Comfort Zone Camp, a Richmond, VA-based non-profit that helps grieving children grow and heal in a camp environment, will be partnering with Blue H.E.L.P. in June 2020 with a camp for children of fallen law enforcement officers.
This special camp promises to be particularly meaningful, as Comfort Zone Camp extends its expertise to children who need help processing their grief due to suicide in their family. A suicide loss is unique, and it can be difficult for families to share their experience with others who have not suffered the same type of loss.
Through generous grants, Blue H.E.L.P. will host a bereavement camp exclusively for the children of law enforcement officers and first responders who died by suicide. The camp is scheduled from June 5-7 at Camp Burgess Outdoor Education and Retreat Center in Sandwich, MA. The camp will mix traditional camp fun and camaraderie with customized grief education and emotional support delivered by trained professionals and caring volunteers of Comfort Zone Camp.
Lynne Hughes, founder of Comfort Zone Camp, explains why this partnership is especially appropriate. “Having lost my own parents by age 12,” she explains, “I understand the importance of letting grieving children know they are not alone, breaking their isolation and getting them back to being kids again.”
The traditional 3-day overnight camp program offers youth ages 7-17 a safe and fun environment at a rustic camp facility. Campers connect with their peers and learn coping skills through age-appropriate activities and discussions. Campers are matched one-on-one with a Big Buddy adult mentor who provides encouragement and support throughout the weekend. Youth meet in age-based support groups facilitated by a mental health professional, called Healing Circles, where they can share and reflect on their grief experience. By the end of the weekend, campers leave with a community, a sense of connection, and coping skills for their grief journey.
Comfort Zone Camp says it is thankful to be able to provide this healing experience to the members of Blue H.E.L.P. For more than 20 years, Comfort Zone Camp has refined its skill in helping children process their grief. This expertise will be particularly helpful in helping children process the complex feelings resulting from the suicide of their parent or caregiver. And these specialized camps will also be a way to show support for the nation’s law enforcement officers and first responders.
All Comfort Zone Camp services are free of charge due to generous donations from individuals, corporations, civic organizations and foundation grants.