‘Superheroes’ Converge on Melbourne and Hospice of Health First Bright Star Camp for Grieving Kids
By Space Coast Daily // July 14, 2023
Hospice of Health First’s Bright Star focused on social and emotional support program for grieving kids and teens
Free camp for children dealing with the loss of a family member provided fellowship, support, and smiles!
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – They came all the way from Orlando (because, well, isn’t that where ALL superheroes call home base these days?) donning full crime-fighting gear, capes and shields.
But today’s mission for “Marvel” and “Captain U.S.A.” wasn’t to save the day by combatting an extraterrestrial bad guy – it was to bring uplifting smiles, laughter, and encouragement.
For the first time in several years, Bright Star – Hospice of Health First’s focused social and emotional support program for grieving kids and teens – hosted its week-long superhero-themed summer camp.
Depending on the number of the campers, programming and curriculum is expected to be tailored to four age groups.
“We are using superheroes as a theme because, you know, through that imaginary piece, children can find their superpower, find what it is within them that is going to bring them through some difficult times,” says Camp Director Nicolle Conley, Bright Star’s Bereavement Coordinator.
Bright Star is a year-round space for children (beginning at 5 years) and teens who have suffered typically the loss of a parent or a close grandparent. This specialized grief support program meets twice monthly for 90 minutes, empowering young people to thrive after loss through emotional support, learning and creative play. And adults are a part of the healing process.
“Monday when we got to the day first, we were just, like, learning what our superhero names are going to be and what our secret identity was,” said one young camper. “And then the second day we were like, finding out, like, what we do like. And then the third day we went to superhero training. Today, we’re actually becoming superheroes.”
The summer camp can be a springboard to further participation in regular programs.
“We’re a place where kids can come and receive peer support and individual support,” said Conley. “It’s my hope that they see us as more than a place, but a warm environment where new healing memories are created. A space for kids to get in touch with the metaphorical or imaginative aspects of childhood in order to process their grief feelings.”
Bright Star is a grief support program for the Space Coast community that’s funded in large part by the Health First Foundation. More about the Foundation can be found at HF.org/Give.
For more information about Health First’s Bright Star program for grieving children and teens, visit HF.org/Brightstar, or call 321.434.7622. Visit HF.org/news to keep up with the latest at Health First.