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!

November 15, 2010

Surviving the Holidays & Tips for Moving Forward

The holiday season is a difficult time for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one and are struggling to move forward. For kids and teens, this struggle can be even greater with the busy season approaching. Here are a few tips for making this time of year manageable and helpful for those experiencing grief:

-Prepare: Sit down with your friends and family and develop a holiday plan. This could include anything from books you want to read or fun events you would like to attend. As long as you have goals for the coming weeks, it will be easier to stick to them when you are coping with emotions.

-Socialize: Being isolated can often make grief worse. Go out and find new things to do with friends and family. Try to search for holiday events that are happening in your city. This could be anything from ice skating to a craft fair. Surrounding yourself with loved ones can alleviate holiday anxiety.

-Keep Moving: Take care of your physical well-being. Make sure to combat the holiday diet with healthy foods that will give you energy and strength. Kids and teens should also have regular exercise to reduce stress and stay active.

-Light: Gloomy winter weather can really impact stress levels in kids and teens during the holidays. Get out and get some sunshine. If the weather does not permit this, check out light boxes at local retailers and counseling centers.

-Reach Out: Volunteering is a great way for grieving kids and teens to see how they can give back. Seeing the impact that volunteering has on others can reduce stress and holiday anxiety.

For more information on holiday grief and resources for coping, visit GriefShare.

October 11, 2010

2010 Camp Erin Season Comes to a Close!

The 2010 Camp Erin season has concluded and The Moyer Foundation is proud to congratulate all the Camp Erin partner agencies, staff and volunteers that made this year such a great success! With 35 camps in 23 states, Camp Erin welcomes nearly 2,500 grieving children and teens from across the country as Camp Erin alumni!

The Moyer Foundations thanks the many volunteers, staff, and bereavement experts who made the 2010 camp season truly remarkable. We are proud to have so many individuals dedicated to making Camp Erin a safe place for grieving children and teens to bond with their peers going through a similar life circumstance, learn skills and tools for coping with death in their life and most importantly, learn that it’s ok to have fun again.

Plans for the 2011 season are well underway! With new camps being created across the country, The Moyer Foundations is excited to see the success that this new camp season will bring. Stay tuned for more information on camp dates and new locations!

September 27, 2010

Back to School - Helpful Tips for the Grieving Student

Teachers and students of all ages are back in school and catching up from the fun summer months. With new schedules in full swing, it can be even more difficult for a grieving student to cope with his or her feelings while managing their studies. Anyone close to a grieving student can use these eight tips to make the transition back to school easier:

1.) Allow a grieving student to express how they feel in his or her own words.

2.) Be patient and give them time to adjust to their new schedule and schoolwork.

3.) Be honest with the grieving student. Knowing the truth helps them to understand and heal.

4.) Encourage the student to ask questions about the loss. Helping them to understand death will allow them to make correct interpretations.

5.) Grieving is hard work and every person expresses grief differently. Support your student regardless of how they may express their grief.

6.) Encourage your student to be open about what he or she needs from you. Let them know that they can always reach out to you for support.

7.) Connect them to resources outside the classroom. This could be a school psychologist or librarian. Allowing a student to leave the classroom when necessary will help when he or she needs personal space.

8.) Make sure to take time for you to grieve. The loss of someone close to your student may be affecting you as well. The more you let yourself heal, the better you will be at understanding your student’s grief.

Knowing how to help a grieving student can make the transition back to school easier and more comfortable for everyone. For more on these tips, visit  Help Your Student Deal with Grief and Loss.

September 10, 2010

Healing through Creativity

Guest blog by Kerri Schlottman, Director of External Relations, Alliance for Young Artists & Writer

Every year the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is fortunate to witness the incredible talent of creative teens from across the country who submit their work to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The words we read and the artwork we view tell a multitude of stories about the experiences of teenagers from all walks of life. On September 15 we will once again open registration for students in grades 7 through 12 to submit their work in 30 categories of art and writing. We know that we’ll see a breadth of imagination and a depth of emotion. And now, thanks to a sponsorship by the New York Life Foundation, we will also be able to encourage students who are dealing with issues of loss and bereavement by offering six very special scholarships to select award winners.

