facebook pixel
Calvary Hosts 22nd Annual Bereavement Camp
Unique camp helps children and teens grieve and heal

From August 19-23, Calvary Hospital hosted the 22nd consecutive session of their bereavement camp for 80 children ages 6-18. Calvary’s Camp Compass®, held at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, was led by experienced grief professionals. The five-day experience was filled with traditional fun camp activities, grief education, and emotional support. Calvary’s Camp Compass® provided a unique opportunity for peer bonding between children and teens facing a similar life circumstance. This was an incredible experience for the children. The campers enjoyed recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, and basketball. They also:

  • Built wooden planes to symbolize the campers’ grief journey;
  • Enjoyed performances by the Harlem Wizards basketball team and an all-women African drumming group;
  • Participated in an obstacle course, swimming, and fishing;
  • Enjoyed visits by two therapy dogs, painted pottery, did beading, learned salsa and hip hop dancing; and
  • Three professional clowns gave daily lessons in juggling and performing clown tricks.

All of the campers attend the Hospital’s year-round bereavement programs – “Precious Moments” for young children ages 6 to 9 years old, the “In- Be-Tween” group for ages 10 to12, or the Teen bereavement support for 13- to 18-year-olds. These groups, which meet at Calvary’s Bronx Hospital, in downtown Brooklyn, and in Manhattan, have helped hundreds of children to date with their grief process.

This year’s bereavement project was to build and paint a wooden plane.

Supporters of the Hospital’s children’s bereavement programs and Calvary’s Camp Compass® have included: Newman’s Own Foundation, Gray Foundation, and Trimble Family Foundation. To see who are our leading supporters: https://www.calvaryhospital.org/childrens-bereavement/

In the New York metropolitan area, Calvary has established itself as a resource for grieving families. It offers free bereavement support groups for adults, children, and teens, and referrals for additional support if necessary. Calvary offers three unique groups: one geared to the needs of young adults ages 18-25, one for men of all ages, and a mindfulness and movement group for adults that combines talking about grief with experiential exercises, meditation, visualization, and gentle yoga movement.

Calvary’s bereavement program is available to anyone who has experienced a significant death in their lives, whether that person was a patient at Calvary, or someone from the larger community whose death was attributable to illness, accident, or violence.

The children were entertained by the Harlem Wizards basketball team.
Playing tug of war is always a popular activity at the camp.


Swimming and fishing were popular choices during Calvary’s Camp Compass®.


Some of the 2019 campers are pictured with a counselor.