Camp Lloyd ready to help kids cope with grief after year of loss

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A camp helping children through the loss of a loved one is back in full swing this year.

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Camp Lloyd was virtual last year due to the pandemic, but leaders are preparing to welcome kids back to the campus.

“It’s scary to say, ‘Oh, I went to summer camp this year and it’s a grief camp,” said Ashton Choma, the lead buddy for the camp.

She’s been a buddy for the last three years and has seen how the camp has transformed the kids who attend.

“You definitely see them open up and flourish and see them become excited for camp,” said Choma.

Camp Lloyd is designed to help kids ages 7 to 14 cope with the loss of a loved one. It’s led by UWGB psychology students.

“Most of camp is to teach the kids that it’s okay to be a kid, that yes they are grieving but they should be able to have the joy of childhood,” said Camp Director Illene Cupit.

On Thursday, camp leaders were busy getting all the supplies ready to help kids do just that.

“We have outdoor activities... kickball, we always play Quidditch with the older kids, sidewalk chalk, arts and crafts. My favorite is making lanyards,” said Choma.

After doing a virtual camp last year, Cupit says this year’s camp is more important than ever.

“Campers, especially who have lost someone due to covid, could use a lot of support and kids who have lost somebody not because of covid have also experienced the social isolation and the inability to participate in a lot of family traditions that surround a loss,” said Cupit.

This year the camp will be held at the Brown County STEM Innovation Center. Already, 13 kids are signed up.

“There’s a need out there, that’s what it’s telling us. We can accommodate up to 48 children,” said Cupit.

For more information about the camp, click here.

The camp runs July 6-10.

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