POCATELLO — Ten children attended the recent Camp Courageous at Crandall Grove. Organizer Beverly Raymond said the one-day event is aimed to allow kids who have suffered a loss the opportunity to express their grief.
The children who attended the event, sponsored by Encompass Home Health and Hospice, had suffered the loss of a parent or grandparent during the past year and Raymond said the emotional needs of children are often overlooked during the grieving process.
Adults who are struggling with their own feelings are sometimes not sure how to talk to children about the grief.
“They often think that children won’t understand,” Raymond said.
Children who have suffered a recent loss might be experiencing fear and sadness, or they might be happy and not understand why.
During the camp, kids got the chance to talk about what they were feeling and the staff came up with some creative ways to help them express that.
Campers built kites and keepsake boxes decorated to honor their loved ones and Lance Peck from Downard Funeral Home did a presentation that encouraged children to associate different emotions with different colors.
Raymond said the children who attended the event were between 8 and 14 years old.
The day camp was the fifth event sponsored by the local home health and hospice agency.
Last year, Raymond said some children who had lost their homes or pets in the Charlotte fire attended the event.
Camp Courageous also included traditional camping activities like roasting hot dogs and making smores around the campfire.
While Raymond said grief is an individual process and there is no set time frame, children who begin to act out, experience difficulty in school — their grades drop — or they have changes in eating, sleeping or social habits may need professional guidance to express their grief.
“The important thing is to let them know that whatever they’re feeling is okay. They might sad or fearful, or even happy at times, and that’s okay.”