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Children’s bereavement day camp planned for summer


Hinsdale – Adventist St. Thomas Hospice is offering its fourth annual Tommy’s Kids Summer Camp, a children’s bereavement day camp that 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 ages 5 to 12, the camp will take place daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 13-17 at Arabian Knights Farms, 6526 Clarendon Hills Road, Willowbrook. The cost is $50 per child with some scholarships available. Enrollment is limited to 30 children because the ratio of campers to counselors is one to one. The Camp is staffed by Adventist St. Thomas Hospice staff and specially-trained volunteers. For more information about volunteering as a camp counselor or to register a child for camp, contact Heather Kochen at (630) 856-6985.

Activities include nature hikes, arts and crafts, miniature golf, obstacle courses and water balloon battles. Campers will learn to express themselves through bereavement activities including journaling exercises, discussions and a nurse and therapy dog visit. Children should bring a sack lunch each day, including a drink, and wear comfortable shoes. 

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

The Hinsdale Hospital Foundation is seeking sponsorships and underwriters on behalf of the hospice. For more information, call (630) 856-2000.