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Camp Good Hope Offers Grieving Children a Chance at Some Joy

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor


Mariamne Young knows grief. She understands all too well the pain of losing a loved one.

Her daughter, Amne, died in 2019, at the age of 36, leaving behind three young children. While processing her own grief, she watched her young grandchildren process their own grief.

“I watch what they are dealing with,” Young said. “They’ve lost their Mommy.”

Days spent mourning turned into weeks that turned into months following Amne’s death.

“I kept asking myself, where is the joy?” she said.

Young always loved summer camp as a child herself, and she finally figured out how to find some joy for herself, her grandkids, and other children going through the grief of losing a loved one.

“I said, ‘Let’s do a grief camp for kids,’” Young said.

And she did.

The first Camp Good Hope will be held Oct. 20 and 21 at Camp Hopewell in Lafayette County.

The camp is for children 6 to 17 years old who have lost a loved one.

“It doesn’t have to be a parent – it could be a sibling, an auntie, or a grandparent,” Young said.

The 1.5-day, overnight camp is free and children are required to be accompanied by an adult.

Activities include arts and crafts, ropes course, storytime, kayaking, zip line, nature walks, music and bonfires.

Adults may participate in group activities that meet at the same time as the children’s events.

While the camp provides a supportive, nurturing environment where children learn that they are not alone in their grief, there are no therapists or psychologists holding sessions.

“The idea is to have fun,” Young said. “There are camps like that, and I’m sure they’re great. But I wanted this one to be unique and be a fun camp but at the same time, they are surrounded by people who have had some sort of similar circumstance.”

Meals during the camp are also provided free of charge.

For more information, visit Camp Good Hope on Facebook or send an email to campgoodhope@gmail.com.

Click here to register to attend the camp.

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