Camp Kerry Atlantic
Camp Kerry Atlantic
Camp Kerry Atlantic
A Message from Camp Kerry Atlantic Coordinator
I want to welcome everyone to our page and thank you for looking into our services. I am Pam, Director of the Atlantic Bereavement Services for the Camp Kerry Society. I am also an alumni of Camp Kerry myself…
Our oldest son, Michael, died suddenly on April 3, 2012. This was a very dark time in our life and we did not think that we would recover from this life blow. My husband, Dan, along with our sons, Max and Nick, attended the Camp Kerry family bereavement retreat in British Columbia in 2013. We learned that we were not alone in our grief and were inspired by others who were travelling a similar journey. Through the creative family-centred approach offered by the therapists and skilled volunteers, each of us learned about our own grief as individuals and as a family. Camp Kerry paved our road to recovery and we are privileged to extend this support to our region.
In the fall of 2016 we held our first family retreat in the Miramichi and held family gatherings in Saint John to support families following the retreat. Through the continued support of our generous donors, we are able to hold our second family retreat at the Snider Mountain Ranch in Sussex, New Brunswick between August 31 – September 3, 2017. In addition to our retreat and support programs, we are also developing a high school outreach program and a project to examine ways to support families experiencing pregnancy/infant loss. We are very excited about the development of bereavement services in New Brunswick and look forward to serving even more families in our region in 2018.
Michael Pastirik loved the outdoors as seen here on a family trip to Whistler
The History of Camp Kerry
Camp Kerry BC was founded in 2007 by Dr. Heather Mohan and named after Kerry Kirstiuk; an inspiring young mother and wife who lost her battle to cancer in 2006. The movement to bring Camp Kerry to the Maritimes has been driven forward primarily through the passion, persistence and dedicated volunteer efforts of a Camp Kerry Alumni and New Brunswick native, Pam Pastirik, and her family. An Atlantic Canada Advisory Committee — based in Saint John, New Brunswick — with expertise in family health care, mental health, corporate leadership and fundraising was established in 2014 with the goal of raising awareness and funds to help bring this unique program to Atlantic Canada families.
What’s Happening Now
Fundraising is already underway for the next Camp Kerry Atlantic Family Bereavement Retreat Program which is scheduled for the fall of 2018. Stay tuned for the release of our 2018 Camp dates!
What To Expect At Camp
A team of qualified counsellors and specially trained volunteers will welcome you and support your entire family throughout the four-day retreat. Children and teens of any age are welcome to attend along with their parent(s) and/or guardian(s). Extended family members are also welcome. Programming suitable for young children, school-aged children, youth, adults and elders is offered. The program provides a variety of therapeutic and recreational experiences structured for success including: peer group sharing circles, family activities, music & art therapy, nature hikes, adventure challenges, fishing, sports & games, relaxation, campfires and a candlelight memory service. Accommodations are in comfortable lodges. Nutritious, home-cooked meals and snacks are provided in a central dining room and special diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Transportation to camp is the individual responsibility of each family, but assistance can be arranged for those who need it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age do I have to be to come to Camp Kerry?
Our retreat is geared for families .. and we know that families come in many configurations and variations! Our programming and staffing levels will accommodate the needs of babies, toddlers, children, youth and adults of all ages. Please note that children and youth are not permitted to attend Camp Kerry without a guardian or adult family member. On occasion adults/adult family members do attend Camp Kerry without children, but if this is your situation, please contact our office first for a discussion with one of our staff. Our goal in talking with you is always to ensure that a Camp Kerry retreat will be the best resource and best possible fit for you and your family at this moment in time.
What is the recommended length of time after my loss before I can apply to Camp Kerry?
Our family retreats are intensive experiences and can be overwhelming for those in the very early days and weeks after a loss. We highly recommend that you not attend a Camp until a minimum of three or four months past the date of your loved one’s death. Some people are not ready to come to Camp in their first year at all, but find it very helpful in their second or even third year of grieving. There is no exact formula or timetable as each one of us moves in different ways and at a different pace through our grief process. If you are unsure of what to expect and whether the specific timing of a retreat will suit your family, we encourage you to call our office directly for a further discussion with one of our staff.
Can I return to Camp Kerry if I have already attended?
A lot of people attend Camp Kerry for more than one year and many stay involved with our Society’s programs and services for much longer than that. We recognize that grief is an ongoing process that changes over time and that other life stressors and situations have the potential to add complexity and challenge to our bereavement. Camp registration is now being offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
I've been to Camp Kerry for several years now and feel like I am doing pretty well with my grief but I still want to stay connected and involved. How do I do this?
Camp Kerry is a community that cares and we would love for you to stay involved with us! There are year-round opportunities to participate in a variety of Society programs as a volunteer. We need help in several areas and believe that everyone has something positive to give back to their community when they feel ready to do so. For more details on volunteering or attending any of our alumni events please call our office or click HERE to volunteer with us.
When to Apply
Registration is now closed for Camp Kerry Atlantic. For information about our year-round bereavement support programs in Atlantic Canada please contact our office.