June 21-23, 2019

Camp Cairn is a free weekend bereavement camp for children and students ages 6-17, who are grieving the death of a close family member. Campers participate in traditional camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support, led by licensed counselors / social workers and trained volunteers.



The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 1 in 20 children will experience the death of a parent by the time they graduate from high school.

1.5 million children under the age of 18 have lost an immediate family member. Research indicates these children are at a much greater risk for depression, suicide, poverty and substance abuse.

Children often feel isolated in their grief, but rarely receive formal grief counseling. When dealing with the death of someone important, the search to and necessary counseling and support can be overwhelming. Camp Cairn will provide a closing session for parents or caregivers which will pro- vide resources to assist them in their family healing process. 

Cairn addresses the needs of grieving children by decreasing their sense of isolation and normalizing their experience and feelings. The healing elements of nature and camp activities provide a safe outlet for the expression of campers’ grief.  [+]


Being a grieving child is a lonely experience. Often he or she is the only one in class who has lost a mom or dad, a brother or sister. At a time in a child’s life when it feels very important to fit in, grief can make him or her feel different, isolated. Camp Cairn allows a grieving child to be with other children who share these feelings. It is such a relief for them to know they are not alone.

Grieving children learn that their feelings are perfectly normal. The feelings that accompany grief can be intense and overwhelming. Sometimes people even worry that they are “going crazy” with grief. Camp Cairn shows children that what they are experiencing, although painful, is perfectly normal.

Grieving children have an opportunity to address their feelings and memorialize their loved ones. Children often do not have an avenue to express their grief or to honor and remember the person they held dear.

Through a variety of activities, including drama, arts and crafts, creative writing and physical activities, children at Camp Cairn have the opportunity to express their feelings while celebrating the lives of their loved ones.