Summer 2022 in the books
It has been a wonderful summer, but time to tie up loose ends. Who better to put an exclamation on the summer, but our very own blue heron, who I had not seen ALL summer, but arrived on our dock Sunday at 5:30 PM after everyone left camp. No words, just a sign.
The Camp Erin weekend is always an amazing, emotional, wonderful, and heartwarming experience. This year was just a little more magical with a touch of sparkle. The campers were so appreciative, open, caring and displayed a willingness to go for it all. Their attitude was matched by our volunteers who listened, cared, and were engaged. As always, their dedication and compassion remain steadfast which is the only reason Camp Erin “sparkles”!! My heart isn’t big enough to express my gratitude and appreciation.
Feedback you ask? Here are just a few of the family and camper responses from the weekend.
Family member comments
“I just wanted to say thank you again for everything you did for our kids at camp!!! It was just completely amazing on so many levels. I’m just still so full in my heart from the experience. And my kids are lighter…. I can see it and I feel that they are calmer. They seem to have more confidence already! Also, we even seem to have reconnected with our routine better for dinnertime, bedtime, and mornings. It feels better. Thank you. I’m so grateful.”
“I just got back last night, we were only staying the one night and did our hike yesterday. It was bittersweet but for the first time, something wasn’t…. and that was our time shared this weekend with all of you! I have such a different feeling in my heart now. And my kids sense it. We shared something so special, and it was so beyond wonderful to be with all of you. My kids are noticeably calmer, happier and we already making small adjustments in our relationship together. I feel lighter. I think they do too.”
“Thank you for the wonderful experience you created for my daughter and me. It exceeded my expectations by ALOT and transformed her from the girl who was NOT GOING to the girl who wants to come back as a counselor when she gets older.”
“I just wanted you to know my son absolutely loved camp! He cried that night when we were home and the next day that he missed camp and the workers and the other children. He will forever remember this experience, what it taught him and keep these memories and people with him. We are already looking forward to the walk in October where he can see whoever chooses to attend and he’s hoping to see as many of his new friends he made. Just wanted to share xo we are forever grateful for our experiences and will hold them with us in our daily lives going forward.”
“Just want to thank you for providing my daughter with such an amazing camp experience. When I asked her last night upon her return, she responded: ‘Amazing! Food is amazing, everyone is amazing! Ann was funny, Jamie was awesome’…She told me about other campers’ grieving experiences, and she was touched by their resiliency. She also learned in the camp how to express her emotions.”
“I knew the camp would be amazing for her even before this Friday. Just merely from the detailed emails you guys had distributed beforehand, I can tell how much effort you guys have put into this.”
“Again, a heartfelt Thank You for providing such an amazing experience for my daughter! Understood you guys are all volunteers, not easy to pull this together for the sake of the children. Thank you for your love and care!”
“You guys did an amazing job with all these children in such a small amount of time. I noticed how the facial expressions of these kids changed from when they first arrived at camp, to when it was time to go home. The smiles that you all were able to bring to these kids was absolutely amazing and I’m sure they will forever cherish these moments. My nephew was so inspired by you all, that he stated that he would love to volunteer in the future to be able to pass on what he learned during this weekend.”
“Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and devotion to the children, it was so comforting. In such a short timeframe you made powerful connections and such an impact on their experience. You are truly special. XOXO”
“I wish families didn’t need a camp like this, but life doesn’t always go as planned and when faced with a devastating loss this is a treasure to have, a truly magical place.”
“’Everything was amazing!’ My daughter used to avoid her emotions and didn’t talk about grief. The camp taught her how to channel and express her emotions with no shame or embarrassment and to reach out for help. She felt the sense of a grief community was important, and camp provided such.”
Camper age 7
“Camp Erin helped me to make friends and share my story with other kids. I am glad I came to Camp Erin. The adults at Camp Erin made me feel comfortable.”
Camper age 8
“Camp helped me get my feelings out and feel less lonely.”
Camper age 12
“Camp Erin helped me understand how to deal with emotions after loss. Camp helped me connect with others who also lost someone important. Camp Erin helps children understand their feelings and explained how to control emotions.”
