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Black Tie International:
Camp Sea Star


 

HOSPICE OF PALM BEACH COUNTY BEREAVEMENT PROGRAM HELPED CHILDREN COPE WITH LOSS

Camp Sea Star Provided Adventure-Based Counseling Weekend

 

 
West Palm Beach, FL – More than forty-five children and teens from Palm Beach County gathered recently for a weekend of sharing stories and paying tribute to those they have loved and lost. Camp Sea Star, held annually at the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp in the
J.W. Corbett Wildlife Center, is an adventure-based bereavement program facilitated by Hospice of Palm Beach County (HPBC).

The weekend retreat welcomes South Florida children ages 5 to18 who have experienced a loss and received bereavement support through Hospice of Palm Beach County. The Camp allows time for sharing, support, celebration and fun, offering children a secure space and environment where they can meet other children like themselves who have lost a loved one, and realize they are not alone in their feelings of grief. Camp Sea Star is provided at no charge thanks to the generosity of donors.

"There's a tremendous curative factor in this group modality, in the sheer numbers. It really helps," said Regina Di Pietro, Hospice of Palm Beach County’s Senior Director of Clinical Services. Due to HPBC’s recent expansion into Broward County, the camp will also be offered to children living in the Broward community this July as part of Hospice of Broward County’s Bereavement Program.


While it may look like a traditional camp with children fishing, canoeing and toasting s’mores over a bonfire, every activity at Camp Sea Star has been designed with a specific purpose and cumulative effect towards the children’s healing process. “The counselors who created this program are highly skilled at integrating counseling support into the activities so that the process is virtually seamless to the children,” said Di Pietro.

Upon arrival, campers are asked to pick a personal totem of an animal that represents traits or goals that they hope to work on during the weekend. "I drew a moose and a bear," said 10-year old Brooke Dixon. “The moose is for confidence and the bear is for strength in myself.” Three years ago, Brooke's mother died suddenly of a heart attack and Brooke came to this year’s Camp Sea Star to again face her grief, but this time, a support system embraced her as never before. “I’ve made so many friends here,” said the fourth grader on her favorite camp memories. “All the other kids here lost someone, too. It makes me realize I’m not alone.” Over the course of the weekend, music therapists visited with campers in their cabins to compose songs that paid tribute to the loved ones they lost.

For more information about Camp Sea Star and Broward Camp Sea Star, contact Supportive Care Manager, Chelsea Johnson at
(561) 227-5178 or email cjohnson@hpbc.com .

About Hospice of Palm Beach County

Hospice of Palm Beach County is the leading provider of hospice care in our community. Since 1978, our expert staff has cared for nearly 70,000 patients nearing end of life. When a cure is no longer an option, we put the needs of patients and families first - committed to doing whatever it takes to provide compassionate care and ensure the highest possible quality of life.

As a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, we care for all who want and qualify for our services, regardless of ability to pay. We offer the physical, emotional and spiritual care that brings comfort and dignity to those with terminal illness and their loved ones. Our multi-cultural staff respects all religions and cultural traditions. For families who need emotional support, we offer bereavement services including individual and group counseling.

For more information, visit www.hpbc.com
 

 

 
Joyce Brooks

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