Comfort Zone Camp has announced its 2015 camp schedule for the Richmond area. This year, Comfort Zone begins the 16th year of its camp program, which was born out of a desire to provide a caring community and safe haven in which children who are grieving the loss of a parent or sibling are heard, understood, and taught healthy ways to process their grief. Since then, over 11,000 children have attended camps in the Richmond area and across the country. Attending camp is free and while similar to traditional camp in many ways, campers also take part in confidence building programs and age-based support groups that break the emotional isolation grief often brings. Camps are for children aged 7 through 17. Comfort Zone is a nonprofit organization, and attending camp is free for campers and their families.
“The death of a parent or sibling is undeniably one of the most traumatic events a child can experience, but most parents, schools and social programs lack the tools needed to help children address their grief adequately,” said Mary Beth McIntire, chief executive officer of Comfort Zone. “Instead of finding a supportive, understanding community in the wake of a parent or sibling death, most children find that friends can’t relate to their loss, family members are consumed with handling their own grief, and society rewards them for being strong and showing little-to-no reaction to such a life-altering event.”
In Richmond, this year’s first camp will take place beginning Friday, Jan. 30 at Westview on the James in Goochland County.
“Unfortunately, we don’t need to look around Richmond very long before we see someone who knows a child who has been affected by grief,” said McIntire. “We want to make sure that everyone in the community is aware that our camps exist and utilize them as an important resource that can make a difference to families across the region.”
Richmond area camp dates for 2015 are:
Friday, Jan. 30 through Sunday, Feb. 1
Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 15
Friday, Aug. 21 through Sunday, Aug. 23
Friday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 8
More information, including FAQs for families and registration information, is available at comfortzonecamp.org/calendar
About Comfort Zone Camp
Comfort Zone Camp provides children who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling with professional therapeutic services, peer and mentor support, and healthy coping skills. Programs are held year-round in locations throughout the United States. Comfort Zone also serves the greater community through HelloGrief.org (an online grief support community), the annual Grief Summit (griefsummit.org), and family support groups. For more information, visit www.comfortzonecamp.org.