Camp Good Grief is a children’s bereavement camp offering a safe place for kids to learn to express the feelings and emotions accompanying grief. The Camp program was developed by East End Hospice in 1997 and offers a specialized therapy program combined with planned activities designed for children, ages 4-17 years who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Camp Good Grief is fun. At Camp, kids participate in traditional camp activities, with additional therapeutic education and emotional support. Experienced professionals and trained bereavement volunteers lead kids through a variety of activities – art therapy, music, structured play and group therapy – all designed to give children the special tools they need to cope with loss.
At Camp, children make connections with peers and feel supported and comforted as they learn that there are other children who understand what they are feeling and experiencing. They acquire valuable communications skills as well as friendships that last long after Camp ends.
Children attend Camp at no cost, thanks to the generosity of donations from area businesses, foundations, friends, the EEH Thrift Shop, and events like the Valentine Salon a luncheon held annually in New York City.
The need is growing! In 1997, the first year of Camp, 27 children participated; in 2019, 170 children from the New York tri-state area attended Camp. in 2020, we were able to have camp in-person, half-capacity with 89 campers with COVID safety measures in place.
About Our Founder
Camp Good Grief was founded by former East End Hospice President and CEO, Priscilla A. Ruffin, RN, MS, NPP. Priscilla established innovative programs for the treatment of grief in children and adults. She is also the co-author of Jeremy Goes to Camp Good Grief and has written and lectured extensively on topics of grief, bereavement and end of life care in the professional, academic and community settings.
Angela Byrns, LCSW
Susan DiSario, RN
East End Hospice President & CEO
Mary C. Crosby, RN, MPH, CHPN
Art Therapy Coordinator
Mikella Millen, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT