setting with both their peers and caring adults.”

McKinney says most participants in the camp are referred through a variety of sources including schools, churches and funeral homes.

For additional information and registration, contact the Methodist Medical Center Hospice Office at (309) 672-5746. Funding for the one-day camp is provided by the Methodist Medical Center Foundation.

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