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McKean County VNA and Hospice Hosting Sixth Annual Helping Hands Retreat

Posted on: 07/21/2011

Through philanthropic support from the Bradford Hospital Foundation’s Melissa A. Price Fund, the McKean County Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and Hospice is hosting the sixth annual “Helping Hands” Retreat, August 5-7 at Camp Penuel in Eldred, Pa.


The annual bereavement retreat, which is free of charge, provides emotional counseling and support to children – ages seven though 12 – who are grieving from the loss of a family member, friend or even a family pet. Children with parents going through a divorce, or who have experienced any significant life-altering event, may also attend.


“Young people go through the same grieving process as adults, and it’s very important that they receive necessary care and support,” said Monica Miller, RN, Director of Nursing for the McKean County VNA and Hospice. “Our retreat gives children meaningful interaction with their peers, helping them understand that they are not alone in their grief.”


Staffed by nurses, social workers and hospital volunteers, the Helping Hands Retreat combines fun events with therapeutic activities, allowing children to recognize the various emotional aspects of the grieving process.  The camp accommodates up to 30 children, and welcomes previous attendees to return for continued support. Activities include therapeutic games, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, bonfires, fishing, and swimming sessions that are supervised by a certified lifeguard. The Legion Riders will provide motorcycle rides for the campers as well.


“Historically, we’ve seen children make tremendous progress during their time at our retreat,” Ms. Miller said. “As the camp progresses, you begin to see signs of healing. Children are able to trust our professionals, and it’s easy for them to relate to their peers at the camp.”


Children need only bring a sleeping bag, pillow, clothes and toiletries to attend. For more information, or to apply, call the McKean County VNA and Hospice at 814.362.7466. The deadline for applications is July 29.


To support future bereavement camps, contact the Bradford Hospital Foundation at 814.362.3200. Bradford Regional Medical Center is a member of Upper Allegheny Health System.  For more information, visit www.brmc.com.



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