The issue of loss is a common theme in the Scholastic Awards as teens use their creativity to deal with the bereavement process. 2009 Scholastic Award winner Chelsey Shannon used her creative writing skills to help deal with the untimely death of her father, comedian Blair Shannon. Chelsey, who also lost her mother at age 6, says of her father’s death, “Right after I learned he died, all I could do was write letters to him, just so I’d have some sort of connection.” Chelsey was one of more than a thousand teens honored at Carnegie Hall by the Alliance. She has since published a book and continues to receive accolades for her writing.

There are many others like Chelsey out there, and we are grateful to the New York Life Foundation for providing us the opportunity to encourage them to use their artistic and literary talents to help them heal. Please spread the word by encouraging every teen you know in grades 7 through 12 to submit works of art and writing that deal with loss and bereavement to the 2011 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Six students will be selected to earn $1,000 scholarships. For more information, visit http://www.artandwriting.org/.

For specific information on the New York Life Award:

August 18, 2010

Camp Erin feature from ESPN E60!

Check out this incredible feature on Camp Erin from ESPN E60! Thank you ESPN for sharing this amazing story!

August 16, 2010

New Video from Camp Erin Palm Springs!

Check out this new video highlighting a few of the powerful moments at Camp Erin Palm Springs! Thank you to everyone who made the camp such a success!

July 6, 2010

Good Luck Camp Erin Chicago/Northern Illinois, Hawaii and Milwaukee!

Best of luck to the Camp Erin Chicago/Northern Illinois, Hawaii and Milwaukee teams as they all get ready for camp this upcoming weekend! With over 250 campers and volunteers all of us at The Moyer Foundation are excited for the smiles, friendships and support that will come from this weekend. We are thinking of you and all the grieving children whose lives you are about to touch!


June 16, 2010


Here are 10 ways to honor your father this Father's Day, and turn a scary day into a joyous occasion of love and remembrance!

 1. Take a special card to his grave - or to where his ashes were buried or scattered
 2. Tie your Father’s Day card or a special message to a helium balloon and let it soar into the sky
 3. Blow some bubbles and send him your love on the wind
 4. Plant some bulbs or a shrub in a place that holds special memories of your Dad - what was his favorite color?
 5. Have his favorite meal - fish and chips? roast dinner ?
 6. Listen to his favorite music - {however awful his taste was!!}
 7. Begin to make a memory box in which to keep things that remind you of him - photos, shells, holiday snaps, glasses, silly tie
 8. Make or buy a new frame for your favorite photograph of him - what was he doing?
 9. Ask your Grandma or Grandad for their memories of Dad as a little boy, and/or your mom for her memories of when she and Dad met
10. Write him a letter or a poem or a song. Maybe you could start with something like ‘If you came back for just five minutes, I’d tell you......’

June 4, 2010

Good Luck to Camp Erin Toronto!

Best of luck to the team at Camp Erin Toronto as they head to camp for the weekend! More than 70 campers and nearly 50 community volunteers are all set for a weekend of making new friends, learning new ways to cope with death in their lives and most importantly.... FUN!!!

We are thinking of you!

June 2, 2010

Music therapy as a healing device

Ever consider music therapy as a way for your child to cope? Melina Roberts wrote about her experience as a music therapy instructor for bereaved children, and the great benefit it brings.

She noticed that children used music therapy sessions for:

  • diversion and fun – to escape the grief that had impacted their lives and their homes
  • self expression – to explore and express what thoughts and feelings had been evoked by grief
  • an opportunity to ask questions – particularly questions about grief that the children couldn’t ask of their Mom or Dad for fear of making them cry
  • an opportunity to remember their loved one – to express memories about their deceased loved ones
  • an opportunity to speak about being excluded from bereavement activities – for example, when two children, a brother and sister, were not allowed to attend their grandmother’s funeral
  • an opportunity to explore and express spiritual beliefs – opportunities to make music, sing and draw about what happens to loved ones after they die
  • an opportunity to talk about the impact of grief – opportunities to highlight the past and the present and how grief had caused changes in their lives.

May 26, 2010

TMF's GIG Network is launching June 3rd!


A new way to learn about philanthropy and support The Moyer Foundation's Camp Erin - bereavement camps for children and teens

The Moyer Foundation will host a variety of networking events in 2010 at some of Seattle’s premier hot spots - providing opportunities to network, exchange ideas, and share common interests with your peers in a fun environment. Plus- you’ll hear the latest updates on Camp Erin and get the inside scoop on upcoming events and opportunities where you can get involved and give back -- in ways that work for YOU and your busy lifestyle.


