Camp Faith Provides Support During Holiday Season

On Saturday, December 3, professional facilitators and volunteers gathered in the Wildenthal Conference Center on the Faith Presbyterian Hospice (FPH) Campus to lead Camp Faith – a bi-annual grief camp designed to help children and their families who have recently lost a loved one. Camp Faith provides group and individual activities for families to participate in as they work through their sorrow while honoring and remembering those they lost.

“We are so thankful to our generous donors who make Camp Faith possible. Because of their support, we are able to help children and families during a difficult season. It is an honor and incredibly rewarding to be part of their journey.” Erica Smith, MS CCLS, FPH Child Life Specialist, said.

The camp began with a memorial chain activity. Each family receive a handful of questions about their family and the loved one they lost and were instructed to write their answers on strips of colorful construction paper. The participants then formed the strips into links of a chain and each family had the opportunity to share who they were honoring with the group as they linked their chains together. This ice-breaker activity provided a visual reminder that they were all joined together in grief. Families then decorated a small, lighted tree with a variety of ornaments and other adornments customized to represent what makes their family strong.

Following that activity, the adults went to a group sharing session while the children participated in music therapy, art, play and discussions according to their age group. The families then joined back together and camp concluded with a group lunch and remembrance ceremony including a slideshow of favorite photos giving each person an opportunity to share their memories. The participants took the items created at camp home with them so they can serve as a tangible reminder they are not alone in their grief through the often-difficult holiday season.

“The winter Camp Faith is strategically planned to take place in the middle of the holiday season when the loss of a loved one can hit especially hard. Providing support to children and families can better equip them to deal with the rush of emotions they may experience during this time.” Patricia Cree, CCLS, FPH Child Life Specialist, said.


Information about the Child and Family Bereavement Program, including volunteer opportunities:

FPH’s Child and Family Bereavement Program provides a safe and nurturing environment where children can express themselves through art, therapeutic music, writing, dramatic and physical play. Volunteers assist the facilitators in group activities and give support to children, teens and/or their caregivers, who are grieving the death of a loved one. 

While each participant has experienced a significant loss, the meetings are filled with joy. During each session, volunteers encounter mostly laughter, smiles, singing, creativity, silliness and a lot of energy as each gathering is intended to be a fun and uplifting experience. The program (serving ages 3-18) is not counseling or therapy, however volunteers must be comfortable with providing empathetic listening and appropriate emotional support (as needed) to the participants.

Volunteer positions are currently available for Faith Kids, FPH’s ongoing monthly Support Group. This group meets the second Thursday of each month with volunteers needed from 6-9 p.m.. A nine-month commitment is requested to provide continuity for the children.

To learn more or sign up to participate contact Patricia Cree, FPH Child Life Specialist, via text or phone call at (469) 909-8806 or email at