In June 2003, we lost our little boy, Michael, to a brain tumor after a 9 month fight. Our hospice nurse was the first person to suggest Camp Sol to us. I was very nervous about attending camp, but I thought that it would be helpful for our daughter. I never knew just how much Camp Sol would help me too. We have been to Camp Sol 8 times now and each time we leave there we are in a better place than when we arrived. I love that get we get to spend time as a family not only healing, but having fun without the distractions of everyday life. I also love that our daughter is getting "help" without realizing it - she just thinks she is having fun. Getting to spend so much time with other families who have been through this same loss and "get it" is so helpful in knowing that you are not alone. We love Camp Sol and I can't imagine where we would be if it was not for them.
In 2007, our 4th son was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 prior to deliver. After the delivery, we had to have hospice before we could leave the hospital. We had wonderful a hospice nurse and child life specialist that also voluntered with Camp Sol. My sister worked at Children's so she was familiar with others that voluntered with Camp Sol. After our son passed away after 14 amazing days, we were on our own to figure things out as to feeling "normal" again. As the holidays approached, we received information about Camp Sol's holiday gathering. We went and felt very reassured that our "normal" was okay. In March of 2008, our family went to our first Camp Sol camp. The experience was amazing. We have tried to go every year since and to the other events which my children refer as "fake Camp Sol" They refer the overnight as the real Camp Sol and are so excited when they see the envelope in the mail. Now, we have a legacy child that will have an opportunity to feel like he knew his brother, also.
My son passed away in 2006. My older children, husband and I attended Camp Sol's Spring Family Retreat in 2007. I initially went "for the kids". I am so glad I did! We all benefited individually, but the greatest thing was how it helped our family. The breakout sessions for the parents were helpful and comforting for my husband and I. The kids loved the music and play therapy and remembrance activities. The last thing we did was a remembrance ceremony, as a family. It was incredible and heartbreaking - but in a very constructive way. (I know that sounds strange, but when you've buried a child your life becomes a giant conundrum!)
We have returned every year, no question about it! My kids start asking to pack several weeks prior, not because it's necessary, but because they just can't wait!
Camp Sol is an organization dedicated to helping families that have experience the death of a child. Their mission is to "Heal the family heart". I am a 34 year old father of 4, 3 boys and 1 girl ranging from 2 years to 11 years. In 2006, our 3rd child pasted an away at the age of 3 months. It was SIDS and completely unexpected. While we were at Children's Medical Center we met a wonder child life counselor that suggested we contact Camp Sol. We did so and the following March, we went to our first Camp Sol retreat, scared and confused because we were struggling with our grief and how to help our 2 older children grieve. At Camp Sol, we met other people who were going through it and for the first time in months felt like we were not "Crazy", we were grieving normally. We were able to talk openly about our experience, our emotions, struggles and ideas for how to move forward, but the most important think was we were given hope that we would smile again, that life would still go on, and that it would be a bumpy road, but to hang on. This time with my family and the friends we have made has really help in the healing of my families "Heart".
Review from Guidestar