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Camp encourages healing

A day camp in Logan County is trying to help children learn how to grieve and to deal with the sadness of losing a loved one.

camp-balloon-release

ABOVE: During a ceremony Friday, Camp Braveheart participants released balloons in honor of their loved ones who have passed away. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Campers sing You’ve Got a Friend in Me at a remem- brance ceremony Friday at Marmon Valley Farms. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | CARRIE ELLINGTON)

Camp Braveheart is sponsored by Universal Home Health & Hospice Care and is designed for kids who have lost a loved one such as a parent, sibling, grandparent or other family member.

The annual three-day camp’s goal is let kids know that it’s OK to grieve.

The camp’s facilitator, Cheryl Varian, thinks it helps to see other kids going through the same situations that they are.

“The real healing comes from being with kids who are experiencing the same kinds of feelings they are, and it really gets them to open up” says Mrs. Varian.

The camp, which concluded Friday with a balloon release in honor of the campers’ loved ones, had more than 52 kids involved this year ranging in ages from five to 13. All but a dozen or so were first-time attenders. Kids are usually referred by school counselors or by hospice workers, and come from Logan, Union, Champaign and Hardin counties. This was the first year for the camp to be conducted at Marmon Valley Farms after outgrowing YMCA Camp Willson.

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