Healing Together: Camp Faith Gathers to Support Grieving Families in 10th Annual Winter Session

On the second day of December, professional facilitators and volunteers convened at the Wildenthal Conference Center on the Faith Presbyterian Hospice (FPH) Campus. Their mission: to spearhead the 10th Annual Camp Faith—an annual grief camp created in 2013, tailored to aid children and families navigating the challenges of recent loss. This initiative offers a mix of group and individual activities, allowing families to engage in a healing process while paying tribute to and cherishing the memories of their loved ones.

Heartfelt gratitude was expressed towards the generous donors who made Camp Faith a reality. Erica Smith, MS CCLS, FPH Child Life Specialist, conveyed the sentiment, saying, “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.”

The camp began with a touching memorial chain activity. Families were provided with a list of questions about their family and their loved one, which they answered on colorful construction paper strips. These strips were then interlinked to form a chain, with each family sharing their honoree with the group. This ice-breaking activity served as a poignant visual reminder of their collective journey through grief. Families then decorated 12 inch snowflakes, symbolizing the differences of each snowflake as a metaphor to the uniqueness of each person’s grief.

Afterwards, the adults engaged in a group sharing session, while the children delved into music therapy, art, play and discussions tailored to their respective age groups. The families reconvened with a group lunch and remembrance ceremony, featuring a slideshow of cherished photos providing an opportunity for each participant to share their memories. Items created during the camp were taken home, serving as tangible reminders that they are not alone in their grief, particularly during the challenging holiday season.

Patricia Cree, CCLS, FPH Child Life Specialist, emphasized the strategic timing of the winter Camp Faith, which coincides with the holiday season, a period when the loss of a loved one can be especially difficult. Offering support during this time helps equip children and families to navigate the rush of emotions that may accompany the season. In total, 42 attendees, comprising 17 adults and 25 children from 14 families, along with the contribution of 9 volunteers, made this Camp Faith a meaningful and supportive experience for all.


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 pcree@nullforefrontliving.org.