Grief & Children
Because children grieve differently than adults, Niagara Hospice offers Camp Hope.
Camp Hope is a FREE annual bereavement camp for children ages 7-13 that addresses the special needs of grieving children. Camp Hope was established in 2001 and was the first hospice bereavement camp for children in Western New York.
At Camp Hope, children play, talk together about their losses, share emotions with others, and recognize that grief is a natural response to losing a loved one. Together, they learn ways to help themselves cope, as well as learn to help each other.
Children enjoy Camp activities with others in their age group. Fun activities include:
- A memorial bonfire to remember loved ones
- Arts and crafts
- Rock wall climbing
- Pet visits
- Swimming, basketball, martial arts and more
Children come away from camp with many fond memories and Camp Hope mementos, and most importantly with the coping skills to help them work through their grief. Six to eight weeks after camp, children, staff and volunteers are invited to a Camp Hope reunion where they review progress since Camp and receive the Camp Hope yearbook, a record of their camp experience.
The camp is available for free to children throughout Western New York and is held at Camp Kenan in Barker, NY. Camp Hope relies on the generosity of a giving community through donations, planned giving and grants to ensure Camp Hope remains available to our children. With a generous gift given by the family of Roger A. Foote, Niagara Hospice has created the Roger A. Foote Camp Hope Endowment. This endowment was established to provide the financial ground on which Camp Hope will continue to serve the children of tomorrow as they work through their grief. Mr. Foote's love of children makes this gift a fitting tribute.
For more information, or to register or volunteer for Camp Hope, please call the Niagara Hospice Bereavement Department at (716) 280-0777 or click on the links below for printable forms.
Roger A. Foote Camp Hope Endowment Fund Brochure
Camper Application & Health Form (Printable)
Volunteer Application & Consent Form (Printable)
Volunteer Application & Consent Form (On-line form coming soon)
Grief & Children Resources
Small Hands Big Hearts: Helping a Child through Grief
Children's Reaction to Grief
Developmental Grief Reactions in Childhood & Adolescence
Suggested Books for Children and Teens
See the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's (NHPCO)
Grief through a Child's Eyes
Breaking the Silence: A guide to Helping Children with Complicated Grief-Suicide, Homicide, Aids, Violence, and Abuse - Linda Goldman
Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children - Linda Goldman
Children Mourning, Mourning Children - Kenneth Doka
Helping Bereaved Children - Nancy Webb
Helping Children Cope with Grief - Alan Wolfelt
On Children and Death - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Until We Meet Again - Susan Jones
American Hospice Foundation
Child Grief Education Association
Child Trauma Academy
Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
National Education Association Health Information Network:
School Crisis Guide
Rochester City School District's Grief Resource Network:
When Grief Enters Your Classroom
Sesame Street's Grieving as a Family: Finding Comfort Together
Grief & Teens
Walking Wounded: A Teen's Journey through Grief
Journaling for Teens