Red Oak Camp Combines Healing with Fun to Support Grieving Children


​Looking for a summer camp to support a grieving child or teen? Red Oak Camp, offered by Western Reserve Grief Services, is a three-day grief support camp for children ages 6-13. The camp is held at the scenic Red Oaks Campground, 9057 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland.

The camp connects children with peers who have also experienced the death of a loved one. It incorporates art, music, play and nature exploration and is led by children’s grief support specialists from Hospice of the Western Reserve.

“Children tend to process their grief differently than adults,” explained Diane Snyder Cowan, Director, Western Reserve Grief Services. “It provides a ‘safe zone’ where kids can feel comfortable sharing emotions and asking questions in a supportive environment. Camp activities encourage memories and the expression of feelings.

 “The children engage in memory-making art and nature projects that honor their special person. We do a drum circle every year that the kids and counselors enjoy,” she added. “They also have time to enjoy the gorgeous outdoor setting and have fun with other children. There is swimming, rock climbing, archery and kayaking in the afternoon. There is comfort in being with other children have experienced a death. They learn they are not alone, they are not going crazy and that other children their age are coping with some of the same kinds of feelings.”

Registration for the Red Oak Camp is due by July 8. More information is available by calling 216.486.6838. Camp applications are available online at

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Speak with the referral team by contacting us seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Any first visit and admission can be made the first day.

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More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.