Grief support day camp this month

Jay FitzOur Town Health, Our Town Kids

Covenant Health’s Katerpillar Kids Camp is hosting a virtual day camp this month for children grieving loved ones. In lieu of its annual two-day grief support in September, also free and open to the community, Covenant Hospice has partnered with Mane Support to expand this opportunity free of charge and added several spring and fall dates for virtual day camp.

Katerpillar Kids Camp will offer a special one-day camp for children in grades 3-5 from 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, via Zoom. There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required here.

Covenant Hospice has partnered with Mane Support to expand this one-day grief camp free of charge. While in-person camps offered equine therapy with horses, Mane Support has made it possible for campers to receive a package prior to camp in the mail with a stuffed horse to participate in petting and brushing their animal friend.

Katerpillar Kids Camp provides a safe place where campers share similar experiences. Trained camp volunteer counselors provide information and guidance as they listen with open minds, hearts and ears. Through a variety of counselor-led activities, campers learn how to process grief in a safe, healthy way.

Katerpillar Kids Camp celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. A special grief camp for children who are grieving the loss through death of a loved one, typically held on a Saturday and Sunday at Camp Wesley Woods (not overnight). Many campers come to camp because they lost a parent, however, campers that have lost any member of their family or a friend would be appropriate to participate. More information can be found by visiting the Covenant HomeCare and Hospice website.

Mane Support is a nonprofit organization that provides a ministry through equine-assisted grief counseling to children, youth, teens and adults who have experienced the death of a loved one or other types of trauma. Mane Support is located in Blount County with a satellite campus in Roane County, thanks to a partnership with the University of Tennessee. The connection that the horse has to healing is a true journey, not a destination. Unlike therapeutic riding, 100% of the Mane Support activities are conducted on the ground, giving the program its own distinct capabilities and diversity. Because safety is a primary focus of the program, there are both a clinical and an equine professional with the participants for the full duration of every session.

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