Rochelle camp helps kids deal with loss

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:34 PM CDT
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ROCHELLE, Ill. (WIFR) - Dealing with the loss of a loved one comes with a mix of emotions like confusion, sadness or anger. That’s why one Rochelle organization hosts a grief camp to help area kids process those feelings in a healthy way.

Wednesday was the sixth camp Serenity Hospice and Home hosts. Organizers say they keep coming back year after year because of its positive impact on grieving kids.

“So the paper is red in here and then roses for the top,” explains Jacoby.

Jacoby, a young boy from Rochelle, is learning how to live life without his dad.

“It’s a memory box,” Jacoby said as he holds up his box.

But Jacoby isn’t the only one.

“I lost my dad two years ago- so I think like, as a kid, if I would have lost him younger, I think I would have been really excited to camp with a bunch of other kids that are just like me,” said Kenna Wubbena, camp volunteer.

Kenna Wubbena volunteers at the kids grief camp. Organizers say the camp offers grieving kids an outlet to express their feelings.

“If you look around and check out where all the support groups are and where all the help is, it is for the adults. There’s hardly anything for the kids, and we need to help our kids,” said Cathy Warren, Serenity Hospice and Home bereavement coordinator.

Thanks to Serenity Hospice, campers get to interact with others who know what they’re going through, all while swimming, playing sports and creating memory boxes.

“They’re just so sweet; they just want to have fun and go back to being a kid, not be so sad anymore. So, it’s good to remember the loss of the loved one but doing fun activities in the loss,” said Hanna Johnson, volunteer for two years.

“I know that a few of the kids who met here at different camps; and then would see each other the next time-and then have their moms exchange phone numbers so that they could get them together again. You know, because that’s kind (of a) unique bond when you can meet some kids who have maybe lost a parent too,” Warren said.

Serenity Hospice holds the grief camp a few times a year and each session has different activities. Wednesday, the group ended with a monarch butterfly release in honor of the loved ones they lost.

To find out more information or to get your child signed up for the next camp, click here.

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