For children grieving the loss of a friend or loved one, Camp Courage is a one-day event that genuinely changes the lives of the children and caregivers that attend. And it takes place right here in Daviess County.
Caleb Potter, bereavement coordinator at Hospice of Western Kentucky, said grief has a way of making people, especially children, feel isolated and alone.
“Imagine being a child whose parent or grandparent recently died and the world seems to have come to a grinding halt,” he said. “Yet, when you return to school everyone is running around and playing without a care in the world. At that moment, you feel very different than all your peers when one of your strongest desires is to blend in with them. This can lead to repressed grief expressions and ultimately complicate an already difficult grieving process.”
Camp Courage gives children the opportunity to openly express the sense of loss, pain, anger, confusion and despair they are feeling amongst peers who can sympathize in a meaningful way. The camp also provides educational activities utilizing horses, chickens, archery, fishing and crafts provide teachable moments in the midst of fun and creativity.
The staff and volunteers of Hospice of Western Kentucky, in partnership with Horse Haven of Western Kentucky and Student Outdoor Experience, strive to put on a camp that is fun, educational and impactful for children and teenagers who are in a season of grief.
This year’s camp is May 18 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Horse Haven in Utica.
Camp Courage is completely free of charge to all attendees thanks to the support of the Owensboro Rotary Foundation, Inc.
Children ages 6-13 are invited to attend Camp Courage. Email camper recommendations to Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 270-316-9112. The deadline for applications is Friday. Applications may be found and downloaded at hospiceofwky.org under the grief support tab.
Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Kentucky is a local non-profit organization whose mission is “helping individuals live with dignity through the final stages of life.” They serve patients and their families in Daviess, Hancock, Hopkins and Muhlenberg Counties. Bereavement care is also offered for families and community members.