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Camp New Hope Was a Success

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Camp New Hope Was a Success

Over the past 26 years, Delaware Hospice has hosted Camp New Hope. This year, over 75 campers participated in two 1-week Camps in Bear and Milford. Camp New Hope in Bear was June 20th-23rd at Lums Pond State Park and Camp in Milford was hosted at the Delaware Hospice Center June 27th- 30th.

Each Camp invited children and teens ages 6-18 who have lost a loved one to attend the free four day camp. Camp incorporates traditional camp activities along with age appropriate bereavement activities. “Many times, children do not have the opportunity to meet other kids who are going through similar experiences,” commented Camp New Hope Director, Earline Vann, BS, CT. “Camp gives kids the opportunity to mourn their loss but to remind them that they are not alone.”

“Camp has been awesome,” exclaimed Tony K.! Tony (11) and his two younger sisters attended camp after their mom passed away earlier this year. “My favorite activity was ‘blowing bubbles for a calming breath.’ The counselors showed us that when you blow really fast and short that you are not able to get big bubbles. If you take deep, long breaths, you can get really, really big bubbles.” Another favorite activity of the campers is always paddle boarding. “We got soaking wet from the water fight!” Tony also mentioned how on the first day of camp he was nervous to attend camp. But by Friday, he had “had the most fun and was sad to leave camp.”

Camp New Hope is the capstone of New Hope, a program of Delaware Hospice. Camp New Hope is a four-day inspiring summer day camp. Through a variety of activities, campers have opportunities to interact with other children who have experienced loss. The camp also offers group projects, counseling, individual support, education, and free time to allow children to process emotions and ask questions. Finally, the camp hosts a special memorial service, which celebrates and honors the life of each child’s loved one.

New Hope was established by Delaware Hospice as a free program to serve children and teens during their time of grief. New Hope Counselors have provided support, counseling, and education to close to 10,000 children, teens, and their families through a variety of free workshops, support groups, individual counseling, and a summer camp.

When children and teens experience the death of a loved one, their set of needs are different from adults. Children and teens grieve at their development level and must navigate a range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, and insecurity. As they grow they learn ways to process and cope with their loss. With the help of New Hope, children and teens are able to grow with their grief and find “new hope.” New Hope is a nationally recognized program in Delaware specifically designed for children and teens who are coping with the death of a loved one.

Submitted by: Jennifer Saienni, Delaware Hospice.

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