Camp Encourage provides long term benefits


MARIA STEIN — New in 2016, to align with State of the Heart’s re-branding and expansion, Camp BEARable is now Camp Encourage. Camp will still include all the great services and activities you have come to know and love, just with a new name.

Children grieve differently than adults and have special needs to work through their grief and loss. State of the Heart Care provides an important outreach for them – a grief camp for children, called Camp Encourage. The free camp, for kids ages 6-15, will be held July 15-17 at the Spiritual Center of Maria Stein, Ohio. The camp is a safe environment where children are surrounded by other kids who are experiencing the same feelings they have. Games and fun activities are mixed with dialogue about feelings of loss and grief, and each child is paired with a specially trained adult “buddy.”

In addition to helping children cope with an immediate loss, there are numerous long term benefits for campers. Camp Encourage teaches positive coping skills that children can carry with them through life, such as implementing the coping skills they learned at camp in stressful situations (breathing, talking it out), with new losses they may experience as children and adults, and understanding how to express their emotions in productive and healthy ways. “Campers learn tools for healthy emotional expression,” said Ashlee Carder, Camp Director. “Instead of turning to destructive methods such as drugs, alcohol or self-harm, children learn how to express their feelings verbally, emotionally, physically and socially.” Parents or guardians often see a positive growth in the child’s grades as well. Children are able to focus on their work as they’re not so consumed with grief and questions.

Children sleep in air conditioned facilities and are provided meals and snacks. They participate in a variety of group activities and discussion time. At the end of camp, children go home with new friends they can talk to and special keepsakes they’ve made over the weekend.

If you feel like your child may be interested in attending Camp Encourage, and you would like some more information, please contact Ashlee Carder at 800-417-7535 or via email [email protected]. Information and registration forms are also available on our website,

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