Hospice of Chattanooga will hold its free annual Healing Hearts Grief Camp for Kids on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 East Brainerd Road, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Since its start in 2005, the Healing Hearts Grief Camp has helped hundreds of children, ages five to 12, share their experiences following the death of a relative or close friend, and better manage their emotions.
According to the Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model, one in 11 children in Tennessee will experience the death of a parent or sibling before they reach age 18.
Tennessee ranks 8th nationally for the number of children who will experience these family losses before they enter adulthood.
“The loss of a family member is difficult at any age, but for children under 12 it can be especially hard since most of their peers will not have experienced the same loss and can’t emotionally connect with them,” said Susan Latta, bereavement director and grief counselor for Hospice of Chattanooga. “That’s why our trained staff and volunteers hold this camp – to provide support and unconditional love.”
Camp attendees will participate in art and music enrichment, physical recreation and small group activities.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to get involved as well by attending a special adult session from 9 -11:30 a.m. that same day. Lunch and snacks will be served to youth attendees.
This year’s camp theme is “The Invisible String,” based on the book of the same name by Patrice Karst. The story centers on an invisible string of love and the unbreakable connections between loved ones.
Registrations are available online at www.hospiceofchattanooga.org
. The deadline to register is Sept. 25. Only children who have experienced a significant death are eligible to attend this free camp. Neither campers, nor their families are required to have received services from Hospice of Chattanooga.
Hospice of Chattanooga will also hold a Healing Hearts Grief Retreat for Teens, ages 13-18, on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Nature Center at Reflection Riding. Registrations are available online.
For more information or to register for either event, visit hospiceofchattanooga.org
or call contact Susan Latta at 423-805-7112.
"The loss of a family member is difficult at any age, but for children under 12 it can be especially hard since most of their peers will not have experienced the same loss and can’t emotionally connect with them," said Ms. Latta.