A fun and safe place for grieving children.

parents & guardians

Parent & Guardian FAQs

What is Comfort Zone Camp?

Comfort Zone Camp is a non-profit bereavement camp for youth ages 5-25 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or legal guardian.


What will a child do at camp?

Campers participate in many typical camp activities, such as kickball, football, hiking, arts and crafts, songs, games, karaoke, camp songs and s’mores, and a low ropes challenge course. There are activities to interest any type of camper.

Though the majority of the weekend is about having traditional camp fun, Comfort Zone Camp differs in that campers also have the opportunity to share their stories and talk about their losses in their Healing Circles, or age-based support groups, which are scattered throughout the weekend.

Experience the camp weekend in more detail with our interactive Camp Experience demo.


How do I bring Comfort Zone to my Community? (Partnership)

Comfort Zone is the nation’s largest bereavement camp, having served more than 14,000 campers since our inception in 1999. Comfort Zone also works with partners across the nation to bring clinical grief support to their specific communities. We call these programs Community by Design, as each program is customized based on the need. 


What is the cost to attend?

Comfort Zone Camp is at no cost to the attending families/youth. Comfort Zone’s ability to meet the need is based on donations from individuals, camper families, corporations, grants and civic organizations.


Do campers need to live in a certain state to attend Comfort Zone Camp?

Campers come from across the country and even internationally to attend Comfort Zone Camp.  There is no restriction based on residence, but Comfort Zone camps are located in CaliforniaMassachusettsNew Jersey, North Carolina, Chicago, Florida, and Virginia. Travel assistance may be available, based on need.


How do I apply for a child to attend camp?

You must complete a camper application. As a part of the application, a Comfort Zone representative will contact you to talk about your child’s bereavement history. If we mutually determine that Comfort Zone Camp can meet the needs of your child and the next available camp space, you will be sent an email of your child’s acceptance. If Comfort Zone is unable to meet your child’s needs, we will call to discuss that with you.


How is my child matched with his or her Big Buddy?

Both campers and volunteers fill out an extensive application which allows Comfort Zone to match each individual camper with a same gender, adult Big Buddy with a similar personality, interests, hobbies, and at times, loss type. If there is a specific trait you recommend we pair with your child, please note it in your child's application.

 

How will my child be supervised throughout the weekend?

Campers are under constant supervision.  Each camper is paired one-to-one with an adult Big Buddy adult volunteer and always has at least two adults in their presence. Junior Counselors, Healing Circle Leaders, Floaters, and Comfort Zone staff are also present throughout the camp weekend. At night, campers stay in cabins with their Big Buddy as well as other campers and Big Buddies in their group. 


Where will my child sleep?

Boys and girls bunk in separate cabins and are accompanied by their big buddies. Cabins are equipped with bunk- or cot-style beds. The cabins have electricity and heat. There are always at least three adults in a cabin. Whenever possible, the campers bunk with members of their Healing Circle.


Can siblings attend camp together?

Yes, they can. You decide what will benefit your children the most. They are assigned separate Healing Circles(SM) to allow them to have their own camp experience, but they will see one another often throughout the weekend.  


Can I specify a certain date or camp for my child to attend?

Upon completion of registration, campers will be added to their regional registration list. Campers will stay on the list until they are able to attend a Comfort Zone program. You will be contacted directly by the intake coordinator when space becomes available at a future program!


Can campers come to Comfort Zone Camp more than once?

Yes, we encourage campers to continue returning to Comfort Zone Camp year-after-year. In order for us to serve as many children as possible, campers are eligible to apply for and attend one camp session each calendar year.


Are the campers provided with a list of items to bring with them or is everything provided?

We provide a list of items campers need to bring with them to camp. The packing list is included with the camper acceptance packet we send you once your child is accepted.
 

What if a camper does not have the items required to attend a camp?

We will do our best to provide sleeping bags, pillows and various toiletries if needed.
 

Can a parent/guardian volunteer at the same camp their child is attending?

No, but a parent/guardian can volunteer at a camp which their child is not in attendance.
 

Is transportation provided to the camp? Can it be provided if not available?

We ask that parents/guardians provide transportation for their children. Travel assistance may be available, based on need. Please contact us if you think you will need assistance.
 

Is Comfort Zone only for children?

No, they are for children, young adults, Parents/Guardians, and Families.

Currently, Comfort Zone’s weekend camps are offered to children and teens ages 7-17 (18 if still in high school). Parents and Guardians are invited to attend a dinner and discussion the first night at camp, on-site.  Comfort Zone's one-day programs include a parent/guardian portion at the same time and location, but separate from the kids. Based on funding, we may also have an opportunity to offer Young Adult camps for ages 19-25, and even a Parent/Guardian camp. Comfort Zone also has family Holiday Program’s as seen on the Today Show segment. Our Community By Design programs can be built for any community member. We recognize the need for professional grief support not the barriers to those services!
 

Other resources include:

Our online bereavement community and resource HelloGrief.org is available to anyone seeking a grief related community and additional grief resources.

 

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