Camp Good Mourning... at Home!
This year, due to the COVID-19 virus, Kate's Club made a decision for the health and wellbeing of our members, to not have camp in-person, but offer a unique virtual experience.
Camp Good Mourning will be an interactive and exciting “at home” camp experience in the month of August, including the weekend of August 21 - August 23.
We have planned a meaningful and fun camp experience and cannot wait to see our members!
Frequently Asked Questions about Camp Good Mourning at Home
We want to run a modified camp program safely and responsibly this fall. We are working in conjunction with guidelines from the CDC, state, and local experts for in-person Clubhouse programming at some point this fall. Although we have altered the fundamental structure of Camp Good Mourning, our goal is to deliver the same authentic, professional, and empowering experiences that you are used to receiving from this program.
Campers are a part of a virtual group, that they will experience live activity groups with their peers and Buddy Volunteers from Kate's Club. They will also have access to pre-recorded activities from Camp Twin Lakes. We will host online interactive activities and games that will be combined with grief education and emotional support to help campers with their loss. The purpose of the virtual camp is to provide campers with a sense of fun, community, and social connections with other campers.
Cabin Chats will take place two evenings via Zoom before camp weekend begins. Campers will be able to get to know the Buddy Volunteers and other campers in their cabin by playing fun games and having meaningful conversations. Official Camp weekend will start with a Welcome Ceremony on Friday, August 21 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. There will be activities throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, ending on Sunday, August 23 at 7:00 pm with a Closing Ceremony. Kate’s Club will provide three live sessions on Saturday and three live sessions on Sunday, which will be broken up throughout the camp day to allow off-screen breaks and completion of offline camp activities.
The camp is open to any current Kate’s Club member. If your child is not a member yet, is between the age of 5-18, and has experienced the death of a parent or sibling, please complete a member application on our website.
- A valid parent/guardian email address that is checked regularly.
- A laptop or a desktop computer will work best; however, a tablet will work as well. As a last resort, you could use a phone, but we recommend a larger screen for a better experience.
- A working webcam, audio, microphone, and stable Wi-Fi. (These are frequently built in to laptops, but please double check.)
- A comfortable and quiet work area. Some of our virtual camp sessions do include physical activity, so space to move around is highly encouraged.
Registration for camp will open on Wednesday, July 1. If you have not attended Camp Good Mourning in past years, you will create a CampDoc account using your email and a password. If you are returning camper family, you will use your past account information. Once you register your child/children, Debra Brook will send you instructions about the camp platform. If you have more than one child, add their registration using the tab on the left upper side via CampDoc.
Kate’s Club is staggering activity times throughout the days to support families who may only have one device. Please let us know if this is the situation for your family and we will reach out to you to discuss options for cabin groups and schedules.
Kate’s Club is asking for a full commitment of Cabin Chat times as well as every scheduled activity over the weekend. This is a big commitment, so please review all dates and times before registering. Camp Good Mourning at Home will only work with the full participation of our campers.
Parents may need to assist their child with setting up technology (ensuring the computer is charged and connected to internet, getting logged in, etc) so their child can work independently. Kate’s Club asks that campers are in a setting that provides some confidentiality and a clear work space for activities. Buddy Volunteers are trained to guide their campers through the schedule without parental assistance. Camp Good Mourning at Home is designed to provide the opportunity for bonding and sharing among the campers and teens and parents/guardians are asked to provide a private space for live sessions scheduled. Some of the pre-recorded video challenges from Camp Twin Lakes may need parent permission and support.
Kate’s Club is a Camp Twin Lakes partner and Camp Good Mourning at Home will be accessed via their organizational platform, D2L Brightspace. Campers will have exclusive, one link access to our virtual camp. All activities are designed to take place in a home or backyard and they are mixed with plenty of off-screen challenges and contests during the camp day. Campers earn badges from Camp Twin Lakes to earn special treats at the end of the weekend for completing the offline content.
A "Camp Box" is included with your virtual camp registration. The box contains items such as a camp t-shirt, water bottle, schedules, and all activity supplies needed to participate. Boxes are available for pickup, shipping, or no contact home delivery during the week of August 17. You will be able to choose which option is best to receive your box when you register. Home delivery can only be done max. 20 miles from Kate’s Club.
Campers will use functions on Zoom to make the experience more interactive. We ask that campers keep their video on for the duration of the live stream program portions to ensure they stay concentrated and enhance communication with our Buddy Volunteers. Campers may be asked to respond to polls or use the chat feature at times. We will also use breakout rooms in Zoom, to maintain smaller groups and increase the level of supervision and connection.
All safety measures are planned, approved, and monitored by Debra Brook, the Camp Director. Behavior and internet safety expectations are reviewed each morning with campers and reminders are given throughout the camp day. Only enrolled Kate’s Club campers have access to the platform; this is not a public access platform. The camper's name and age are the only pieces of information stored in the virtual platform.
