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Experience Camps Launches Virtual Grief Camp

Multi-platinum Artist Andy Grammer Kicks Off Camp Week with Live Concert

Vista CA— Experience Camps for Grieving Children is kicking off the national nonprofit organization’s first ever virtual camp this week with a live concert from multi-platinum artist Andy Grammer. More than 900 kids from across the country who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or caregiver will join hundreds of volunteers, including magician Zack King and retired NFL player Jon Dorenbos for live and on-demand instruction, activities, and camp camaraderie.

Experience Camps was founded in 2009 as a free one-week summer camp program for grieving children ages 9-17. Camp organizers cancelled in-person camp activities this summer in Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California in response to COVID-19 health guidelines. With a growing waiting list of campers nationwide, Experience Camps recognized the expanding need for programs like its own this year and organized the nonprofit’s first ever digital camp experience.

From August 3-8, 900+ grieving kids will learn new skills, share their grief experience and connect with Experience Camp’s clinical staff members. Virtual activities include yoga, journaling, origami, computer game coding, and making craft puppets. Each camper already received a ‘camp-in-a-box’ funded by individual sponsors across the country with 12 items carefully chosen to spark joy and connection, from a s’mores builder and name necklace kit to a journal and camp t-shirt.

The largest live event on the schedule is the program’s kick-off concert event with Andy Grammer, who will perform live on Aug. 3 at 6:30 PM EST. Grammer lost his mom, Kathy, ten years ago to breast cancer. Kathy left an amazing impact on Grammer, he recently released a song called “She’d Say” sharing advice from his mother for his first-born daughter, Louisiana K. While campers will be socially distant this year, logging on from computers and mobile devices in their homes, the virtual camp experience is sure to break down barriers and create life-long friends again this summer. A best of collection of video tutorials and camp activities is available to the public on the organization’s website.

“We know that kids process grief through play – the common language of childhood. It’s where kids often feel most comfortable with their emotions,” said Cara Allen, Chief Clinical Officer for Experience Camps. “Each year, our campers get the regular sleepaway summer camp experience combined with specific activities to help them learn how to deal with their feelings of grief, stress and loss. This year we can’t be physically together, but we can still provide a safe and caring place for kids to grieve together and connect with others who are experiencing similar loss.”

Experience Camps seeks to reframe the experience of grief and empower kids to develop invaluable coping skills, enabling them to move forward with their lives. In addition to virtual camp, this year Experience Camps is providing new caregiver support through digital office hours with its Clinical Director Cara Allen and a free one-year subscription for virtual grief coaching support for each camper.

“Experience Camps connects grieving children with experiences that will change their lives forever. Many of our campers call it the best week of the year,” said founder of Experience Camps Sara Deren. “This year’s camp may look a little different, but its goal is the same – creating life-long connections between campers and volunteers. Next year, the in-person camp experience will be even sweeter and the need even greater. We are so thankful for all of our volunteers and supporters across the country for their help.”

To learn how you can support Experience Camps, visit: https://www.experience.camp/.


About Experience Camps

Experience Camps are free one-week camps for boys and girls who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. It’s a place where kids can laugh, cry, play, create, remember the person who died, or forget the grief that weighs them down. It’s a place where they can feel “normal”, because everyone there has been through something similar and understands what it’s like to lose someone important to them. In 2020, Experience Camps will bring together more than 800 campers and volunteers in Maine, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. For more information, visit www.experience.camp or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Andy Grammer

Former street performer Andy Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of pop hits, seven certified gold or better. He relishes in the privilege to impact fan’s lives through music and culture through the themes of his feel good hits. In his podcast he asks celebrity guests life’s deeper questions that people don’t necessarily talk about in pop culture, highlighting the topics of spirituality, inspiration, resilience, entrepreneurship, parenting and relationships. His debut album featured the platinum singles “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me.” Andy’s second album, Magazines or Novels, featured the quadruple platinum worldwide hit “Honey, I’m Good,” one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah).” Andy’s third album, The Good Parts, included global smash hit “Fresh Eyes.” His latest album Naive went straight to #1 Pop Album the day of release and included his latest hit single, “Don’t Give Up on Me.”

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