Camper age 13
“Camp Erin helped me have fun and showed me it wasn’t hard to be brave. I am so happy I came this summer because it really helped me feel better about myself and I learned to listen more.”
Camper age 14
“Camp Erin helped me celebrate my brother after not talking about him for quite a while. It felt good to think about him and still be happy.”
Camper age 16
“Camp Erin has done so much for me that I never thought was possible. I met others who understand and became my best friends. I have never felt like this before and was able to express myself like this in a funny and emotional way.”
Camper age 16
“All of the staff at camp helped me to find peace within myself and also have fun.”
Camper age 17
“Camp helped me make friends with those who have also lost an important person in their lives. It taught me how to cope with my loss and the emotions surrounding it. I feel so supported and much less alone thanks to camp.”
Camper age 18
“Camp Erin let me challenge myself in ways I didn’t know were possible. My counselors and other campers gave me so much support in my grief. Camp gave me a place where I could learn to process my difficult feelings while appreciating the good moments and moving forward with my life.”
Camper age 19
“Camp Erin has allowed me to understand that I don’t always have to be strong for my family…. That it is OK to ask for help or express when I feel sad. It has helped me let go of negative emotions in a healthy way. I was able to step out of my comfort zone because I was surrounded by such supportive people.”
What we do in a weekend matters. Even though it is ONLY a weekend, it opens doors for healing.
A hearfelt goodbye.
This is how I introduced Jamie as the new clinical director back 2015. Yup, tennis pros for sure- but not quite sure what to do with our tennis balls. :).
The photo below obviously persuaded many to follow us into battle!
We are still laughing almost 50 years later, having been on the most wonderful ride ever. The most unexpected and most rewarding journey has been directing Camp Erin together. It has been an honor to work with her and a privilege to be by her side – first as a grief counselor beginning in 2012, then as clinical director in 2015 until now. She exudes warmth, professionalism, integrity and has held us together as we navigated the fragile world of grieving children. Her compassion, wisdom and extensive experience has guided our grief counselors and helped very hesitant campers to be open to attending the weekend. I definitely don’t have the words to express how much I will miss working with her side by side, but I know I speak for everyone when I say, “You will be missed.” So Jamie, “Thank you for your guidance, friendship and love. Cheers to your next chapter and to returning in a volunteer role.”
Director, Camp Erin New York City
A bereavement camp for children 6-17
“Where Children Learn to Grieve and Heal”
A Note from the Camp Erin NYC Clinical Director
Our recent 11th Camp Erin weekend exemplified how Camp Erin has always been an amazing, emotional, and restorative weekend for our campers and their families. This year was particularly wonderful as we were able to have a full weekend program after two years of COVID restrictions.
It is difficult to describe how transformative the experience is for so many of our campers. Many are reluctant to come to camp but do so with a nudge from their families. They arrive at camp nervous and uncomfortable, yet within an hour or so, become engaged and interactive. They, very quickly, get comfortable with their bunkmates and staff and participate in conversations about their loss. As kids, they need little encouragement to participate in fun activities, often challenging themselves with skills never yet tried.
As the Clinical Director, I have the opportunity to meet all campers and families before the weekend. The contrast between having these initial nervous meetings, and then seeing our campers connect with one another, participate in activities, and address their grief, is incredibly heartwarming. I can say, without hesitation, that this experience year after year, has been the most rewarding in my long career as a psychologist.
So it is with a heavy heart that I have announced that I will step down from my position as Clinical Director of Camp Erin. While I am stepping down, I am not stepping away. I will remain in our camp family, and resume my initial role as a Grief Chief….which I did the first 3 years we held Camp Erin!
I am thankful for these 8 years as Clinical Director, for the relationships I have enjoyed with an amazing staff of volunteers, and mostly, for my partnership with Ann Fuchs, our Camp Director. Ann and I met working at a day camp, about a century ago, and I can’t imagine having done this work with a better partner.
