YMCA Youth Development Services and Saint Luke's Home Care and Hospice are teaming up again this year for a unique day camp that allows youth who have experienced loss to come together and learn how to cope. There's still time to sign up for this year's Express Yourself camp June 12-13 at Camp Naish.
Our first Express Yourself camp was an overwhelming success, and this year's camp will bring more of the same empowering lessons, such as...
IT IS OK TO FEEL: How often were you told as a child or even as an adult to keep your emotions inside? That “crying was for babies,” or that anger wasn’t ok to express? The truth of the matter is that emotions, as messy as they may be, are natural and important to express in positive ways. Youth often need to be shown what these avenues are, whether it is keeping a journal with you that you can purge your feelings, listening to a happy song, or thinking of a safe place that can calm you when you are anxious.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE: Many of the youth that participated in the camp were used to being the lone one out. Their peers knew them as “that kid whose parent died,” and they didn’t feel like they had many people to turn to. It is so vital that youth discover how large of a community they are in, and when they share their stories and feelings with others in similar places, they can form relationships that can last a lifetime.
EXPRESS YOURSELF: Last year, when asked what the best part of the day was, a majority of the youth involved agreed it was the “Express Yourself” music video that was created. Youth and counselors were able to dress up in silly costumes and dance and sing without caring what they looked like or who was watching; rather, the focus was how they felt. For those few minutes, all thoughts of the outside world were gone, and smiles and laughter filled their spaces.
The camp is designed for any kids who’ve experienced a loss or change, such as a death of a loved one, a divorce in the family, moving, the death of a pet, losing a home, a serious illness in the family or changing schools. This year's it's at Camp Naish, 1100 Martinek Lane, Bonner Springs, KS, 66012.
You may bring your child directly to the camp or to our drop-off and pick-up location at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St. Kansas City, MO, 64105. There is a $50 registration fee for each camper. Scholarships are available upon request.
Register online. Or for more information, call Pam Watkins at 913.747.6194.