Earlier this year, our Center for Children’s Journeys team held its annual summer bereavement camp, but with a twist, due to the pandemic: the entire camp was conducted online over the course of five days, with campers all joining Zoom virtual meetings. Before the week began, more than 20 children signed up and were given surprise boxes that contained materials for each of the daily activities.
Starting on Monday, guest speakers joined the group. Guest speaker Mike led everyone through music time on Monday. Mike had the campers join in with echo and rhythm songs and talked about breathing as a tool for calming oneself down.
On Tuesday, guest speaker Kelsey shared videos of horses, including one blind horse and the story of it overcoming challenges.
On Wednesday, Anne and Nour, both play therapists, engaged the campers in a variety of fun games and activities. Campers were invited to introduce themselves along with a movement. They talked about feelings and were able to share about them. Each camper had a chance to show a portrait of their loved one and after they shared, the rest of the group acknowledged the camper by making their hands into the shape of a heart.
On Thursday, music therapist Cathy joined the group and led them in creating a song about their feelings, with campers contributing lyrics and voting on the structure of the song.
On the final day of camp, Friday, each guest re-joined the group and the group participated in their specific activities again. Campers ate s’mores by a virtual campfire and lit candles in memory of their loved ones.
Each day at camp included many more interactive crafts, games, and activities in addition to the ones above, and each day closed with a virtual fist bump flutter. This year’s first-ever virtual camp was a big success! Thanks to everyone who made this event possible.