Camp Erin®-King County is a weekend, overnight camp for kids and teens between the ages of 5 and 17 who are grieving the death of a loved one. Offered free of charge to its participants, Camp Erin is a high-energy, fun camp with grief support and education woven in. Most importantly, it is a place for kids to just be kids with others who are going through similar experiences.
“I had no idea how incredible camp would end up being and what it would do for my boys,” said one Camp Erin parent.
Camp Erin is named after Erin Metcalf, a 17-year-old patient of Providence Hospice of Snohomish County who died in 2000 and was a close friend of Jamie Moyer (former All-Star pitcher for the Seattle Mariners) and his family. The Moyers provided start-up money for Camp Erin in honor of Erin’s memory. Every year, Safe Crossings Foundation dedicates a specific portion of its annual grant to Safe Crossings Program for Camp Erin®-King County.
“Camp has been really important. I wouldn’t understand the loss of my dad as well if I hadn’t had the chance to know other kids who’ve lost someone,” added her son.
Camp Erin is more than your typical camp. While it is a traditional, high-energy camp that emphasizes fun, it also provides support and education to kids who are grieving the loss of a loved one. In addition to normal camp activities (evening campfires, nature walks, arts and crafts, games and more), Camp Erin provides opportunities for healing and companionship not found in other settings. Campers engage in activities designed specifically for their ages. The camp is facilitated by professional staff affiliated with Providence Hospice of Seattle’s Safe Crossings Program, as well as trained volunteers. Adult “Big Buddy” volunteers offer additional support and companionship for campers.
For many kids, Camp Erin is the first real step into processing their grief in healthy ways. It is a vital service in which SCF is honored to play role.