17th Annual Grief Camp for Children, Teens Set to Kick Off August 16

Camp New Dawn, Hospice of Queen Anne’s (HQA’s) annual grief camp for children and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one, is set to kick off on August 16 at Camp Pecometh near Centreville. The three-day overnight event provides the opportunity for campers to learn about and express grief with trained counselors and volunteers in a safe and natural environment.

“Last summer we experienced the highest attendance in the history of the camp,” said Rhonda Knotts, HQA bereavement coordinator and camp director. “We are expecting as many if not more again this year, so the need for additional buddies and donations is great,” she added.

Caring and compassionate adults who are willing to commit to support one or two bereaved youths during the camp may apply to become a Camp New Dawn buddy. Applicants must be 21 years or older and need to complete buddy training on Saturday, August 13 at Hospice of Queen Anne’s. Buddies find the camp a rewarding and fulfilling experience that they ultimately carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“The cost per camper is about $185, although we only charge the family a $20 registration fee,” said Knotts. “This ensures that every child who needs to attend camp may, even if they are unable to pay the registration fee; no child is turned away due to inability to pay,” she said.

Hospice of Queen Anne’s continues to rely solely on community donations to make up for the balance of the expenses.

“We are so fortunate to have such caring and giving community members who are committed to making a difference in the life of a grieving young person,” said Knotts.

Camp New Dawn sponsorship levels range from $185 for Sponsor-A-Camper to $3,000 for Camp Sponsor. For additional information, visit the web site at www.hospiceofqueenannes.org and click on Camp New Dawn. Potential campers and buddies are asked to pre-register with Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@hospiceofqueenannes.org.

Photo caption: Organizers of Camp New Dawn, HQA’s grief camp for children and teens, raised $1,800 at a guest bartending event and silent auction held at Doc’s Riverside Grille on June 15. Committee members are involved in planning, fundraising and camp operations. Pictured from left are Kendall Coppage; Liz Janega; Courtney Williams; Debbie Bowden; Rhonda Knotts, HQA bereavement coordinator and camp director; Christine Engle; and Sara Gallagher.