A fun and safe place for grieving children.

Comfort Zone Camp Expands to Southern California

Comfort Zone Camp Expands to Southern California


Grant Helps Expand Services for Grieving Children, an Underserved Need


MALIBU, CA, September 22, 2008- Comfort Zone Camp (CZC), the nation’s largest nonprofit bereavement camp for children ages 7-17 who have lost a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver is expanding its services to southern California.  Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CZC was founded in 1998 by Lynne Hughes and her husband, Kelly Hughes.  The first of many camps slated for southern California will be held the weekend of September 26th – 28th, 2008.  Kids from all over the nation are invited to attend the camp free of charge.


The New York Life Foundation and Comfort Zone Camp (CZC) announce that CZC was awarded a three year $3,000,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to extend the reach of Comfort Zone’s services and help raise the issue of grieving children to a national concern.  The grant will aid CZC in expanding to five regional sites with a total of 38 camps by the end of 2010, serving more than 2,400 children age 7-18, each year. 


“Our goal is to provide every grieving child with a unique experience that provides a safe and fun place for them to grieve by combining summer camp fun with group grief counseling”, said Lynne Hughes, founder and CEO of Comfort Zone Camp. “For many campers it is the first time they’re meeting somebody their own age going through the same thing they are.  It has been enormously helpful for kids to know they are not alone in their grief.  We are delighted to be opening a camp in southern California to help support our efforts to provide easy access to the thousands of grieving children nationwide.” 


The camps combine grief counseling with traditional camp activities.  Each camp ends with a memorial service with the camper’s surviving parent/guardian in attendance.  The children may sing a song, read a poem, or perform a dance with their cabin mates in honor of their loved ones.  


Another unique aspect of Comfort Zone Camp is the one-to-one pairing of children (“little buddies”) to adults (“big buddies”).  Many children come to camp “attention-starved,” as surviving parents or guardians are understandably preoccupied with their own grief.  The big buddies serve as the campers’ anchors, mentors and friends.  “Bigs” are screened and trained in grief counseling techniques and carefully matched with campers of the same gender who share the same interests.


“Comfort Zone Camp is making a very real difference in the lives of children and families from all economic and cultural backgrounds affected by a loss.  We are proud to help Comfort Zone Camp grow to serve more kids who are grieving and to be a national voice for this issue,” said Chris Park, president, New York Life Foundation.  


About Comfort Zone Camp

Comfort Zone Camp (CZC) is the nation’s largest nonprofit bereavement camp for children ages 7 to 17 who have lost a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CZC was founded in 1998 by Lynne Hughes and her husband, Kelly.  In November 2001, CZC opened a satellite camp in New Jersey for the children of 9/11 victims which is now open to the general public. Since its founding in 1998, CZC has served more than 3200 children from 38 states and Canada. All of the camps are provided free of charge and campers are welcome from anywhere in the United States; travel scholarships are available to help families. Information including camp dates, applications, corporate sponsorships, and volunteer opportunities can be found at www.ComfortZoneCamp.org or by calling toll free (866) 488-5679.


Local camper, family, volunteer, and staff interviews are available.




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