Local camp helps children heal - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local camp helps children heal

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June 19, 2003
Dougherty County- Haili Egberts' father died less than a year ago.

"Everybody needs a father and a mother. I just miss having him there," Egberts said.

Her school counselor suggested she and her brother come to Camp Good Grief. Haili was apprehensive.

"I guess because I didn't like sharing my feelings with other people."

But she had an immediate bond with the group.

"We've all lost a special person."

Camp Good Grief is a bereavement camp for kids. For two days, there are activities, games and small group discussions to help them with their feelings.

"It helps them understand that their feelings are ok," director of Albany Community Hospice that sponsors the camp.

They meet other kids who know their pain.

"They may not know anybody else in their school who has ever lost a father," Woodall said.

This emotional memorial service brings the camp to an end. Campers write letters to their loved ones. In a native American tradition, the letters are burned. The smoke delivers the messages to heaven.

Now Haili knows she's one of many who hurts for someone who is gone.

"It helped me to realize that I'm not alone and there are a lot of people who lose people just as close to them," she said.

And she hopes her message made the flight to her father.

posted at 10:15 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com