Lory’s Place Camp Lifetimes 2017 welcomed 24 campers from 11 different cities throughout southwest Michigan to Fernwood Botanical Gardens. This year’s theme for camp was Rhythms of Life which offered opportunities for campers to be creative and remember deceased loved ones. For many of our campers, decorating their own drums offered a new way to express their feelings. For some, developing their own feeling shields was an opportunity to identify a variety of emotions that accompany grief, helping campers realize that we all need an outlet from the intensity of grief.
One of the most popular activities of the day took place at Fernwood’s Nature Center. Wendy, the staff naturalist, shared some special nature friends with our campers and they had an opportunity to touch and see the animals up close.
Next, Brian, Cultural Specialist with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, shared the Native American approach to grief with the campers, explaining that grief has its own rhythm as it navigates the many emotions and feelings associated with death. Our campers learned that expressing our emotions enables us to turn grief into mourning, and allows healing to begin. Camp Lifetimes truly gave these children a memorable experience on their own personal grief journeys.