Camp Kangaroo: Bereavement Camp helps kids develop coping skills

1 in 9 Americans experiences the death of a parent before they turn 20, while 1 in 7 loses either a parent or a sibling. The loss of a loved one is especially difficult for children. That’s where Camp Kangaroo steps in. Camp Kangaroo is a Season’s Hospice nationwide bereavement camp offered to children in the community who have recently suffered the death of a loved one.

In partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, Camp Kangaroo is offered to any bereaved child ages 5-18 in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties who need bereavement support. The camp is facilitated by trained clinical staff and dedicated volunteers from Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care in Michigan and the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Serving metro Detroit in its third year, Camp Kangaroo aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for children to express their emotions and learn about effective coping strategies. Conversely, the camp facilitates an adult group for parents and guardians to learn how to support their children at home.

The three-day long camp focuses on providing education about death, providing peer support and help them engage in creative activities to honor their loved ones and begin to move through their grief.

This year’s camp welcomed 21 children to Madison High School and included a variety of music, exercise, art and writing therapy.

On the last day of camp, parents and guardians are invited to attend a graduation ceremony. Children share their work with the crowd and sing their Camp Song. The Camp Song is focused on their ideas and feeling about their grief journey and is intended to nurture hope and strength.

Camp Kangaroo is a Season’s Hospice program that is supported in part by CHMF.