When a loved one dies people grieve and often struggle to cope. Our Camp STARS bereavement camp for families is designed to help people understand their feelings of loss are normal and that they are not alone. We provide a safe environment for families to meet others in similar situations and learn how to grieve in emotionally healthy ways. Family members will find the weekend filled with the opportunity to express their grief in groups, bond with family members, establish new friendships and just have fun. The camps are staffed by counselors, social workers, chaplains and others who have experience working with the bereaved. Community volunteers are also integral to the Camp STARS program.
Camp STARS, founded in 1994 as the first bereavement camp of its kind in Georgia, is located 50 miles east of Atlanta on 300 beautiful acres at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia. This unique facility provides a great camping experience in a nurturing, fully-accessible environment. There is no cost for camp other than a small administrative fee of $40 per family. Camp STARS relies on the generosity of The Junior League of Atlanta, The Billie S. Been Foundation and other community donations to make it possible for families to attend camp regardless of their ability to pay.
Families attending Camp STARS:
Schaune Griffin, Bereavement Counselor at Visiting Nurse: “It is very rewarding to see how the camp experience helps families adjust to changing roles after the death of a loved one. An extended family—grandmother, adult children and their spouses, and grandchildren—attended one year after they had lost their “social glue” through the death of the adult sister who planned family gatherings around Sundays and holidays. The family had not been together since her homecoming service. At camp, in their support group, her siblings and their spouses realized this and talked about taking on their sister’s role as part of her legacy—keeping the family truly together after her death. This family has returned to Camp STARS and continues to develop and strengthen the bonds that their sister taught them to maintain, especially since their mother and grandmother have now also died.”