Our Story Camp Good Grief

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 2017, 179 children from the New York tri-state area attended Camp.

About Our Founder

Priscilla A. Ruffin, RN, MS, NPP was the founding President & CEO of East End Hospice whom retired 12/31/2018. She held a Masters Degree in Nursing and is licensed as a nurse practitioner in psychiatry specializing in emotional trauma, grief and bereavement. She has established innovative programs for the treatment of grief in children and adults and is the co-founder of Camp Good Grief, a day camp for grieving children now in its 27th year. She is the co-author of Jeremy Goes to Camp Good Grief, a book for grieving children and has written and lectured extensively on topics of grief, bereavement and end of life care in the professional, academic and community settings.

Camp Director

Angela Byrns, LCSW

Volunteer Coordinator

Susan DiSario, RN

East End Hospice President & CEO

Mary C. Crosby, RN, MPH, CHPN

Art Therapy Coordinator

Mikella Millen, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT