The Coast News Group

Camp H.O.P.E. offers day of healing

CARLSBAD — Carlsbad-based Hospice of the North Coast (HNC) presents its annual Healing Outdoor Play Experience known as Camp H.O.P.E. from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Green Oak Ranch, 1237 Green Oak Road. Vista.The retreat provides therapeutic healing in a fun and nurturing environment for grieving children (7 years of age and older) and their families. Camp H.O.P.E.’s registration fee of $50 per family covers all activities and food as well as a commemorative T-shirt. The camp is offered free to military families. Scholarships are available to qualifying families. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Attendees can register online at or call (760) 431-4100 for information.

Camp H.O.P.E. 2012 is sponsored by the Coastal Community Foundation, Optimist Club of Carlsbad, Kiwanis Club of Vista-Noon, Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad, Soroptimist International of Vista, Oceanside Civitan, Oceanside Jaycees and The County Friends.

According to HNC’s Director of Bereavement, Ti Johnson, the Camp H.O.P.E. retreat features an array of therapeutic activities that offer grieving children a way to express their feelings and help them adapt to a new normal. She explains, “After the death of a loved one, people – especially children – can feel overwhelmed and isolated as well as emotionally exhausted. Death hits children very hard. The day’s activities, particularly animal interactions, have a beneficial effect on kids. Just having a dog to hug can do wonders for the healing process.”

In addition to dog therapy, activities include a petting corral, hayrides, yoga, letter writing, expressive arts, massage and a drumming circle. The day of fun and inspiration culminates with a ceremonial tree planting that serves as a poignant memorial to loved ones and a symbol of the continuation of life’s journey.

Nonprofit Hospice of the North Coast was established in 1980 to fill the need for comprehensive, compassionate hospice care in North County San Diego.