Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin DC is a free weekend, sleep-away grief camp that gives children an opportunity to enter a safe space — away from their everyday lives — to gently explore the normal process of grief. Love, laughter, learning and leisure are the needs of all children, especially those who have recently experienced the death of a loved one. The camp is not designed as a replacement for therapy but as an enjoyable opportunity to explore grief where a child’s self expression is heard, valued and honored.
- Has never attended a Wendt Center Grief Camp
- Must be between 7-17 years old
- Must have experienced a death-related loss
- Must live in the Washington/Metropolitan area
- Must be willing to come in for an interview/assessment
- Must be able to attend camp: Friday-Sunday
Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin DC is founded on the belief that every person deserves the opportunity to express his or her feelings of grief in a supportive and understanding environment. Based on this belief, the guiding principles of Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin DC are:
- Grief is a normal process in response to the loss of a loved one
- Each child has the natural capacity to heal in his or her own timeframe
- The duration and intensity of grief is unique to each individual
- Caring, listening and acceptance assist in the healing process
The Camp Model
At Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin DC, each camper is paired with an adult buddy for the weekend. Buddies are specially trained volunteers who serve as role models in the grief process and help provide companionship and support to campers. The individual attention Buddies provide campers is what makes Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin DC so special. Professional licensed therapists and counselors lead several therapeutic group sessions designed to address the age-specific needs of grieving campers.
As part of the Wendt Center’s commitment to individual well being, a $10 assessment fee is required. This assessment will measure each child’s needs related to grief and loss. Applicants are interviewed to assess for appropriateness and readiness for camp as well as other services if applicable.
If this fee prevents your child(ren) from participating in camp, please contact us (202) 624-0010. No child will be denied access to camp based on an inability to pay the $10.
Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin DCCampers enjoy a weekend of traditional camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, games and campfire activities. Our camp offers specialty activities which include seining, playback theater, drumming and music, journaling and meditation, therapeutic art, drama, and the initiative and confidence course. Campers and Buddies sleep in air-conditioned cabins and eat together community style.All the activities are specially designed to help campers express themselves and develop bonds with others. Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin DC is provided free of charge.
All prospective campers are interviewed and assessed for readiness and appropriateness prior to acceptance.
Camp Erin film, “One Last Hug” Wins Emmy
Newspaper Articles and Live Broadcast
- Download Radio Interview about “Bereavement Camps” with Stephanie Handel, Linda Perlis and Sandra Burt of Parents’ Perspective (February 2011) below.
Listen to Part 1
Listen to Part II
- Download the Washington Times article about 2009 Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin D.C.
- Read the Washington Post article about 2004 Camp Forget-Me-Not/Camp Erin D.C.