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MEDIA RELEASE

CONTACT:
Cindy Ficorelli
Phone: (810) 606-6270
Fax: (810) 606-6279
caficorelli@genesys.org

08/10/2007

Camp BraveHeart in Fenton helps kids cope with death

(GENESEE COUNTY, MI) Once again, Genesys Hospice Grief Support Services, along with Arbor Hospice and Avalon Hospice, will conduct Camp Braveheart, a three-day camp for kids ages 5 to 17 who are learning to cope with the death of a loved one.
The weekend event combines traditional camping fun with special activities designed to teach coping skills, honor memories, and offer friendships and support with others who have experienced similar losses.

Dozens of kids and their families will check-in tonight - Friday, Aug. 10 - at Camp Copneconic in Fenton where they will begin specialized group activities to work through the grief recovery process.

On Saturday, the groups will work on memory projects - pillows, bags, boxes and boats - and enjoy swimming, hiking, horseback riding and lots of games.

At 7 p.m., a memory boat ceremony begins, where participants will launch the boats they made as a way to say good-bye to those they lost.

"Each person at Camp Braveheart expresses their feelings and grief differently; we are there to help them through family issues, feelings of loneliness and stress management while honoring and cherishing the memories of their loved ones," reports Anne Cox of Genesys Home and Hospice Care who is one of the Camp Braveheart coordinators. "We encourage these kids to explore their feelings and find inner strength."

Some of the tools used include music and creative arts such as art therapy, creative writing, drama, and the boat launch ceremony. "These are natural outlets for expression and understanding of feelings," Cox points out. "Our trained staff of counselors, therapists and volunteers also help the kids connect with others their own age who know what it is like to lose someone they love.By honoring memories and investing in new experiences, children and adults gain coping tools for the future.

"Camp Braveheart is a safe and accepting place for these kids," Cox adds.

For more information on Camp Braveheart, call Genesys Hospice at 810-636-5000.

Genesys also conducts "Genesys Night Light," a six-week group that meets during the school day in one-hour sessions. All groups are divided by age to work on activities geared toward grief expression, and to learn healing methods for coping with grief. For details on this program, call 810-636-5000.

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