Thirty-eight children representing Bulloch, Bryan, Candler, Chatham, Effingham, Screven, and Tattnall counties participated in Camp Lily Welle on Saturday, May 7.
Camp Lily Welle is a day camp for children who are dealing with the death of a loved one. In order to assist these children who are often left to grieve alone and deal with a myriad of feelings, Camp Lily Welle staff had many beneficial activities planned for the camp attendees.
Each child was allowed to express his or her thoughts and uniqueness through art, music, pet and clown therapy, and story and video time. Through these interactive activities the children also learned coping skills, how emotions and their healthy expression bring healing, that everyone grieves in their own special way, and that everyone needs someone to lean on.
Christy Mitchell, Bereavement Planner, commented, “Children experience loss differently depending on their age and stage of development.
Unlike adults, children often grieve in small windows of time over a longer period of time. Our goal at Ogeechee Area Hospice is to provide families and these children with skills and resources they can use to effectively cope with their loss and grief throughout their lives.”
Ogeechee Area Hospice Social Worker, Peter Welle, created the agency’s first camp for grieving children. Peter knew that ‘hospice’ is a philosophy that believes in caring for the whole person including the families and children left behind.
During that first camp, Peter helped children plant flowers, including lilies, in remembrance of their loved ones. Since Peter’s untimely death in 1997 the day camp has been known as Camp Lily Welle.
“Through the years, Camp Lily Welle has continued to grow in attendance. This year’s record number of attendees excites me. Ogeechee Area Hospice with the support of our great community is continuing to meet the bereavement needs of many families with grieving children throughout our service area,” Mitchell said.
For more information about Camp Lily Welle or bereavement services offered through Ogeechee Area Hospice, please call (912) 764-8441.