A NEW camp for bereaved children has completed its pilot project at Queenscliff’s Cottage by the Sea with promising results.
Child bereavement organization Wombat’s Wish held its first youth camp for a dozen children last month and director Nicki Dunne said she was already advocating for more.
“I’m looking at the viability of potentially running these camps every six months, as opposed to every year,” Ms Dunne said.
“Having attended the camp myself, I found that it had a very good impact on the children who attended.
“We are going to need an additional camp simply to meet the demand. People are becoming more aware of Wombat’s Wish and what we offer statewide.
“But children who wish to participate in the youth camp will first have to participate in our family camp.”
Funded by the Anthony Costa Foundation, the weekend camp facilitated group work for participants alongside other bereaved children without parents, which is a different approach to Wombat’s Wish Family Camps held throughout the year. year.
The workshops held at the camp allowed the children to learn new techniques for coping with grief and developing healthy coping mechanisms without adopting risky behaviors.
A doctor also attended the camp to answer the questions that the participants wrote down, informing the young people of different solutions while going through difficult times.
“It was definitely a safe space which was one of the only goals of the camp, in addition to teaching the kids healthier ways to deal with grief,” Ms Dunne said.
“We also had lots of fun activities planned, like a boat trip to see seals and dolphins, but unfortunately due to the weather, that particular activity was cancelled.
“Instead, we set up several walks on the beach, some ‘chill out’ time, maps, board games and some extra tips as well. It was a great place to have a camp like this one.
Funding provided by the Anthony Costa Foundation has confirmed that the youth camp will run for another two years.
Families are not obligated to have their children attend a Wombat’s Wish camp.