In Cabin Chats, Buddy Volunteers will help campers get to know each other by playing games and sharing their grief stories in a comfortable setting. Buddy Volunteers will be assigned to each age group and lead these programs under the supervision of Kate’s Club staff. The Friday night ceremony is an all-camp activity, with special guests and activities. This is when we will ask campers to open their camper boxes! Activities on Saturday and Sunday will be split up by ages and staggered throughout the day, allowing families with only one device to share with siblings. There will be an all-camp closing ceremony for the last session on Sunday.
Camp Good Mourning at Home is staffed with experienced Kate’s Club staff and trained Buddy Volunteers to ensure that every camper has the best possible experience for the weekend. If there are behavioral or emotional concerns, Kate’s Club staff will reach out to parents/guardians immediately. Resources will be given out ahead of time to help adult caregivers in supporting children at home.
Buddy Volunteers are existing Kate’s Club volunteers who have been vetted through background screens, reference checks, and have participated in multiple Clubhouse programs. All Buddy Volunteers participate in additional training that includes internet safety, leadership and supervision, youth development, being a role model, activity planning, and camp curriculum. Each group of campers will have two to three Buddy Volunteers. All Buddy Volunteers and Kate’s Club staff are . This means that if any member reports abuse, neglect, or an intention to harm or to harm someone else it will be reported to the appropriate authority.
Bereaved children and teens need a safe place to express their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. They will have opportunities to recognize the ways that each person’s mourning process is unique, as well as the many experiences they have in common with other bereaved children and teens. Since there is neither a single road map nor a fixed timetable for grief, camp is dedicated to fostering coping skills that help each bereaved child and teen cope with their loss during and after the camp.
With education and understanding, we assist campers in building a framework that helps them make sense of their experience. Campers will have opportunities to honor and celebrate their special person who died. Their experiences at Camp Good Mourning at Home can help them begin to heal and build a lifelong foundation for healthy grief.
Grief is a healthy and fitting response to the death of someone who is important to us. Individuals often have different ways to cope with grief. Camp Good Mourning at Home offers multiple ways for children and teens to express themselves and develop healthy coping skills through talking, listening, and playing interactive games and hands-on therapeutic activities. We provide active, quiet, and reflective times along with a safe online environment for each camper to address his or her unique grief, and to virtually be with others who have experienced similar losses.
Regardless of how long ago a death occurred, children and teens revisit their grief at various points throughout their lives, on important anniversaries, special occasions, or as they reach new ages and developmental milestones.
The campers will be split into three age groups: Littles (5-8), Middles (9-12), and Teens (13-18). They will be with their age groups throughout all cabin chats and camp weekend activities. The only times they will not be with their age groups is during the all-camp opening ceremony and closing ceremony. Kate’s Club will work with families who may have siblings close in age and not have individual devices for their children. We have created a schedule with staggered activity times to support this situation.
Please consider donating as your budget allows. If you are able to make a donation, please send your check to Kate's Club at 1190 West Druid Hills Drive NE, Suite T80, Atlanta, GA 30329 or make a donation online.
Camp Good Mourning is the highlight of the year for Kate’s Club members and volunteers! This special bi-annual gathering brings kids together in a traditional camp setting to enjoy activities, friendship and to learn how to deal with their grief in a positive way. At Camp Twin Lakes in Winder, Georgia, kids swim, hike, rock climb, play music, make arts and crafts and attend the annual camp dance.
Children also participate in grief support activities which support sharing their loss with their peers and learning new ways to cope with their feelings. Camp costs about $500 per camper, and as with all Kate’s Club programming, we offer it 100% free of charge to members and their families. If you’d like to help a grieving child experience this life-changing weekend at Camp Good Mourning, donate here.
Important information about attending camp
- You must be a member of Kate’s Club to be eligible for Camp Good Mourning. Applications need to be completely filled out which includes a photo of their loved one, a copy of their insurance card, and a date chosen to attend the camp orientation for parents and guardians. Applications can not be processed without all components. Parents and guardians will received a confirmation email or letter once the application has been approved. Please apply as soon as possible – space is limited.
- Returning Campers: Please make sure you use the same email/password as last year. Most of your camper information will already be in the system.
- New Campers: To start the camper registration, make sure you create an account as a parent/guardian, using your email address. You will need to create a password for your account as you can return to the registration portal as many times as you need to complete the application. If you have multiple children, make sure to complete one application per child. New members must have attended at least 2 programs prior to attending their first camp. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Debra Brook.
All volunteers interested in being a Buddy at camp must contact Debra Brook and attend a mandatory camp training. This is an opportunity for new Buddies to learn about what to expect from camp.