A holiday camp for grieving children continues to grow

She told herself that such a camp would be boring and too sad.

But she enjoyed herself there.

Five minutes after my mom left, I realized it would be great retell Meaghan. She was 13 then and is now 17.

His mother Janette Bélanger explains that she had problems helping her children Meaghan, Sean and Sarah, to mourn their father, who died of a rare form of cancer in the fall of 2018.

A doctor told him about Brigadoon Village, a camp founded in 2011 for children with chronic diseases. This summer camp has expanded its programs to include children who are grieving.

Mrs. Bélanger remembers that her eldest had build a wall around his heart. Her experience at the camp, surrounded by young people who had been through the same traumatic experience, allowed her to chip this wall.

She was a different girl when she got homesays the mother.

Increasing focus on young people’s mental health

David GrahamCEO of Brigadoon Villagelocated at Aylesford in Nova Scotia, announced on Saturday major construction for a new art building, outdoor dining facilities and other additions that will accommodate 300 more children.

Brigadoon Village, a summer camp located in Aylesford, Nova Scotia.

Photo: Facebook / @BrigadoonVillage

The investment amounts to $ 12.5 million.

The project was conceived during the pandemic, which forced the camp to suspend its activities.

The camp has an operating budget of $ 2.5 million. Two-thirds of this amount comes from donations. In ten years, its capacity has increased from about thirty campers to 3,500.

Each week is dedicated to a group of children suffering from a particular disease. The week for our visually impaired children will be very different from that for children recovering from heart surgerydescribes mr. Graham.

But the goal is the same, he adds. Bringing children out of their isolation plays a significant role in their development.

60 à 70jeunes ayant vécu la même expérience, on constate qu’on n’est pas aussi seul qu’on pensait”,”text”:”Quand on arrive à Brigadoon et qu’on vit avec60 à 70jeunes ayant vécu la même expérience, on constate qu’on n’est pas aussi seul qu’on pensait”}}”>When you arrive at Brigadoon and live with 60 to 70 young people who have had the same experience, you realize that you are not as alone as you thought.says Mr. Graham.

He explains that mental health is becoming an increasingly important part of camp programming. It is increasingly recognized that depression and anxiety are the most serious secondary illnesses that these children suffer in addition to their chronic illnesses.

We are more aware of the great impact that society today can have on children’s mental health. Take the pandemic, add a chronic illness and the death of a loved one. We pull a pretty explosive cocktail from ithighlighted David Graham.

The opportunity to just be kids

Simone Sewella coordinator and former counselor for the grief program, says young people who enroll in the camp do not begin their grief at home.

They are mini-adults because of all the stress they have been through. The magic of this camp is that we give them the opportunity to just be kidsshe says.

fru Sewell explains that the strategy is to immerse these children in normal camp activities: art workshops, outdoor games, swimming. Time is set aside for them to share their feelings with well-trained counselors.

On the last day of a stay, the jars created in the art classes are placed side by side against a kind of memorial installed in the woods. Children go there to put small pebbles in memory of their loved ones they have lost.

Simone Sewell says that this ritual often creates lasting bonds between young people. I believe that being away from home is one of the factors for our success. Young people are in nature. They live in a cabin with people who have had the same experiences as them.

Leave a Comment