So, to all the incredible COPE/Camp Erin staff, families, and volunteers, I want to thank you for making this experience a treasure I will always cherish. It has been my honor to work with all of you, and I appreciate all your support, friendship, and love.
Always the best,
A bereavement camp for children 7-17.
“Where Children Learn to Grieve and Heal”
Camp erin nyc 2021
ABOUT COPE’S CAMP ERIN NYC
Camp Erin® NYC is a free, weekend bereavement camp for youth who are grieving the death of a significant person in their lives. Children and teens ages 7 to 17 attend a weekend camp experience that combines grief education and emotional support with fun, traditional camp activities. Led by bereavement professionals and caring volunteers, campers are provided a safe environment to explore their grief, learn essential coping skills, and make friends with peers who are also grieving.
“CAMP ERIN® NYC HELPED ME FIND THE PART OF ME THAT I WAS MISSING. IT MADE ME REALIZE MY DAD IS THERE AND HE WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF ME.” – CAMP ERIN ® NYC CAMPER
Camp Erin® NYC combines traditional fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. Through interactions with other children and with adults, campers learn that they are not alone in their grief. Camp Erin® NYC provides a relaxed, safe and supportive setting for children to express emotions, share their grief and learn positive coping skills. The COPE Foundation provides families with long term support.
For more information about Camp Erin® NYC, please email Camp Director Ann Fuchs at firstname.lastname@example.org
COPE offers a concurrent parent camp for caretakers of the children who attend Camp Erin® NYC (nominal charge). For more information about the parent camp, please email Camp Director Ann Fuchs at email@example.com. To view a press release about this parent camp, please click here.
COPE was awarded the 2014 Roger E. Joseph Prize for recognition of Camp Erin® NYC’s extraordinary compassion in offering generous grief support to children and teenagers as they come to grips with the death of a loved one. Past recipients have included the family who sheltered Anne Frank; Rosa Parks; Daniel Pearl, posthumously; and others.
CAMP ERIN® NYC BOWL-A-THONS
Check out photos from our past events
Your support helps grieving children build a support team, forge forever friendships and gather the tools to navigate their grief journey. THEY need you and WE need your support.
To DONATE money needed for supplies and services, see link below, or make checks payable to COPE (with a note in the memo section “Camp Erin NYC”) and send to The COPE Foundation, P.O. Box 1251, Melville, NY 11747.
For more information, please call Ann Fuchs at 914.552-6919 or email afuchs@copefoundation.
Eluna teams up with many corporate partners, individual and in-kind donors, professional teams, and community leaders to help raise awareness and generate support for Camp Erin® NYC. The generosity of local communities ensures that Camp Erin® NYC is FREE to all campers. This can only be possible with your help.
Some of the items you can donate include:
- 70 mini led flashlights
- 18 12-packs colored magic markers sharpies etc.
- 5 packs of colored tissue paper
And from Michael’s art store:
- 3 packs of 60 count foam paint brushes
- Foam Brush Value Set By Craft Smart 60 pack
- 8 bottles Liquitex® Gloss Medium & Varnish, 32 ounces
To donate and for more information please contact: Ann Fuchs, Camp Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eluna is a public, 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to support children and families impacted by grief or addiction. Founded in 2000 in Seattle by former MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer and child advocate Karen Phelps Moyer, Eluna was originally called The Moyer Foundation and launched a series of programs supporting thousands of children and families annually at no cost to them. Camp Erin® is the largest national network of grief programs for bereaved children and teens, Camp Mariposa® is a national addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth impacted by a family member’s substance use disorder, and the Eluna Resource Center offers online tools, local referrals and personalized phone and email support for families experiencing grief, addiction and other related issues. For more information, please visit elunanetwork.org.
Eluna partners with bereavement programs in local communities to help fund, develop and grow Camp Erin® nationwide. For more information, please visit elunanetwork.org
Looking for important grief resources to help a child, friend or family member in your community or nationwide? We are proud to share the Eluna Resource Center Its straightforward design makes it easy to search for articles, videos, activities, and referrals to local programs. In addition, Eluna offers free personalized recommendations with a 24-hour turn-around.