Cancer Services helps kids deal with grief at weekend camp

“I could talk and cry and no one would judge me.” – 11-year-old boy

Cancer Services helps kids deal with grief at weekend camp
Throughout the Cancer Services’ Camp Erin, young people who have suffered the death of someone significant in their lives receive grief counseling and emotional support, as well as participate in fun activities.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Dozens of children and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one attended the region’s fourth annual Camp Erin®. The weekend camp, created and funded in part by Eluna, was hosted by Cancer Services.

“Camp Erin helped me let go of stuff,” said an 8-year-old-boy who attended the camp.

Camp Erin had 52 attendees – its largest number to date.

CAMP ERIN

  • For children and teens ages 6 to 17
  • October 26 to 28
  • Camp Istrouma in Central

Camp Erin® is the largest nationwide network of free overnight bereavement camps for youth who are grieving the death of a significant person in their lives.

“This camp specifically addresses the loss of a loved one – an unfortunate but all too common situation for kids affected by cancer and other situations,” said Whitney Craig, director of Cancer Services. “The campers made such strong connections with each other, with some of them opening up about their grief for the first time.”

The weekend camp experience combines grief education and emotional support with fun, traditional camp activities.

Campers were able to explore their grief, learn essential coping skills and make friends with peers who are also grieving.

“Camp Erin helped me realize that I’m truly not alone when I’m grieving, so I shouldn’t push people away. It also showed me how to support others when they are in pain," said a 15-year-old girl.

Since 2015, Cancer Services has been the only organization in Louisiana to offer Camp Erin®, aligning with Cancer Services’ mission to serve the emotional, financial and physical needs of individual and families living with cancer.

In addition to Camp Erin, Cancer Services hosts three additional camps in the summer:

  • Camp Care, weeklong day camp  for children who have cancer and their siblings. 
  • Camp Spotlight, a weeklong  musical theater camp for children impacted by cancer in partnership with  Manship Theatre. 
  • Camp Climb, a week of fun field  trips and daily therapeutic sessions for children with a parent or  guardian affected by cancer.

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For more information on Cancer Services’ programs, including camps, call (225) 927-2273.

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