Local camp helps children deal with loss

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MOOSIC, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Time can only help lessen one’s grief after losing a loved one and for children, it’s a bit harder.

A week-long camp helps them cope with a loss of a parent, sibling or grandparent at a young age.

Ilse Deiter is just one of 18 children from Northeastern Pennsylvania attending Camp Healing Hearts hosted by Hospice of the Sacred Heart. Four of the five days were virtual just like last year, but Friday, campers were in person at Montage Mountain’s lodge.

“Instead of like sitting home and like just doing nothing, like when I go to camp it makes me feel better because I am doing more stuff,” said Deiter who lost her dad unexpectedly due to an illness at age three.

Activities like dancing, singing and even paintings bring a ray of sunshine into what has been a dark time for these children

“Highlight different colors for different seasons and then I also drew my mom’s grave since that her grave was buried by a tree,” said Mason Barnes who lost his mom to cancer two years ago.

Each camper wrote messages around a baseball diamond expressing their love.

“A lot of people feel bad for these kids. But this is their reality and they just want a way to normalize it and to feel comfortable expressing how they are feeling,” Hospice of the Sacred Heart Director of Counseling Services Jennifer Seechock said.

While at Montage Mountain Friday, children and their families got passes to enjoy its water park after Camp Healing Hearts concluded.

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