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Summer Grief Camp Offers Fun And Support For Kids

CampCorazonCGC_drum_corps.JPG
courtesy Kelly Geib-Eckenroth
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Campers play drums at Camp Corazon, a 3-day summer program for children who've had a loved one die.

Grief is the price of love, experts say, and when children have a family member or friend die, they may need help processing those hard emotions. The Children’s Grief Center (CGC) of New Mexico offers a range of free services to families, and they’re currently taking applications for their summer camp in June.

Camp Corazon is a chance for kids to do normal camp stuff like swimming, arts & crafts, and a challenge course – and to learn coping skills alongside others who’ve had a loved one die. 

CGC program director Kelly Geib-Eckenroth said there are a lot of trust-building activities at the start of the three-day program so that campers can get comfortable sharing the tougher stuff.

"My favorite part of camp is the Saturday night," said Geib-Eckenroth. "It’s where kids have the opportunity to get rid of those things they’re carrying around, the things they’re blaming themselves for. We call them ‘the woulda-shoulda-couldas,’ and we burn them in the bonfire that night. It’s a real cathartic experience for everyone."

The program is especially meant for children outside Bernalillo County who don’t have access to the CGC's support groups during the rest of the year, said Geib-Eckenroth.

They’re also looking for volunteers to help run Camp Corazon, which will happen June 6-9 at Camp Stoney outside Santa Fe. 

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Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.

Hannah served as news director at KUNM and reported on education, Albuquerque politics, and anything public health-related. She died in November 2020.
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