Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

A Message from Camp Kerry Ontario Coordinator Shelley Hermer

As a social worker and family therapist in children’s mental health, I have had a long-standing interest in bereavement care for families. In 2011 I reunited with Dr. Heather Mohan, a colleague with whom I had worked and lived during our university summers, providing therapeutic recreation programs with children and families coping with mental health.

In 2011, 2012 and 2014 I traveled to BC to volunteer at Camp Kerry and then began working with my local community in Ontario to bring this family-centred model East. The response has been wonderful and we are so looking forward to our fourth Camp Kerry Ontario in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands.

Shelley Hermer

Bereavement Services Coordinator, Camp Kerry Ontario

Heather, Jim, Shelley & Patti worked together at Kinark Outdoor Centre more than 20 years ago

James Bidgood Memorial Hockey Day 2018

The 3rd Annual Bidgood Memorial Hockey Day Tournament is happening on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Asphodel-Norwood Ontario arena, and rumour has it that this years event is going to be BIGGER and better than ever before! So, if you're in the area come...

National Bereavement Day: Starting A Dialogue

We extend our appreciation to the CBC for helping us to bring some awareness with regard to Canada's very first National Bereavement Day. A recording of Dr. Heather Mohan's interview with On the Coast's, Stephen Quinn, can be found simply by clicking on...

National Bereavement Day Canada

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 marks the very first National Bereavement Day in Canada. This is a day for all of us to reflect on the legacies of those who have died, and the connections and relationships that continue to shape our lives. As a non-profit...

Coping with End of Life Award

The Camp Kerry Society is proud to be the recipient of the 2018 Coping with End of Life Award, which recognizes our BC Family Bereavement Retreat Program,"Camp Kerry, for improving the quality of health care in British Columbia. Aside from the recognition,...

One Reason To Give

We are proud to announce that on October 22 one of our very own special alumni, Jeanette S., from Ontario has taken the lead to organize the Camp Kerry team in the Toronto Charity Challenge and Marathon events. Here's her story and one reason why you should consider...

The Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

In 2007, the very first family bereavement retreat program in Canada – Camp Kerry - was launched off of the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Since then, these retreats have grown significantly in size and are now offered in various locations across the country....

The History of Camp Kerry Ontario

The first Camp Kerry was held in British Columbia in 2007 and it was named after Kerry Kirstiuk; an inspiring young mother and wife from West Vancouver who lost her battle to cancer in 2006.

Our first Camp Kerry Ontario retreat took place in the fall of 2014 but of course the dreaming and planning started many years before that! Our organization’s founder Dr. Heather Mohan was born and raised in rural Ontario. Growing up in a family that valued camping and outdoor experiences, and inspired by her father Mel who had a great love for the outdoors Heather had the opportunity to fully embrace Ontario’s “camp culture” as a camper, a counsellor and a program leader. Having the opportunity to share the Camp Kerry BC model with families from Ontario in the same beautiful Northern Ontario landscape where she had spent so many memorable summers herself was a great gift.

Melville Mohan was always passionate about the outdoors. Even during his teaching career he found creative ways to bring the outdoors into the classroom!

What’s Happening Now

Since 2014 we have served well over 100 individuals through our family bereavement retreat program in Ontario which occurs each fall. We are proud to have an exceptional Volunteer Team based in the area which continues to perform an outstanding job. Fundraising is still underway for the magic to continue so help spread the word and contribute.

The next family bereavement retreat is scheduled for the fall of 2018 in Ontario. 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 heated cabins with single beds and bunk beds and each family is assigned their own cabin. Cabins have washrooms and there is also a central washroom/shower facility. 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. The retreat is located at Kinark Outdoor Centre which is about 90 minutes North West of Peterborough. An information session is provided for new families prior to camp.

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

Fundraising is already underway for the next Camp Kerry Ontario retreat which is scheduled for the fall of 2018. Stay tuned for the release of our 2018 Camp dates!

Program Contribution Fee

We want to give you our absolute assurance that no family will ever be turned away from Camp Kerry due to an inability to pay. The program contribution fee is $600 per family which represents approximately one-third of the actual amount that the Society must fundraise to send a family to Camp Kerry. Your program contribution will also help to ensure that more families from Ontario will get access to this program in the future.

For those in need of financial assistance, we are more than happy to talk with you about a fee-reduction and about creating a payment schedule in line with your comfort level. This simply involves a short, confidential phone call to our Head Office prior to completing the online registration forms to discuss your concerns with our Administrative Coordinator. Our office can be reached at 604-553-4663 or by email at

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