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Lewes, Delaware
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July 25, 2006     Cape Gazette
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July 25, 2006
 

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CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, July 25 - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 27 Hospice embraces children at life-affirming camp Delaware Hospice's Camp New Hope hosts children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one, or in some cases, more than one. Children arrive at camp the first day, just as children arrive at all other camps the first day. They are shy, excited and anxious. But the faces of Camp New Hope kids are masking other emotions - confusion, deep sadness, anger and hurt. Camp New Hope teaches chil- dren and teens how to cope with grief. Upon arrival at Camp New Hope, children and teenagers are divided into small groups accord- ing to age to encourage bonding with each other. "Each one knows what the other is going through, and we've seen amazing healing power come from sharing with peers in a sup- portive environment," said Camp Director Lezley Robbins. "I've served Camp New Hope for 10 years, and I've never seen a group bond and comfort each other like my group this year," said bereavement counselor Don Hearn. Naming their group is the first point of business. This year's camp featured The Delaware Yankees, the New Hope Champs, the American Flags and the Wolf Gang. Each day's schedule carefully balances bereavement activities with fun activities of sports or crafts. "Some of the children need to learn that it's OK to have fun again," said Robbins. "Through the day, we talk, we cry, but then we also laugh and have a good time." From the first day, feeling posters are placed around the room, and campers are encour- aged to write on the poster what they are feeling as another way of getting in touch with what's going on in their hearts. One mother noticed her son coming home with a lot of anger in the afternoon, but she realized it was a healing anger as he faced the reality of his loss each day. Throughout the week, the small groups meet with a nurse, a chap- lain and a funeral director. They discuss illness or death and are encouraged to ask any questions they may have. Art projects are also especially designed to release emotions in a constructive way. Each camper makes a memory box that typically has a photo of the loved one and decorations such as colored stones or symbols glued to the cover. Inside the box, the Child places a special memen- to to remember this person - like a key chain, pocket watch or more photos. Paper links were designed with the loved one's name and added to love chain from previous years. The purpose of the chain is to show the youths that they are not I Submitted photo )elaware Hospice's Camp New Hope arts and crafts projects include decorated panda bears, ornaments for the remembrance tree, personalized sun visors and memory boxes. alone. Everyone creates orna- gram for Delaware Hospice fami- ments to place on the remem- lies. It is supported by trained brance tree with their families volunteers and contributions to during the closing ceremony, the organization throughout the Camp New Hope is a free pro- year. Children's hospital recommends car-seat safety When traveling in a motor for parents: from drooping forward and cut- ting off the airway. A child whose ears reach the topi of a car seat or is heavier than 40 pounds should ride in a boost- er Seat. Booster seats should be used with lap and shoulder belts. The safety belt should fit snugly across the center of the shoulder and lay low over the upper thighs, no t ride up on the abdomen. Drivers should set a good example by buckling their own seat belts before starting the car. For more information on Texas Children's Hospital, visit wWw.texaschildrenshospital.org. vehicle, experts agree the safest way to transport youngsters is in a child safety seat. Equally critical is the device's proper use. "Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and serious injury for children over 1 year old," said Susan Hirtz, manager of Texas Children's Center for Childhood Injury Prevention. "Correctly restraining your child can make the difference between survival and serious injury or death. In many states, such as Texas, it's the law." Hirtz offered the following tips Make sure the safety seat fits the car, is easy to use and is appropriate for the child's height and weight. As a child grows, the type of safety seat should change. Babies must ride in a rear-fac- ing car seat until they are 20 pounds and 1 year old. A rear- facing car seat should never be placed in the front seat of a car with an airbag. For babies weighing less than 20 pounds, the child seat should sit at a 45-degree angle or the angle specified on the seat. This position keeps the baby's heat Fountain of Youth House Calls Individual Sessions Group Classes Guaranteed Results Exercise Programs Helping the Adult dr Elderly population of Sussex County One Year Anniversary! Dave Ronovech 227-9219 1 ': vh,, , 2'v"J  ,  ............. I