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Children’s bereavement day camp a success

Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Lisa.parro@ahss.org

Hinsdale – Thirty local children participated in Adventist St. Thomas Hospice’s fifth annual Tommy’s Kids Summer Camp, July 12-16. This children’s bereavement day camp is the only one of its kind in DuPage County.

While the death of a close friend or family member can be a painful and confusing time for anyone, it is especially difficult for children. Adventist St. Thomas Hospice offers support throughout the year for grieving children through a program called Tommy’s Kids Support Group. Tommy’s Kids Summer Camp allows the hospice to serve an even larger population of kids.

Designed for children age 5 to 12, the camp took place at Arabian Knights Farms, 6526 Clarendon Hills Road, Willowbrook. The camp was staffed by Adventist St. Thomas Hospice staff and specially-trained volunteers. Enrollment was limited to 30 children because the ratio of campers to counselors is one to one.

Activities included nature hikes, arts and crafts, miniature golf, obstacle courses and water balloon battles. Campers learned to express themselves through bereavement activities including journaling exercises, discussions on different types of feelings, puppet shows and a therapy dog visit.

“It’s important for grieving children to know that it is okay to still laugh and have fun,” said Heather Kochen, youth coordinator for Adventist St. Thomas Hospice, “At the same time, Tommy’s Kids camp gives the children the tools and resources to work through their loss.”

For more information on the Tommy’s Kids program, contact Kochen at (630) 856-6985 or visit www.asthospice.com.

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.  To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.