Camp Cairn Focus

As a parent or guardian to a child who has suffered the loss of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver, you have seen the many different ways grief challenges kids in their day-to-day lives. You also may have noticed that for kids, grief never really goes away; it simply evolves right along with them.

Camp Cairn offers this free weekend bereavement camp that allows the campers to:

•    Tell their story in a safe environment

•    Process grief in healthy ways

•    Meet friends facing similar circumstances

•    Learn they are not alone

•    Build a toolbox of coping skills and resources

•    Remember, honor, and memorialize those who have died

But most importantly, have fun!



What will a child do at camp?  Campers participate in many typical camp activities, such as kickball, gaga ball, swimming, arts and crafts, games, camp songs with s’mores, and a low/high ropes challenge course. All activities will be age appropriate to interest any type of camper.

Though the majority of the weekend is about having traditional camp fun, Camp Cairn differs in that campers also have the opportunity to share their stories and talk about their losses in age-based support groups, which are scattered throughout the weekend.

What is the cost to attend?  Camp Cairn is no cost to the attending families/youth. Camp Cairn’s ability to meet the need is based on donations from individuals, camper families, corporations, grants and civic organizations.  

How do I apply for a child to attend camp?  You must complete a camper application [+].  As a part of the application process, a Camp Cairn representative may contact you to talk about your child’s bereavement history. After reviewing the application, our staff will determine if Camp Cairn can meet the needs of your child.  If your application is approved, you will be sent an email of your child’s acceptance.  If Camp Cairn is unable to meet your child’s needs (or if the program becomes full), we will contact you.

How will my child be supervised throughout the weekend?  Campers are under constant supervision.  Each camper is paired with a Big Buddy adult volunteer and always has at least two adults in his/her presence. Camp Cairn staff are also present throughout the camp weekend. At night, campers stay in cabins with their Big Buddy as well as other campers and Big Buddies in their group. 

Where will my child sleep?  Boys and girls bunk in separate Heritage Cabins on the grounds of Woodland Christian Camp. Cabins are equipped with bunk-style beds. The cabins have HVAC and interior bathrooms. There are always staff in the cabin when campers are present.

Can siblings attend camp together?  Yes, they can. You decide what will benefit your children the most. They may be assigned separate family groups to allow them to have their own camp experience, but they will see one another often throughout the weekend.  

Are the campers provided with a list of items to bring with them or is everything provided?  We provide a list of items campers need to bring with them to camp. A packing list is included with the camper acceptance packet we send you once your child is accepted.

What if a camper does not have the items required to attend a camp?        We will do our best to provide sleeping bags, pillows and various toiletries if needed. Please make arrangements in advance.

Can a parent/guardian volunteer at the same camp their child is attending?No, but a parent/guardian can volunteer at a camp which their child is not in attendance.

Is transportation provided to the camp? Can it be provided if not available?We ask that parents/guardians provide transportation for their children. Travel assistance may be available, based on need. Please contact us in advance if you think you will need assistance.