Where children learn to grieve and heal.

Insider updates from the Camp Erin Department.

Thanks for stopping by the Camp Erin Blog! You will not only find the most up to date info happening with Camp Erins across the country, but also some great resources and applicable information for grieving families.

Camp Erin is the largest bereavement camp in the country - designed for youth ages 6-17 who are grieving the loss of someone close to them. It is a weekend-long experience filled with traditional, fun, camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support — facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers from local hospice and grief counseling agencies. Camp Erin is the largest network of bereavement camps in the United States with 36 camps in 23 states. More than 2,500 greiving children and teens will receive the healing experience of Camp Erin this year!

September 28, 2009

Awesome article on Camp Erin San Diego!

Check out a great article on Camp Erin San Diego! Fantastic job to all!

2009 Camp Erin Season Comes to a Close!

With the completion of Camp Erin San Diego, Albany and Anchorage this past weekend, we have officially concluded the 2009 Camp Erin season!!! 28 camps with 32 sessions in 18 cities across the country and our first international camp in Toronto helped nearly 2,000 campers along their grief journey.

Thousands of hours and hardworking hearts and hands go into making each Camp Erin an unforgettable and healing experience for the campers, volunteers and staff. The Moyer Foundation is extremely fortunate to work with an amazing team of bereavement experts dedicated to creating a safe place for kids and teens to grieve, heal, and most importantly, have fun again! No words can describe our thanks and gratitude to these amazing people.

Now we are in the final stages of identifying the next Camp Erin partners for 2010! Lesa and Gary are traveling as we speak and throughout October to meet with potential partner organizations. Stay tuned for more details!

September 23, 2009

From Seattle to Hawaii!

Gary Pollock, TMF Executive Director, took some time out of his family vacation in Kona, HI visit the team at Hospice of Kona, our Camp Erin Hawaii partner. Gary truly enjoyed his visit with the staff and was amazed at the beauty that surrounds their facility and all they do! They were able to share stories all of the wonderful things that happened at Camp Erin Hawaii as well as strategize on some ideas for next year. They shared a fantastic video made from still photos and narrated in the words of campers, volunteers and staff. (Stay tuned for a link to the video!)

Thank you Laura, Janette and team at Camp Erin Hawaii for your dedication to helping grieving children!

September 21, 2009

The Moyer Foundation helps Catch a Cure for Cancer!

This past week The Moyer Foundation held its annual Catch A Cure for Cancer radiothon to benefit early cancer detection research at the world renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Over $47,000 raised! Many thanks to the dedication of the wonderful staff at Warm 106.9, volunteers from TMF and Fred Hutch, as well as, those who shared their stories of cancer survival and loss.

To the many donors from Seattle to Philadelphia who took the time to make a phone call and donate, thank you for doing your part to help find a cure! The doctors and researchers at Fred Hutch are making huge strides towards finding a cure for cancer, but they can't do it without the support of a giving community.

Thanks to all who participated for doing your part in helping The Moyer Foundation Catch a Cure for Cancer!

September 9, 2009

A great reminder of why Camp Erin is so special!

As the Camp Erin team at The Moyer Foundation work with each camp across the country, we always hear about the different ways Erin Metcalf's (Camp Erin namesake) is felt at every camp. Whether its a timely shooting star, blue heron sighting or a warm presence felt by all, each camp has their story.

Until visiting Camp Erin Portland, I didn't have my story. As the campers participated in the special luminary ceremony on Saturday night remembering the important person who died, a big and beautiful blue heron flew overhead. The goosebumps came as did tears to my eyes. Such a special reminder that Erin's wish of helping other kids is coming true and is the reason behind so many grieving kids and teens getting the help and support they need.

