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Camp Journey begins '08 registration
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Abbey Hospice, located in Social Circle, is sponsoring Camp Journey, a free one-night camping experience for children and youth who have recently experienced a death in their family. Through fun-filled activities and reflective moments, children and youth will be invited to explore how they feel, to understand themselves in the grieving process, to meet other youth who share the same feelings, and to have a great time.

This spring at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia, children will be doing more than playing games and exploring the beauty of the wild. On April 26 and 27, children will be remembering their loved ones at Camp Journey.

Grief is a difficult experience for anyone. It is incredibly difficult and people often feel unimaginable pain. Adults often struggle with how to deal with their feelings and overwhelming emotions. Losing a loved one, no matter what the circumstances, is complex and often we are left with questions of what the future will bring without them in our lives. Despite the struggle, the developmental progression of adulthood helps in the grieving process. Adults are able to express how they feel and how much they miss someone.

Children often cannot express their grief in the same way. Because children do not have the developmental skills to fully express themselves, they often have difficulty sharing how much they miss their loved one. They struggle in understanding what death is and can begin to fear both their own death and the death of other loved ones.

Some ways that children demonstrate their grief is through behaviors. Some of the key behavioral changes to watch for are:

• Sadness

• Withdrawal from activities

• Having difficulty understanding death

• Beginning to fear their own death and the deaths of family members

• Having difficulty in school

• Having difficulty with friends and peers

• Exhibiting anger and even rage

If your child is exhibiting any of these behaviors, please seek a professional for your child to speak with. It does not mean that there is something wrong with your child, but getting them help sooner rather than later is the best means of helping them through this difficult time.

Camp Journey is free to all participants and is led by trained volunteers and staff that are dedicated to helping your child in his or her grief. Regular clothes, shoes and a sleeping bag or twin sheets are needed, but there is no need to bring food or any special camping equipment.

If you are interested in applying to attend Camp Journey April 26 and 27 please contact Callie Curington at Abbey Hospice, (770) 464-5858 or Parents and/or guardians are asked to complete an application and children are accepted by level of need.