Child Life Specialist MS students at Camp Good Grief
By School of Behavioral Health - July 9, 2024

In early spring this year, we had another successful gathering at Camp Good Grief Special Victims Program (SVP), kindly sponsored by the San Bernardino County (SBC) District Attorney's Office. Thanks to the excellent collaboration between Loma Linda University Children's Hospital and the District Attorney's Office, all costs were covered for all campers, which gave all participants a lifetime experience and the opportunity to come together to provide children with a safe space to help them navigate their grief and learn ways to cope with the help of supportive camp staff, which this year included five Child Life Specialist MS students.

Camp Good Grief SVP is a supportive program designed specifically for children and teenagers between the ages of 10 and 16 who have experienced the loss of a sibling or parent. Camp offers a 3-day camp experience, where participants are provided many fun opportunities to connect with others close in age and who have gone through similar experiences. The camp delivers a safe and nurturing environment where campers can express their emotions freely and get a sense of acceptance without judgment. Camp is a space for sharing and healing while offering comfort and support.

Over an eventful three-day camp experience, children had opportunities to connect and make friendships with others throughout the day through small group time activities to learn, share, and ask questions. Grief can be confusing for young individuals to understand and manage without the proper support and tools. Child Life Specialist MS students support campers in activities such as art for expression and coping, group games to build trust among one another, come together for non-denominational devotionals and music, and fun nights full of games, songs, and skits. Campers had a beautiful opportunity to feel understood, safe, and overcome by emotions and laughter.

For more information about Camp Good Grief SVP, please contact Dorothy Brooks, Child Life Specialist, regarding Camp Good Grief at 909-558-4073.

Written by Maricela Chavez Garcia and Dyanna Rivera, Child Life Specialist MS students