Erin, thank you for your warm spirit and compassionate heart that has helped so many grieving kids and teens across the country see they are not alone and continue on thier journey of hope and healing!
Rachel Chiechi
Camp Erin Community Relations Coordinator

September 4, 2009

September Bereavement Resources for kids, teens and parents

Sad Isn’t Bad – A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss
By: Michaelene Mundy
Sad Isn't Bad is a special book to help children who have lost a loved one or will be facing the loss of a loved one. The reader joins Elf as he guides children through the process of grieving and teaches them that the emotions they are feeling are perfectly normal. Sad Isn’t Bad allows children to cope with their loss while providing a safe environment to grieve and grow.

Is a safe place where kids can come together and help each other go through the process of grief and dealing with a loss. Kidssaid.com provides kids with a secure place to express their feelings, stories and share artwork with others who are going through a similar loss.

The Grieving Teen: A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends
By: Helen Fitzgerald

In this guide, Fitzgerald focuses on the unique needs of adolescents struggling with loss and gives them the tools they need to work through their pain and grief. Fitzgerald covers a broad range of situations in which teens may find themselves grieving a death, and helps teens address the difficult emotions they will experience along the way.

How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies
By: Therese A. Rando

Regardless if death is sudden or anticipated, few of us are prepared for it or for the grief it brings. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and each person will respond differently. Rando leads you gently through the painful but necessary process of grieving and helps you find the best way for yourself to handle the loss of a loved one.

September 3, 2009

Peer bonding makes a difference at every Camp Erin!

At a recent Camp Erin, there was a great example of why peer-to-peer bonding is so important during the Camp Erin weekend.

As the teens began to share their stories during a Friday night circle-up activity, one teen told her story about the tragic drug related death she was dealing with. The face of a girl teen from across the circle immediately lit up. She had never met anyone her age who had also had someone die of the SAME drug related death. Once the sharing time was complete, these two girls formed an immediate common bond around their stories. Until this fateful moment of sharing, these two girls had felt alone. As the camp weekend continued, these girls were able to share more about thier feelings and experiences which helped them realize they are not alone.

The focus of peer-to-peer interaction allows stories like this to happen at every Camp Erin.

Stay tuned for more stories of peer-to-peer bonding!

Helpful Back to School Hints for grieving kids and teens

Helpful Tips for Back to School

Going back to school after the death of a loved one can be very difficult. It is normal to feel nervous about returning to school. Below are some ideas to help you transition back to school and stay healthy.

* Talk to your teacher. Meet with your new teacher before school starts, and tell them in your own words about the death of your loved one and how you feel. Also, let your teacher know if you would like them to share the information with your class.

* Sweet Dreams. Grieving is tiring, and it is very important that you get plenty of sleep when you go back to school. Kids age 6-12 need 10-11 hours of sleep each night, and teens age 13-18 need 8-9½ hours of sleep each night. Sleep tight!

* Express Yourself. Even if you don’t feel like talking there are a lot of ways to express
your emotions and honor the memory of your loved one. You can start writing in a journal about the memories you have about the person you lost and how you are feeling.
* Exercise. Exercise makes you feel good and can actually put you in a better m
ood! Being active helps reduce anxiety, cope with stress, and strengthens self-esteem. So ride you bike, join a sports team, dance, go for a hike, and play with your friends!

* Eat right. You may not feel hungry or want to skip meals, but your body needs nutritious foods. Make your lunch with your parent or guardian and fill your lunch box with lots of yummy fruits and vegetables!

* Ask for help if you need it. Sometimes it's hard to ask for help because we worry about burdening others. Chances are your family and friends are looking for ways to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask! Also, remember the Camp Erin staff is there for you! Your parent or guardian can help you get in touch with them if you need support.

September 1, 2009

COLDPLAY Donates $10,000 to Camp Erin

A giant thank you to the memebers of COLDPLAY for their generous donation to The Moyer Foundation and our Camp Erin bereavement camps. We're thrilled they believe in the importance of helping support grieving kids and teens through the Camp Erin program. Cheers!

Congrats Camp Erin LA, Portland and Everett!

" I really didn't even want to come to this camp. I didn't think I'd have fun or learn anything...now here I am loving it and so happy to have made so many new friends." -Kelly, 16