Click here to view the 2019 Camp Dates!
One of the core beliefs of Okizu is that peer support, or coming together with others who share a common experience, is among the most meaningful kinds of support for people coping with cancer. For families who have experienced the death of a child, that support can be very meaningful.
At Bereaved Family Camp, the anxiety about what to say to people is often lessened, because there is no need to worry that others will be surprised, shocked, or uncomfortable.
The feeling of isolation that many families describe is also quickly diminished, merely by looking around the group and knowing that everyone shares the experience of loss.
In the community of shared experience that is Okizu, family members can tell their stories and be supported by the understanding and camaraderie instinctive to this special group. They can grieve for their child or sibling, and also celebrate the life that brought such joy, surrounded by people who truly understand.
Okizu families say it best.
“This was the first time since our son passed away that we felt understood and free to share. It was incredible to see the way our daughter blossomed in a weekend.” – Bereaved Family Camp Parent
“The benefits are many. Knowing we are not alone in our experiences. Meeting others who have a better understanding of our loss. Learning that it is okay to grieve any way we need to and that it doesn’t have to end after a specific length of time. Having a safe place to go where everyone is welcome and we can have fun experiences as a family.” – Bereaved Family Camp Parent
Bereaved Family Camps
Camp Okizu offers a chance to get away for a weekend as a family for a few days of fun, relaxation and support. There are traditional camp activities that family members can enjoy while sharing the camp with other families in a similar situation. Additionally, there is some “parents only” time (while our volunteers supervise the children in a variety of fun and exciting activities) and many group activities as well. Arts and crafts projects that create a “memorial” object are available, as well as a candlelight closing ceremony where each person is afforded the opportunity to share some thoughts. All activities at camp are optional, so families can pick and choose the ones that best meet their needs and wants.
Bereaved Teen Camps
In their everyday lives, it is so rare for a teenager to meet another teenager who has lost a sibling to cancer. This feeling of being “different” from their friends and classmates can make teens particularly vulnerable to peer pressures and social isolation. The opportunity to bond with a group in their own age range who share the experience of losing a brother or sister to cancer can be extremely healing and is described by the kids themselves as “priceless.”
Camp Okizu offers these teens the chance to get away for a weekend with kids their own age who understand what they are going through. They participate in lots of fun activities such as swimming, boating, sports and games, fishing, and high ropes climbing, and they have the opportunity to just hang out. Additionally, participants have the chance to share their stories with other teens who understand and can relate to their feelings, fears, hopes, and dreams.
Click here to view the 2018 Camp Dates!
If you would like to receive additional information about Okizu, please call the office at 415.382.9083, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.