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Sat., April 9, 2011, 9:03 a.m.

Camp Chmepa for children in grief

Each summer, Hospice of Spokane sponsors a camp for young people grieving the loss of loved ones.

Camp Chmepa will be held this summer July 29-31 at the heavenly Camp Lutherhaven on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The camp is for young people between the ages of 7 and 15 who are grieving the death of loved ones. I have known some children who attended this camp and loved it. They combine usual camp fun with more solemn moments, which acknowledge the way children grieve -- often in short segments of emotion.

And the camp is free for kids, made possible by donations. Camp applications are being accepted now.

According to the Hospice of Spokane website: "The name of the camp was carefully chosen to represent the overarching goal of the experience. The word chmepa (juh-MEH-peh) is a Spokane Indian word with multiple meanings: a place where two rivers come together to meet, blend and become stronger; a special place of inclusion; and a connecting circle."

Here's the link for camp information.

Readers who have questions and live in Spokane, Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties can call Hospice of Spokane at (509) 456-0438 for information. Readers who live in North Idaho can call Hospice of North Idaho at (208)772-7994.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.