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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Niagara Hospice will hold its 15th Camp Hope for grieving children June 26 - 28 at the YMCA’s Camp Kenan in Barker. Children ages 7 to 13 throughout Western New York who have lost a loved one through death – whether or not they ever received hospice care – are invited to enjoy this free and fun camp weekend.

Camp Hope is staffed by professional counselors, trained volunteers and a nurse who is on hand for the entire weekend. At Camp Hope, children enjoy activities such as games, arts and crafts, rock climbing, music, swimming, a memorial bonfire, and more. Children talk together about their losses, share thoughts and feelings with other campers, trained volunteers, and professional counselors, and come to recognize that grief is a natural response to losing a loved one. Together, campers learn positive ways to cope with loss, they learn to help each other, and they learn that they are not alone.

“Registrations for this year’s camp are still coming in,” said Lori Pusateri, MS, LMHC and Camp Hope Director. “Camp Hope is staffed by a dedicated group of volunteers who return year after year, but we always welcome new volunteers, especially this year as we are expecting a larger number of campers.”

Men and women 18 years of age and older are encouraged to apply as Camp Hope activities volunteers, and can choose to volunteer for a few hours or for the entire weekend. Volunteers 21 years of age and older are also needed as cabin counselors to stay the entire weekend, including overnight. Experience in the human services field, working with children, is preferred for the cabin counselor positions.
“Our volunteers must all go through a thorough background check and a Saturday training that will be held May 30th,” said Pusateri. Camp Hope volunteer applications are available by visiting the Services tab at Potential volunteers may also contact the Niagara Hospice bereavement department at or 280-0777. Volunteer applications must be received by May 22.
Camp Hope is free to campers and relies on the generous donations of local service clubs, organizations, individuals, and grants. To make a donation or to sponsor a camper, contact the Niagara Hospice development office at 280-0780.

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