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THE FIRST NOEL BY BRYAN DUNCAN
Losing a loved one is never easy. Camp Solari is a weekend-long bereavement camp for children (ages 6-18) and their families. The camp's mission is to teach children healthy ways to work through their grief, meet others who have experienced similar losses, and continue life as positively as possible while honoring the memories of their lost loved ones. The next Camp Solari will be held May 18-20 at Mt. Charleston Lodge.
The camp is sponsored by the non-profit Solari Hospice Foundation in partnership with Las Vegas-based Clear View Counseling. All weekend activities - lodging, meals and materials - are free to camp participants. Deadline for applications is March 30. For more information, call 702-870-0000 or visit www.solarihospice.com (click on Camp Solari link).
"Children who lose close family members during the formative years of their life often have a tough time working through their grief," says Candis Armour, R.N., executive director, Solari Hospice Care. "Camp Solari provides a unique camaraderie and bonding experience in a positive, uplifting atmosphere. Children and families realize that they aren't alone, but that there are others struggling with exactly the same issues."
"Children need to know it's okay to ask for help," adds Debora Jette, L.M.F.T., president and owner, Clear View Counseling. "It's important that they can talk to others about their grief without feeling judged or like something is wrong with them. It's also important that they feel comfortable releasing their emotions instead of bottling them up inside.
Our goal is to provide techniques and exercises that help children and families explore their feelings and thoughts, and to do so in a fun, relaxing atmosphere." Among the many planned activities are art, music, talk therapy, drumming, dancing and nature walks. Camp Solari attendees are chosen based on need and prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis.