Camp Firefly for bereaved children will be in-person this year

The camp will be held at YMCA of the Pines, where children can take time to remember their loved ones who have died.

Children enjoying craft activities at Camp Firefly in pre-pandemic days (Moorestown Visiting Nurses & Hospice/Special to The Sun).

The following release is from Camp Firefly:

Continuing to meet the challenges of the pandemic and all of the issues generated by COVID-19, Moorestown Visiting Nurses & Hospice has announced the return of their in-person Camp Firefly grief support program for children in 2021. The Camp Firefly program is available to bereaved children ages 7-14 from Burlington, Camden or Gloucester counties.

Moorestown Visiting Nurses & Hospice has closely monitored the situation with COVID-19 as it relates to Camp Firefly and is following the guidelines of the CDC and the State of New Jersey to ensure the safest possible experience at camp this summer. Meeting present conditions, Camp Firefly will be held for a single day, Saturday, August 28 from 8:00am to 9:00pm, in the mostly outdoor and open-air setting of YMCA of the Pines in Medford, NJ.

The day at Camp Firefly will include traditional, entertaining camp activities such as canoeing, outdoor games, and a cookout. Throughout the day, children will take time to remember lost parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and friends as they engage in therapeutic arts-and-craft and other meaningful activities specifically designed to help them express feelings and develop new, positive ways of coping with grief. Supportive activities include the creation of a “luminary bag” dedicated to the memory of a lost loved one. Campers will decorate their luminary with favorite personal photos, thoughts and drawings in honor of their loved one. In a moving evening service, each luminary bag will be candlelit and displayed along a path where children can reflect and spend time to say goodbye.

The Camp Firefly grief support program for children was built on the agency’s caring mission to provide community health care services that promote health, independence, and dignity, and to teach people to care for themselves and each other. As such, their highest priority is to maintain and protect the health and safety of the children, families, volunteers and staff who come together at Camp Firefly each year.

According to Moorestown VNA President/CEO Chickie Holcombe, “We’re rising to the challenge of continuing to support grieving children and their families during this pandemic. More than ever we need to work together for the health and safety of our children and all of our community. Formatting Camp Firefly to a single day-long event so we can still deliver our promise of grief support is just one of the ways we’ve adapted.”

The Camp Firefly program remains free to all registered children. Space fills quickly and the agency recommends applying as early as possible. Applications are currently being accepted and can be found online at www.moorestownvna.org/services/hospice/camp-firefly. To learn more about the complete range of services offered by Moorestown Visiting Nurses & Hospice contact (856) 552-1300 or services@moorestownvna.org or visit online at www.moorestownvna.org and facebook/moorestownvna.

Founded in 1904, Moorestown Visiting Nurse Association is a non-profit organization that provides home care, private duty, hospice, counseling and community wellness services to individuals and families in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.