Children learned problem-solving skills, to trust one another, and teamwork as they maneuvered through the Spider Web Challenge during the Good Grief Olympics
at Good Grief Fun Camp. The camp, which was sponsored by Putnam County Homecare and Hospice in conjunction with Trinity United Methodist Church, Putnam County Educational Service Center, and Pathways Counseling Center, ran Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Forty campers and 15 adult volunteers participated in the camp. (Photos Putnam Sentinel/Becky
Leader)
Children learned problem-solving skills, to trust one another, and teamwork as they maneuvered through the Spider Web Challenge during the Good Grief Olympics at Good Grief Fun Camp. The camp, which was sponsored by Putnam County Homecare and Hospice in conjunction with Trinity United Methodist Church, Putnam County Educational Service Center, and Pathways Counseling Center, ran Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Forty campers and 15 adult volunteers participated in the camp. (Photos Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
OTTAWA—The loss of a loved one is never easy for anyone. Children often grieve as much as adults, but in different ways. Good Grief Fun Camp, which took place at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ottawa this past week, helped children learn positive ways to express their grief and deal with their feelings, questions and concerns in a safe environment.

Forty campers, ages five through 18, attended the three-day event, which was sponsored by Putnam County Homecare and Hospice in conjunction with Trinity United Methodist Church, Putnam County Educational Service Center, and Pathways Counseling Center. The activities during the event were designed to facilitate discussion on grieving. Trained counselors gave children the opportunity to share their losses with their peers and with caring adults.

“Some kids don’t share much here (at camp),” noted Julia Mason, Putnam County Homecare and Hospice’s Medical Social Service Coordinator and the camp’s coordinator, “but the camp activities promote talking at home.”

Alan DiOrio, a professional artist from Lima, mentored the children to create tie-dyed t-shirts, which helped them relate the grief of losing a loved one to having a beautiful, lasting memory. Volunteer Lisa Salisburey talked to the participants about dealing with grief through exercise.

“When you exercise, your brain creates endorphins,” Salisburey explained to the attendees. “Endorphins make you happy.” The children performed various feats at an obstacle course, then ran or walked around the block.

During the camp, the children also visited Challenged Champions, where they rode horses and learned to lasso, and participated in the Good Grief Olympics. Many of the games encouraged trust, problem solving, and teamwork. They made a memory quilt; each child was given a square to draw a memory of their loved one. Children celebrated their loved ones’ birthdays with pizza, cupcakes, and a balloon release. Thursday’s closing ceremony included a video of the week’s activities, the memory quilt display, and releasing butterflies to take messages to loves ones in heaven.

Most campers were from the Putnam County area. Elizabeth Perhot, who recently experienced the loss of her grandmother, came all the way from Belleair, Florida for the week. Her mother, Julie (Kurtz) Perhot, said initially, Elizabeth was a bit apprehensive about attending the camp. “It turned out she had a great time,” Julie related. “The camp allowed her to learn about and better understand the grieving process.”