Meet new people and learn more about GIG and Camp Erin
There is no charge to attend

 TINI BIGS Martini Bar!
100 Denny Way · Seattle (lower Queen Anne)
4:00 -7:00pm

Show up or RSVP in advance to 

Cool website just for bereaved kids!

Winston's Wish is an excellent website resource for all aspects of bereavement for adults and children. 

They also have a special webpage just for bereaved kids! Here they can be apart of a community of other kids experiencing loss, and watch dvd's, ask questions, express their feelings, and so much more.

Check it out!

May 19, 2010

A guide to supporting young people through bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Care offers information for parents, caretakers, teachers, and military families facing all aspects of bereavement. Loss from a child's perspective, funeral homes, and activities are just some of the topics discussed on this website to help you address key concerns.

May 12, 2010

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. Their website offers vast resources and information regarding the various issues bereaved people deal with. 

Here is their fact sheet and resources on helping children cope with loss. 

May 4, 2010

Overcoming grief step by step

A mother discovered a great way to cope with grief is to get outside and exercise to help restore balance. 
She also turned it into a way to help others.

April 29, 2010

Doctor hopes mother's suicide story helps others

As a child, the death of a parent can leave effects that last into adulthood. Coping with the loss of a parent by suicide can bring up different thoughts, feelings and questions for surviving family members of any age.

Here is the story of Dr. Nancy Rappaport, child psychiatrist who hopes sharing the story of her mother's suicide that she faced as a young child will help others facing a similar circumstance.

"Doctor hopes mother's suicide story helps others"

April 28, 2010

Helping the grieving child in school

This is an informative article about the various processes children might experience when they go back to school after the loss of a loved one. 

Linda Goldman, Certified Grief Therapist and Grief Educator, explains that

"Children's grief should be seen as an ongoing process that is approachable through words, activities and non-verbal communication."

She discusses each of these aspects, how they might appear, and how parents and teachers should approach them. Great visual examples are given, and an extensive book resource is listed! 

April 21, 2010

Fun springtime activities to help bereaved kids and families!

Spring is here! And it's a reminder of life and rebuilding as trees and flowers start to bloom. This new season can bring fun opportunities to incorporate activities for the whole family to help with the grieving process. These activities help preserve memories, aid in closure, and give a way for children to control the way they choose to honor their loved ones.
Take these activities outdoors for a new twist on family time and support, or let kids express their emotions in their own environment. Either way, these activities allow a healthy outlet for feelings at a time when kids need multiple ways to navigate bereavement.    

These two websites offer great activities for bereaved children, so be prepared to get crafty and enjoy the beautiful springtime!

Some favorites are:

Making a Memory Box
Collecting items that remind children of their loss loved one is therapeutic and a great way to remember the good times they shared together.
Get outdoors! Collect items or take photos of the backyard, beach, park, or other outdoor areas where memorable times were spent. The outdoors provide wonderful scents, and scent is our most powerful memory tool!

Clay Sculpting
Get some clay and have fun shaping it. The process can be relaxing and a good medium to express anger and frustration.

Telling a Story
Whether it's through art or talking, it's important for kids to understand what happened to their loved one, and telling a story allows a dialogue to open up. Younger children might respond better to dolls or puppets, and older kids might prefer drawing to tell their story.

Scream Box
Sometimes  a good scream to release tension and get those feelings out is refreshing!

April 19, 2010

NEW edition of the Camp Erin Alumni Newsletter!

The Camp Erin team at The Moyer Foundation recently completed the Spring/Summer edition of the Camp Erin Alumni newsletter, the Blue Heron Reporter! This is a great edition packed with helpful hints and activities for enjoying the spring/summer months, additional resources and stories of inspiration for when times get tough. The goal of every Blue Heron Reporter is to keep Camp Erin campers feeling connected to the larger Camp Erin community by sharing camp highlights and stories from across the country while also offering fun resources and sources for support. Enjoy!

April 16, 2010

Jamie Moyer and Wa Wa celebrate the life of late Phillies' announcer Harry Kalas!

Jamie joined Kalas' family members, and Wawa executives and associates at the festive, baseball themed picnic held in Kalas' honor on April 13th. Kalas passed away one year ago, and Wawa honored Kalas in June 2009 by exclusively selling a book honoring his life: "Remembering Harry Kalas: Wonderful Stories from Friends Celebrating a Great Life."

During the celebration, Wawa presented a $15,000 check to Moyer and Kalas family member Julie Vanwey, which will be donated to Camp Erin!

Read more HERE!

