Another Camp HOPE has come and gone, and we are left with the tan lines from that sunny day and the memories that remain. The weather, albeit a little hot for this former Montana girl, was perfect. The sun was shining, a nice breeze was continuous off the lake and we felt the blessings of the day before the families even arrived. Something that I love during our camps is that moment when the air changes. That moment when families start to arrive and things go from that event planning chaos to the calm and excitement of watching these people on their grief journey right in front of us.
Spring camp is very different from fall camp, in that you get to watch these participants in their family dynamic. You watch them grieve and learn and heal together.
I will never not be amazed by the tools of expression that are utilized in camp. Comparing a giant swing hoisted up in the tree to the feelings of helplessness that we experience after a loss. Then taking that comparison and driving it home by describing how to overcome those feelings. I could go through every tool of expression and gush about them for hours, but nothing comes close to seeing it in person. I watched families listen and absorb the lessons, I like to think I watched some healing too.
Equally as amazing to watch is the bereavement team in action. Not only them, but all the volunteers. You can see the fire and the passion that they have for these children and these families. It is beyond magical to be blessed enough to capture these moments from behind the lens of a camera. I will always be grateful for that. For healing. For camp. For Shepherds Cove. For the families. For the weather. For the day.