Most kids don’t go to camp to talk about grief, but at Camp Evergreen, that’s the whole point. It may sound strange to some, but this camp focuses on helping children cope with the loss of a loved one and to feel less lonely during the process.
It’s common for kids to feel isolated and alone when a loved one dies, not always having the vocabulary or emotional maturity to talk about their feelings. This year, the camp celebrated its 25th anniversary of supporting grieving children across Center for Hospice Care’s nine-county service area.
To celebrate this special anniversary, more than 125 people gathered in the Pepsi Stadium Club at Four Winds Field on August 9 for a reunion. They shared laughs and memories while cheering for the South Bend Cubs. A total of 60 campers and their family members, as well as 37 volunteers, were in attendance. As special guests, five members of the Lloyd family joined the celebration to represent the Linda Lloyd Mission Endowment for Camp Evergreen, which provided the funding to enable this camp to thrive for years to come.
Guests reminisced about their time at camp over hotdogs and hamburgers and shared stories of the loved ones they continue to hold dear in their hearts. They were able to peruse photo albums and view a video that brought back fond memories.
Thanks to the Linda Lloyd Mission Endowment, Camp Evergreen continues to give kids a safe place to talk about their experiences and to learn coping mechanisms from trained adult volunteers as well as other campers. And after 25 years, the camp has helped 1,006 kids and engaged 589 staff and volunteers.