Thanks WaWa for your dedication to helping grieving children in Harry Kalas' memory! We are so grateful!

Camp Erin in the Spotlight!

The Moyer Foundation's fabulous PR team at Baltimore-based Maroon PR is continuously doing outreach for The Moyer Foundation and Camp Erin on a national level. Here is a listing of recent Camp Erin media hitting all across the country. Whether city-specific coverage or from a major national outlet, all mentions of Camp Erin are helping raise nationwide awareness for the program, children’s bereavement and the important work being accomplised through Camp Erin in commuinities all across the country!

BIG thanks to John and team at MAROON PR! We appreciate all you do!

Camp Erin and TMF media are also posted in real time HERE! Stay tuned!

3/1/10: Denver Daily News

3/2/10: MASNSports.com – “So, do you like…stuff?”

3/3/10: BaltimoreSun.com – Sports Digest

3/3/10: PressBoxOnline.com – “Moyer gives back”

3/4/10: Daily Record Business Blog

3/6/10: Sporting News Today – Quick Hits

3/22/10: KansasCity.com – Sport Buzz

3/22/10: KRKO-AM “Health Matters”
CLICK HERE for interview

3/25/10: ESPN.com “Open Mike” Podcast
CLICK HERE for interview

4/11/2010: Baltimore Sun – Good Works

4/12/2010: Fox Sports Radio with Meyers, Hartman and Jacobs
CLICK HERE for interview

April 7, 2010

The first Camp Erin of the year is here!!

Best of luck to Camp Erin Tampa Bay as they finalize plans for camp this weekend! All of us at The Moyer Foundation are thinking of you and all the grieving kids and teens you will help this weekend!

Thank you for all of your hard work!

April 2, 2010

Are you a parent/guardian struggling with your grief and don't know where to turn?

As a parent or guardian that is grieving a significant loss, its important to take care of yourself and reach out for support during difficult times. Your local agency that provides Camp Erin is a great place to start when seeking out additional resources.

Web forums and discussion boards can also be a great way to anonymously seek advice and validation when you feel alone. I came across The Daily Strength which is a great website with discussion boards focused on offering support during difficult times.

April 1, 2010

Children - The Forgotten Grievers by grief expert David Kessler

Beginning in April 2010, grief expert David Kessler is publishing a bi-monthly column, "Kessler Grief Corner".

"Welcome to my column. I hope to provide you with information, comfort, tips and maybe a few touching stories about twice a month. You may be facing some of the most difficult times of your life and dealing with the unfamiliar terrain that death and grief can bring. I hope these words help."

— David Kessler

Children - The Forgotten Grievers is an insightful article about children and how to address the grief they feel when a loved one dies.

March 25, 2010

New Video from Camp Erin San Diego!

Check it out! Great job to all!

The Hardest Truth: Telling Kids the Truth About Death

Talking to kids about death is never an easy thing to do. For a mother, telling her young children their father committed suicide and took his own life can raise questions no mother feels prepared to answer.

I came aross this compelling article that tells the story of one mom's struggle and triumph when telling her kids "the hardest truth."

Check it out...

Seattle Children's Theatre production of "Getting Near to Baby"

We were invited to the production of "Getting Near to Baby" at the Seattle Children's Theatre.  The show is about a family who is suddenly dealing with the death of their infant sister.  We often hear from Camp Erin alumni many of the common themes seen in the production - from the little sister thinking her actions caused her younger sister to die, the older sister protecting the family or the reactions of the adults who are thinking they are helping without realizing people deal with grief in their own way.  It was an amazing production where you are laughing and crying, it truly was a magical evening.  The show runs until April 18th, for more information go to:  http://www.sct.org/browse/Production.aspx?prod=5919.

March 16, 2010

2010 National Bereavement Camp Conference - Cleveland, OH

Time to register for the first annual National Bereavement Camp Conference!

The Moyer Foundation is holding it first 2010 National Bereavement Camp Conference on June 26 in Cleveland, Ohio. The conference will provide an overall view of bereavement camp structures and best practices across the country by creating a forum of exchange, learning and collaboration through sharing of timely clinical information, programs, advances in research and successful ideas for new or existing bereavement camps. 

Learn more about this exciting new conference and register at http://moyerfoundation.givezooks.com/events/national-bereavement-camp-conference 

Please contact Lynette Moore at lynette@moyerfoundation.org with any questions.

Camp Erin - Hawaii new video!

