Grieving the death of a loved one is difficult, especially for a child. Grieving children are likely to feel different and alone. Mental health professionals who specialize in grief and bereavement lead camp activities that help children identify and express their feelings and learn skills to help them navigate through the grief journey in a safe and supportive environment.
Camp Healing Powers is an overnight therapeutic camp for grieving children and teens. Since 1997, we have been connecting young grievers with others their own age to decrease feelings of isolation. Our mission is to provide a safe, supportive and fun environment for grieving children and teens to identify and express their feelings and learn coping skills to help them navigate their grief journey.
Our goals for the weekend are to increase camper comfort in talking about their feelings, educate on common reactions to loss, teach about healthy coping skills and ways to stay connected with loved ones and, have FUN!
Camp Healing Powers is held at the Marywood Retreat and Conference Center in northern St. Johns County.
Children and teens between the ages of 7 and 17 are welcome to attend Camp Healing Powers. During the camp weekend, younger children ages 7-11 participate in age-appropriate activities while the older campers ages 12-17 are grouped together.
Yes. We don't recommend campers coming to camp if it's been less than three months since the loss occurred. Some aspects of camp may be too emotional for them in those very early months after the deat h. We also ask that the death be no more than 2 years ago.
Campers are dropped off by their parent or guardian at the campground on the Friday evening of camp and picked up on Sunday morning. The campground is located in St. Johns County near Racetrack road. Specific directions and location will be given during assessment.
All campers and a parent/guardian are required to meet with a bereavement counselor for a one time camp assessment. This allows the bereavement counselor to determine if Camp Healing Powers will be a good fit for your child and/or teen and also allows any questions to be answered, camp packet to be complete, and for both the camper and parent/guardian to feel comfortable knowing they have a good understanding of what to expect from the camp weekend.
The cost of the camp weekend is generously provided by donations from the community. During the assessment, a $35 refundable deposit is required to hold the campers place. As long as the camper participates in the camp weekend and isn't asked to leave due to behavior issues, the deposit will be returned at the end of the weekend.
Yes. Part of the camp experience is participating in all the activities and the bonding time that happens between cabin mates throughout the entire weekend. Those who are not ready to spend the night now are welcome to wait until the next camp weekend when they may feel more ready.
Camp Healing Powers is staffed by Community Hospice & Palliative Care bereavement counselors, nurses, activities leaders, chef and trained volunteers. All staff and volunteers have been through a level two background screening and volunteers have gone through additional children's grief and Camp Healing Powers training.
Research shows that the ideal therapeutic group size is 7-10 participants. Our cabins are broken up by age group and gender and each cabin can accommodate 7-9 campers with two adult cabin leaders per cabin. These smaller groups allow us to give each camper the time and respect deserved to share their thoughts and feelings openly.
Give us a call! You can reach out to the Camp Director Katie McConnell at 904-407-6222 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. She will connect you with the Bereavement Counselor at the office location closest to you to schedule the camp assessment. If you are a referral source, you don't have to do anything except give our contact number to the family you are referring.