The NFFF partners with Comfort Zone Camp to provide a weekend bereavement camp for children ages 7-17 of fallen firefighters who have been honored in Emmitsburg.
Campers will be paired with Big Buddies through the Comfort Zone Camp program, many of whom are firefighters. They will meet others with a similar loss in Healing Circles, work together as a team on the challenge course, play games and engage in outdoor camp activities.
Camp HAL (Healing After Loss) is for children ages 4-6 of fallen firefighters who have been honored in Emmitsburg. This camp program is led by licensed therapists who specialize in working with young children who are grieving. With support from NFFF staff and volunteers, the camp program uses play therapy and expressive therapy to help children express themselves in their natural language.
This camp includes a mix of activities appropriate for this age group, as well as some activities for children and parents together. Children will stay with their parent overnight and when they are not in camp sessions.
The NFFF provides support for parents and guardians during the camp weekend. Parents/Guardians will attend sessions on how grief affects the family, developmental issues related to grief and parenting strategies to help support grieving children. Resources include a two-part discussion with peers and opportunities for self-care and relaxation. It is also a chance to connect with others who have experienced a similar loss.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation assists with travel expenses and provides lodging for campers and parents/guardians. Fire service volunteers will help with the children’s activities.