What is Camp Erin®?
Camp Erin is a free, weekend-long summer camp for children and teens (ages 6-17) who have experienced the death of someone close to them. It is a traditional, fun, high-energy camp combined with grief education, peer bonding, and emotional support.
How much does it cost?
Through an initial grant from The Moyer Foundation and generous donations from the community and volunteers, Camp Erin is FREE to all campers.
When is it?
July 21-23, 2017
Where is it?
Camp Erin takes place at Camp Akiva near Point, Texas just south of Lake Tawakoni. Families are responsible for their own transportation to and from camp.
How does a grieving child benefit from an experience like Camp Erin?
Being a grieving child is a lonely experience. Often a child is the only one in class who has lost a mom or dad, a brother or sister. At a time in a child’s life when it feels very important to fit in, grief can make him or her feel different, isolated. Camp Erin allows a grieving child to be with other children who share these feelings. It is such a relief for them to know that they are not alone.
Grieving children learn that their feelings are perfectly normal. The feelings that accompany grief can be intense and overwhelming. Sometimes people even worry that they are “going crazy” with grief. Camp Erin shows children that what they are experiencing, although painful, is perfectly normal.
Grieving children have an opportunity to address their feelings and memorialize their loved ones. Children often do not have an avenue to express their grief or to honor and remember the person they held dear. Through a variety of activities including drama, arts and crafts, creative writing and physical activities, children have the opportunity to “get their feelings out” while memorializing their loved one.
How did Camp Erin get started? What is the Moyer Foundation?
The Moyer Foundation was founded in 2000 by World Series champion, Major League All-Star pitcher, Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen. The Foundation’s mission is to help children in physical, emotional or financial distress.
The Foundation’s largest initiative is Camp Erin, named in memory of Erin Metcalf, who developed liver cancer at the age of 15. Karen and Jamie Moyer met Erin during Spring Training in 1998, and they developed a special friendship with Erin and her family. In June of 2000, when Erin died at the age of 17, the Moyers decided to honor Erin’s memory by starting a grief camp for kids.
With over 40 camps in 25 states and two in Canada, Camp Erin is the largest bereavement camp in the country, serving nearly 2,500 children and teens annually. With the community’s support of the Campaign for Kids, The Moyer Foundation plans to establish as many as 60 new camps nationwide – including at least one camp in every Major League Baseball city. The Moyer Foundation partnered with ChristianWorks to establish Camp Erin – Dallas/Fort Worth.
Is Camp Erin a religious camp?
Camp Erin accepts staff, volunteers and campers of any religion or faith or of no practicing religion or faith. It does not encourage or discourage the practice of religion during its bereavement camp, nor does Camp Erin discriminate against or promote the practice of one religion over another. Children will be allowed, however, to grieve their loss in the way that is most appropriate and comfortable to them. No child will be prevented from accessing his/her faith during the weekend if that is what a camper wishes to do.