Camp Sydney: helping children and families deal with grief

Catholic Family Services will offer Camp Sydney for the third year at Broom Tree Retreat Center June 12-14. This non-denominational camp focuses on helping children and their families cope with grief after the death of a loved one.

Camp Sydney is a free camp for kids ages 7-17 and their families. It features group time to share their grief experiences and understand they are not alone. Parents and guardians will spend time in their own grief program and also interact with their child during breakout times.

Fun is a big part of the camp. Games and activities are used to enhance the grieving process and to offer lighthearted times for laughter and to build hope for the future. Activities include a scavenger hunt, games, art and wood working projects, swimming, camp fire, music, prizes and fellowship.

Parents and kids have seen significant improvement in their lives from attending Camp Sydney. Many parents in past camps said the activities and opportunities to be with kids who have had similar experiences helped their kids work through their grief.

The parents also appreciated the time they spent on their own grief journey working with Dr. Marcie Moran of Catholic Family Services.

“I loved having both time to interact with our kids and kid-free time to interact with adults, share stories and have mom and dad time,” one parent said last year.

Mary Weber, camp director and counselor with Catholic Family Services, is ready for another great camp this year.

“The number one request from campers is they want to stay longer,” Weber said.

The grieving process is different for everyone. Learning to cope and adjust to a new reality of life will provide hope for a more peaceful family life to come.

Each family will stay in their own cabin for the weekend of camp. To register or learn more about Camp Sydney, call 605-988-3775, email cfs@sfcatholic.org, or visit www.sfcatholic.org/cfs/campsydney.