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Camp New Dawn

Compass Regional Hospice
Event organized by Compass Regional Hospice

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Registration is open for the 24th annual Camp New Dawn, a grief retreat summer camp offered through Compass Regional Hospice. Camp New Dawn is a four-day, three-night retreat held each summer at Camp Pecometh in Centreville. The retreat is designed to meet the needs of all ages and stages of grief, serving children and teens between the ages of four and 17 and their families.

“Under the guidance of professional grief support staff and specially trained volunteers, participants are taught healthy ways to express their grief in a safe, supportive and fun environment while also getting to know others who are on a similar journey,” says Camp New Dawn Director Rhonda Knotts.

This year’s Camp New Dawn kicks off on Saturday, August 18 at 12:30 pm, when campers ages seven through 17 arrive at Camp Pecometh. The campers attend therapeutic workshops, age specific grief support groups and may participate in supervised camp activities such as swimming, fishing, and arts and crafts. A mini retreat for children ages four to six is held on Monday, August 20 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The retreat for campers wraps up after the closing ceremony on Monday, August 20 at 4:30 pm.

Camp New Dawn also includes an overnight adult and family retreat that begins on Sunday, August 19 at 4:00 pm. While their campers are busy learning how to cope with their grief, parents and guardians are invited to attend the adult retreat designed to help restore participants to a place of wholeness as they learn to navigate their own grief journey. Activities include grief support groups, therapeutic workshops, and restorative activities like sunrise yoga and nature walks. The adults are then joined by their children for overnight family camp where they come together to learn skills that they can take home with them. Family camp ends on Tuesday, August 21 after the closing ceremony at 7:00 pm.

Camp New Dawn would not be possible without the support of our specially trained volunteers. Over 100 volunteers help to ensure that the weekend encompasses fun, friendship and learning. The most visible volunteers are Buddies— caring and compassionate adults who are paired up with campers to provide support. There are also support staff volunteers who tend to every detail of camp by helping plan, set up and facilitate activities. Former campers, PALS and Campatiers, can be found helping in an assortment of ways around camp and sharing their own personal camp experiences with new campers.

The cost of Camp New Dawn is $30 per camper and $75 per family. These fees represent a small fraction of the actual cost of operating Camp New Dawn. No one is ever turned away due to inability to pay. To offer your financial support toward the cost of camp or to sponsor a child to attend, contact Kenda Leager, development officer, Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4106, kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

For more information or to register for Camp New Dawn, contact Rhonda Knotts, Camp New Dawn director, Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4109, rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org. To become a volunteer, contact Courtney Williams, Assistant Camp New Dawn Director, 443-262-4112, cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.