Monday, July 03, 2017
by Cara Lotspeich
BJC HOSPICE | The journey through grief and loss can be difficult and lonely, especially for a child. Stepping Stones is a weekend camp for children ages 6-12 who have experienced the death of a family member or close friend.
For 17 years, Stepping Stones camp has provided a safe place to explore grief, anger and fear — balanced by plenty of fun. This year’s camp will be held Aug. 11-13. The camp is offered at no cost to participants and is open to any child who has lost a loved one, not only those who were served by BJC Hospice.
“The loss of someone significant can impact a child in many ways,” says Andrea Tritinger, BJC Hospice bereavement coordinator. “It can cause challenges in their day-to-day lives, and those challenges will evolve with them over time.
“Experiencing a loss can also make children feel alone and isolated, either because people around them avoid talking about it to protect the child or they don’t know other children who have lost someone,” Tritinger says.
Stepping Stones camp can provide a safe space for campers to be around other people who “get it,” express feelings and share memories, and learn coping tools — while also having plenty of camp fun.
Some of the activities include creating a stepping stone, team building, swimming, campfires and free time. The camp and activities are led by professional staff.
Stepping Stones offers a place for children to remember and honor their loved one in an atmosphere of understanding and encouragement.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 314-953-1676 or visit bjchospice.org.
Participants from Stepping Stones retreats:
Last year’s Stepping Stones campers display their cabin colors. | Photo by Rene Brinkman
Cara Lotspeich, email@example.com
Number of views (2895)/Comments (1)
7/3/2017 12:39 PM
What a great community outreach. I have a dear friend who's daughter attended Stepping Stones about five years ago following the death of her father. It's hard for an 11 year old to lose her father but Stepping Stones made a huge difference in her ability to process her grief. She just wrapped up her sophomore year in high school and has flourished. While she has a loving support system and Mom, we know this camp was critical in her bereavement process. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.