Summer camp is a special place for kids to make new friends, try different activities and explore new possibilities. For the children of firefighters who died in the line of duty, there is a unique camp that offers all of this and much more. Since 2012, these camps, run by a CFC-supported organization, provide a unique approach to help these children find the comfort and support they need to cope with their grief.
The fun and structured activities allow children from across the country to meet others in their age group with similar experiences. They are able to share their stories, learn skills to cope with their loss, receive one-on-one support from a mentor in the fire service, and have time to reflect and remember their parents in a positive and nurturing environment.
“Everyone grieves differently and in their own way, but ultimately, our feelings are universal,” said one camper. “The [camp] can help you. It is scary going into it…You don’t have to share your story – if you do, it is healing…that these people at the camp get it. They are here to listen and help you through the rough times.”
The camper continues on to say, “…it has been an amazing experience for me. I’ve learned so much about myself and I know that I am not alone in this journey called grief. I have made some life-long friends and without the support of the [camp], I don’t know who I would be today. I am blessed beyond words that this camp is available for me and for those who have lost a special firefighter in the line of duty.”
In addition to covering the costs for the campers, the organization provides lodging near the campsite and local transportation for the parents.