Camp Mariposa is a special three day camp offered to children from ages 7-12 who have experienced the death of a family member, friend, classmate, or other significant person in their lives.
Save the Date for Camp Mariposa: Friday, June 28 through Sunday, June 30, 2013
Camp Mariposa is designed to facilitate the natural grieving process.
The experience includes a fun weekend where children who have experienced the loss of a loved one through death can interact with peers who have lived through similar circumstances. The environment is structured, safe and supportive where the children make new friends, share new ideas and learn important coping skills. Planned activities are designed to help the children express their feelings, share experiences, and remember their loved one.
The children leave camp with new friends and many memories reminding them that they are not alone in their healing journey.
Camp Mariposa 2012 was another successful year for Nathan Adelson Hospice! We took 50 young people, 35 volunteers, and headed up to Potosi Pines campground. The children participated in activities such as archery, tetherball, arts and crafts, and volleyball. As well as fun activities camp faithfully provides, there is also an element of grief work that takes place. Children are grouped into a time called ‘Healing Circles’. In the Healing Circles, they learn about loss, express the feelings that accompany it and are given tools to help them cope with those feelings. The culmination of the weekend’s grief activities is a letter burning ceremony. The campers write a private letter to their loved ones expressing their feelings and perhaps saying what they may not have had a chance to say. Then, they put these letters into a fire with the idea that the smoke released from the letter burning carries their words to the person who died. Though this is often emotionally difficult for them; it seems to be healing and comforting as well.
The bereavement activities at this year's Camp Mariposa were augmented by our new Healing Totem Pole, built by a volunteer. The pole has six separate sections with six sides that stack one on top of another and can be rotated as a whole. Each of our six cabin groups were given a section to decorate with their interpretation (with words or pictures) of the "Keys to Healing", which are: Grieve, Cope, Remember, Support, Love and Hope. On Saturday night, after performing their skits (which demonstrated the theme of "change" or "transformation") each cabin group individually brought their section of the totem pole up onto the stage. There, they told the story of their grief and healing according to their age and gender. As each section was placed on top of last, the Healing Totem Pole gradually rose to its full height of over six feet. The top was adorned with a huge butterfly or in Spanish, a mariposa. It was a powerful statement of the campers' ability to integrate their difficult experiences with their new coping skills.
Camp Mariposa continues to be an annual event that ushers in fun, excitement, healing, and hope for young people experiencing the pain of loss. Kids get to be kids in a fun, safe, and natural environment. They are equipped with tools to understand and deal with their grief, to identify what holds them up or keeps them down, and to grab onto things that give them hope for their future. They walk away understanding that they’ve been through a really hard time but that their destiny is not lessened because of a loss but instead strengthened and reassured.
2011 Camp Mariposa - Summary
This past July, 68 children who have suffered the loss of a loved one were able to attend our annual bereavement camp. As we do every year, we surveyed a parent or guardian of each child who attended camp to evaluate the impact.
The survey results reflected that:
· One-hundred percent (100%) of the parents/guardians felt that the opportunity for their child to meet other children who had suffered a similar loss was beneficial to their child.
· Eighty-one percent (81%) indicated that their child had demonstrated improved coping skills.
· Seventy percent (70%) documented seeing their child using skills such as journaling, progressive relaxation and breathing techniques that they learned at camp.
Statistics don’t tell the whole story. We heard from one guardian that her child had been so distraught at her loss but was doing so much better after camp.
Over the course of the weekend one young camper bonded with his cabin leader. The child and the cabin leader learned they had both lost a brother and that they had both enjoyed either giving or receiving piggyback rides from their sibling. On the last day of camp, at the awards ceremony, the cabin leader brought this little boy to the stage via piggyback. There was not a dry eye at camp!
There are many experiences at camp that cannot be measured but that we know make a dramatic impact in the lives of those at camp.
Tremendous thanks to our sponsors!
Robert Banks Foundation
Si Redd & Tamara Redd Charitable Foundation
Archibald C. & Frances F. Rufty Foundation
Scott Selco Professional Corporation
Speedway Children’s Charities
The Williams Foundation