Health: Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center offers free camp for grieving children and teens

Staff Report

Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center and The Moyer Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, have announced the May 21 deadline for camper registrations. Camp Erin Chicago/Northern Illinois is a camp designed for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. The camp will take place July 7-10, 2011, at Wesley Woods Conference Center, Williams Bay, Wis., about one hour northeast of Rockford.

Camp Erin Chicago/Northern Illinois, a four-day, three-night experience filled with traditional and fun camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support, is offered free to all families. Transportation will be provided from Rockford to Camp Erin and back.

Camp Erin Chicago/Northern Illinois is facilitated through a partnership with The Moyer Foundation and Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center. The Moyer Foundation partners with healthcare and bereavement organizations in local organizations to help fund, develop, and grow Camp Erin nationwide. Camp Erin is the largest bereavement camp in the country, with more than 40 camps in more than 25 states and one in Canada.

According to U.S. Census Reports, more than 32,000 children between the Rockford and metro Chicago areas have suffered the loss of a family member. Research indicates that without proper support, these children face much higher risks for problems such as emotional difficulties/problems and substance abuse. Camp Erin teaches children healthy ways to cope with grief, and provides resources for children to use during and after camp.

Bereavement experts and trained volunteers from Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center has offered summer grief camps for youth since 1992.

“Camp Erin addresses the needs of grieving children by decreasing their sense of isolation and normalizing their experiences and feelings,” said Cindy Brown, director of the Grief Center of Northern Illinois Hospice. “We look forward to working together with The Moyer Foundation to bring Camp Erin to children and teens in our community.”

The Moyer Foundation also works with more than 100 Camp Erin Advocates and Supporters—national bereavement experts, celebrities and professional athletes—to help raise awareness and funds for Camp Erin.

“My wife Karen and I are grateful to everyone who is getting involved to help support Camp Erin in their communities and on a national level, bringing this much-needed service to more children in more cities each year,” said Jamie Moyer, president of The Moyer Foundation.

For more information on Camp Erin Chicago/Northern Illinois, visit or call (815) 398-0500.

For more information on all Camp Erin locations, ways to get involved with the program, and general information about The Moyer Foundation, visit

From the May 18-24, 2011 issue

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