News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Camp Sunrise back to support grieving youth

After a two-year hiatus, Hospice of Redmond is bringing its free youth grief camp, Camp Sunrise, back this year. The normally three-day camp will be condensed into one day this year, scheduled for June 4.

Founded in 1998, Camp Sunrise is considered one of the finest children’s grief camps and is the longest running in Oregon. Camp Sunrise is offered to children ages 7 through 14 who reside in Central Oregon and have experienced the loss of a loved one. The bereavement camp was founded on the understanding that every child deserves the opportunity to grieve in a safe, supportive, and understanding environment. With loving support, children grieving a death can share their experience with acceptance as they move through the healing process.

“I am very grateful that we can bring Camp Sunrise back this year,” said Interim Executive Director Jane McGuire. “It greatly impacts children of Central Oregon, and we’re thrilled to make this grief support connection for families again because it is so needed.”

This year, Camp Sunrise is open to up to 40 children who reside in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties. The camp is structured to incorporate games, music, art, stories, and other therapies to teach bereaved campers about grief and how to understand their feelings. The camp is supported by professionally trained staff and volunteers. The camp’s goal is to support the campers and give them a safe space to share their experiences and learn valuable skills that help them move through their healing.

“One of the most heartwarming outcomes we witness each year at camp is how beneficial it is for grieving children to have the opportunity to come together with their peers to share their sadness,” said Diane Kellstrom, bereavement coordinator. “It is such a great comfort to them to know they are not alone, that they share similar reactions to their loss, and to help and be helped by other children who understand their pain.”

Youth are referred to Camp Sunrise from various sources, including schools, churches, counselors, organizations, and agencies that serve youth and families. Anyone interested in learning more about Camp Sunrise should visit


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