Camp BraveHearts Helps Children Learn to Let Go of Grief

Published On 04/30/2014

The Kelly Twins attended Camp BraveHearts last year

When Alexis and Nikki Kelly's paternal grandmother, "Granny," passed away suddenly last March, the girls were understandably shocked and saddened. As six year olds, they didn't have a clear understanding of death, nor the words to express their sadness. Fortunately for them, their maternal grandmother, Mary Williams, knew of a special camp that would help them work through their grief. 

Camp BraveHearts is a family grief day camp designed to help children ages 6-16 cope with the death of a family member or friend. The three-day camp, held annually in June, is a safe place where feelings of grief can be expressed. Trained professionals and volunteers explore issues related to grief with the children and their families. By sharing their grief with others, children and adults can begin to let go.

"Before attending Camp BraveHearts last year, the girls were very tearful," said Williams. "But at Camp they were able to talk through their emotions and feelings. They learned it was OK to be sad and that they were not alone. Camp BraveHearts created a safe place for them to grieve and to talk about their Granny."

During Camp, the girls made memory boxes, shared stories, and participated in a memorial service that honored their grandmother. 

"At Camp we learned that even though Granny isn't here with us every day, her spirit is," said Alexis. Nikki shares that they used to watch for rainbows with Granny; now every time they see a rainbow, they know that's their Granny saying "hi!"

Camp BraveHearts will be held this year June 5, 6, & 7 at The Grove at Red Oak Lake (849 Rocky Point Rd. Cordova, TN 38018). All children ages 6-16 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend within the past two years are eligible for Camp BraveHearts. Special sessions are planned for parents and caregivers that are concurrent to the children’s sessions.

For information and registration call 901.818.2107 and ask to speak with a Camp BraveHearts intake person or email mary.jones@mlh.org. For information on sponsoring a child, call 901.818.2105.

Camp BraveHearts is sponsored by:

EMHC