Grief & Children

Because children grieve differently than adults,  Niagara Hospice offers Camp Hope.

Camp Hope, which will commemorate its 20th anniversary in June 2020, is a FREE bereavement camp for children age 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

  • Music

  • Rock wall climbing

  • Pet visits

  • Swimming, basketball, martial arts and more

Click on the links below for printable forms:

Roger A. Foote Camp Hope Endowment Fund Brochure

Camp Hope Brochure

Camper Application & Health Form (Printable)

Volunteer Application, Reference, Background Check & Consent Forms (Printable)

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.

Moments of Life Video: Grief through a Child's Eyes

Camp Hope 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, call the Niagara Hospice Bereavement Department at (716) 280-0777 or e-mail

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

Suggested Reading:

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

Online Resources:

American Hospice Foundation

Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families

Sesame Street: Grief

Grief & Teens

Walking Wounded: A Teen's Journey through Grief

Journaling for Teens

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