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Washington Voices

Hospice camp aims to help grieving children

Thu., June 18, 2009

Children often grieve much differently than adults. They may express their sadness and anger in indirect ways or keep the feelings well-disguised from adults. Hospice of Spokane and Hospice of North Idaho understand this dynamic and so to help grieving children in the Inland Northwest, the groups sponsor Camp Chmepa for children who have experienced loss of a loved one.

“Countless children throughout our region are introduced at an early age to the complex mix of emotions that make up grief. Sometimes handling grief is a tremendously challenging task for youngsters and they need help,” explained Dale Hammond of Hospice of Spokane.

About two-thirds of the children who attend the camp have experienced a traumatic or sudden death of someone close to them, not a hospice-related or expected death, according to Hospice of Spokane’s Web site. Campers hike, swim, play games, sing and do all regular camp activities.

Camp organizers are hoping to spread the word that there is still room in Camp Chmepa this summer for children who are grieving a loss.

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