Kayaks cleave through open water, paint-filled balloons splatter against canvas, kids in matching t-shirts blur across the green of the lawn, sneaker laces trailing.
This isn’t just any summer camp—this is Camp Good Grief, a unique environment that supports kids aged 4-17 in processing grief.
Hosted by East End Hospice of Long Island, for the past 25 years, children who have experienced loss gather to grieve communally in a caring, supportive environment. While the week-long camp is located in New York, campers travel from the tri-state area and beyond to experience the therapeutic offerings of Camp Good Grief.
“It’s an incredible experience of being with all these other children who have experienced what you have experienced,” explained East End Hospice President and CEO Mary Crosby.
Through a blend of small group therapy, music therapy, art therapy and fun activities, Camp Good Grief provides campers with a starting point for discussing their grief.
Entirely volunteer-run, Camp Good Grief is staffed by returning community members, local university students and East End Hospice staff. With professional backgrounds ranging from music to therapy, volunteers keep the songs playing and the paint flowing throughout the session.
For campers, Camp Good Grief provides emotional support at a vulnerable time, completely free of charge. While the camp runs exclusively during the summer, ongoing grief support is available through an ongoing bereavement program. East End Hospice establishes touchpoints with all campers year-round, so they can remain on a healthy trajectory of processing their grief.
In addition to Camp Good Grief, East End Hospice is committed to providing bereavement support to their community, regardless of age. Offering children, adolescents, and adults free therapeutic outlets, East End Hospice is tirelessly dedicated to the emotional health of their entire community.
With a recent donation to enhance the East End Hospice Bereavement Center, the organization hopes to expand its offerings, providing community members a space to grieve in healthy ways.
“We want our community to know we are here every day of the year to provide bereavement support to both children and adults,” Crosby.
This year, as we observe National Grief Awareness Day, we want to thank providers like East End Hospice, inspiring organizations that provide communities the care they need day after day.
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