Camp Courage helps teens, children grieve after loss

From News ReleaseJune 6, 2014 

When young people experience the death of a parent, sibling or close friend, how do you help them grieve?

Signing them up for bereavement camp might be a good start.

Children ages 6 to 16 are invited to Johnston Health’s first Camp Courage from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26 at Girl Scout Camp Mary Atkinson near Clayton. The camp will offer games, art activities, music and family time.

“Johnston County has one of the highest rates of teen death in the state,” said Tami Bambaugh, manager of the SECU Hospice House in Smithfield. “And at the Hospice House, we’ve seen an increase in the number of patients younger than 40 who have children. It’s our job to help every member of the family, including children, through the bereavement process.”

The free camp will have nurses, chaplains, social workers and bereavement counselors, all of whom have been trained to work with children and teens.

Bambaugh says the Girls Scouts will offer four activities, including the ropes course. Johnston Home Care & Hospice and the Hospice House will offer four other activities, including art and music.

“It’s going to be fun and therapeutic, too,” Bambaugh said. “We’re hopeful that the camp can be a yearly event.”

To register, visit the events section of If you have questions, call Murray Dees at 919-209-5104 or email Also, donations to Camp Courage may be mailed to the Johnston Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1376, Smithfield, N.C. 27577.

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