On a beautiful morning in August, children gathered at Lory’s Place for our annual Camp Lifetimes, this year focusing on their inner grief ninja warrior. An opening ceremony gave participants the chance to share about the person in their life who had died while placing their photo on a display board for the day. The importance of mindfulness, calm, and focus in grieving and stressful situations were taught as campers were led through a belly breathing exercise. They were then introduced to the grief ninja warrior skills that help them to care for themselves and others who are grieving.
- Agility and flexibility to adapt to daily life without their person.
- Mindfulness to be in the present while learning from the past.
- Zen-like calm to prepare for big grief feelings.
Campers then took some time to write out their strengths when working through their grief. With the help of their adult group leaders, kids identified many strengths such as cooking, drawing, being kind, taking care of animals, and having and being a friend. Using these strengths, they decorated their own shields with markers, along with the names of people who love and support them, some of their favorite activities, and some amazing artwork!
Ninja skills in action at Power in Motion Gymnastics, Dance, & Cheer
Power in Motion instructors led participants through various physical ninja activities. The group was taken through a ninja course where they were taught how to complete a variety of physical challenges. Participants ran, leapt, tumbled, somersaulted, and soared until they were literally exhausted. This opportunity to overcome challenges while being so physically active was an ideal way for the participants to use their best ninja grief skill of all – play.
A time for reflection
Upon returning to Lory’s Place campers were joined by parents, guardians, and siblings for a closing ceremony. Campers took turns retrieving their picture of the person who died and received a ninja warrior belt and headband. Wrapping up camp, participants left more prepared to use their ninja grief warrior skills to process and express feelings of grief and healing. A huge thank you to The Heart of Cook for the grant that made our 2021 Camp Lifetimes possible and to Soulard’s Bakery for the beautiful ninja warrior cookies each participant got to take home with them.