Great job Camp Erin - Hawaii!

March 1, 2010

Skating through Grief

With the 2010 Vancouver Olympics complete, we find ourselves looking back at the memorable moments from the games. Perhaps one of the most compelling moments came during the women's figure skating competition when Canadian skater Joannie Rochette took to the ice after the tragic death of her mother and biggest fan just 2 days prior. Joannie skated with amazing grace and a quiet strength that could be felt by all who watched.

Pamela Gabbay writes of the tragedy in her recent article "Skating for Her Mother" for Open to Hope. Click here to read more! Pamela is a nationally recognized bereavement expert  as well as the Director of Camp Erin Palm Srings and Program Director of the Mourning Star Center for Grieving Children in Palm Desert, CA.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rochette family during this difficult time. May you find peace in your memories.

February 19, 2010

Camp Erin dates are SET

All dates for the 2010 Camp Erin season are confirmed! To find out the dates for a Camp Erin near you, check out the "Find Your Camp" section of the TMF website. Click here!

February 17, 2010

Super Brunch is a HUGE success!

Below are some great links from the first annual Super Brunch event in Miami, FL! Filled with food, fun and great people, everyone in attendance had a fabulous time.

Official TMF Press Release with event details.

GREAT video montage of the event produced by PlumTV captures all the highlights of the day!

To our suprise and delight, Jimmy Fallon, event co-chair, hopped on stage with former NYY turned musician Bernie Williams for a rendition of "Light My Fire." Check it out!

Many thanks to all who attended, supported and contributed to the success of an unbeatable event to support TMF's Camp Erin and the Mario Batali Foundation!

January 29, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Helping Hearts Campaign

On Tuesday January 12, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, just 15km from the capital. The worst earthquake Haiti has experienced in 200 years. The devastation of this event is beyond comprehension - especially for its youngest victims.
        • More than half of the Haitian people are less than 18 yrs old
        • More than 2 million children have been affected already
At this moment, the people of Haiti need the support of the global community now more than ever, especially the children. The Moyer Foundation has created a partnership with Free the Children to aid in the immediate emergency relief efforts as well as the long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts required in the months and years ahead.

The Moyer Foundation has made a commitment to match ALL donations up to $50,000!

To read more about our relationship with Free the Children and DONATE NOW, click HERE!

Photo Credit: UN Photo - Logan Abassi

January 21, 2010

Join us for Super Brunch!

The ULTIMATE celebrity Super Bowl party in Miami – bringing together culinary, sports and entertainment super stars! This exclusive VIP event is hosted by Chef Mario Batali, MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, together with friends Emeril Lagasse, artist and musician Jimmy Buffett AND comedian, actor and talk-show host, Jimmy Fallon!

All proceeds from the event will benefit TMF's Camp Erin and the Mario Batali Foundation.

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Club 50, Viceroy Hotel - Miami, FL
11AM- 2PM - Poolside
  • Gourmet brunch, cocktails - menu designed by Mario Batali
  • Food demos with Mario and Emeril Lagasse!
  • LIVE entertainment by Bernie Williams former NY Yankee turned star Musician!
  • Auctions
Get your ticket now as there are going FAST! Contact Katie Hamilton at katie@moyerfoundation.org or visit www.moyerfoundation.org/events for more info.

January 20, 2010

The National Bereavement Camp Conference is coming soon!

The Moyer Foundation is excited to announce that planning for the first annual National Bereavement Camp Conference is in full force! Below is more information about the conference.

Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Provide an overall view of bereavement camp structures and best practices across the country by creating a forum of exchange, learning and collaboration through sharing of timely clinical information, programs, advances in research and successful ideas for new or existing bereavement camps.

• Provide information on current topics and ideas for implementation related to childhood bereavement camps such as
       - innovative program models
       - resident camp activities
       - overall camp structures
       - fun/unique ideas for activities and camp sessions
       - fundraising, PR and marketing
• Promote networking among attendees - including health caregivers, counselors, educators, researchers, as well as volunteers and parent advocates who work with bereaved families across North America.

Bring together nationally recognized bereavement professionals along with leading bereavement and resident camp professionals across diverse fields of expertise, providing participants with a rich and interactive learning environment and networking opportunities.

One day conference, with 3-5 breakout sessions – each focused on specific bereavement camp topics. CEUs will be offered. Registration will open in March.

Please contact Lynette Moore for more information: lynette@moyerfoundation.org or 206.298.1217