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Sunshine camp helps children deal with loss of loved one

For a child who has lost a parent, sibling or grandparent, expressing grief is not always easy.
Sunshine Seekers Grief Camp, established in 2001 by Rowan Regional Medical Center Hospice Services, offers activities for children ages 6 to 14 promoting healing and positive expression of their feelings.
The camp, located at Saving Grace Horse Farm in Salisbury, is a safe haven for children who are grieving over the loss of a loved one.
Every spring and fall, children participate in activities such as arts and crafts, horseback riding and group discussion allowing them to bond with others who are experiencing the same emotions.
This year, Sunshine Seeker campers interacted with “The Dirty Jeans,” a 4H horse club composed of young teenagers who share a common love for horses. Joey Bullock, 4H advisor, said the kids often travel to Saving Grace Farm to gain community service hours by helping out with the horses.
The 4H members assisted in many of the activities with the Sunshine Seekers, listening as the campers shared personal stories and expressed their feelings of grief.
“Our 4H members were pleasantly surprised at what they got out of the day,” Bullock said. “They left with a new perspective on horses’ ability to facilitate healing.”
The camp is staffed by employees from Rowan Regional Medical Center Hospice Services including a bereavement counselor, social worker, nurse, hospice volunteers and the hospice chaplain. Staff from Saving Grace Farm are certified therapeutic horseback riding instructors.
For more information on the Sunshine Seekers Grief Camp, call 704-637-7645.

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