Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

Camp Kerry Atlantic

A Message from Camp Kerry Atlantic Director

Camp Kerry helped us get in touch with our grief process and provided us with a road map for healing.

Pam Pastirik

RN and Faculty: Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, UNB Saint John

It is hard to believe that we are entering our fourth year of Camp Kerry on the east coast! We have received incredible support from our community and partners.

As alumni of Camp Kerry, my family and I have travelled an incredibly difficult road to recovery from the loss of our oldest son Michael in 2012. It was, and always will be, the single most difficult blow in our lives. We found Camp Kerry at a time when we had exhausted our resources and were in dire need of family support. The idea of a family retreat made a lot of sense to us, as we were not only grieving individually; we were grieving as a family. Camp Kerry helped us get in touch with our grief process and provided us with a road map for healing. Meeting others like us helped to reduce our sense of isolation and helped our children beyond measure. Although we still struggle with the loss of Michael, we feel stronger as a family and Camp Kerry has been a big part of this.

In the coming year we will offer a 4-day family retreat, a monthly follow-up support group in the Greater Saint John area and a special family grief workshop in December, 2019. We are also branching out to provide community education and workshops to help professionals and community members develop grief support skills. We are extremely grateful for our sponsors, volunteers, advisory committee, and the many supporters of our work.

The Pastirik Family

Featured News

With classes suspended across the country and families practicing social distancing by staying home, we know lots of parents are looking for ways to keep their kids busy. At Camp Kerry we believe in the power of art to inspire hope and possibility – especially during difficult times.

So we asked Sophie, one of Camp Kerry’s awesome art therapists, to put together some at-home art activity ideas for you and your family. These activities use common household items. You can easily improvise and substitute with whatever items you have available to you. Have fun!

In Response to Coronavirus

After ongoing discussions with members of our team and consultations with frontline health care professionals, we have concluded that it is in the best interests of both our participants and our teams to postpone all of our current group programs across Canada until further notice.

2019 Annual Report

At Camp Kerry, we go beyond traditional counselling approaches to harness the love, compassion and creativity of an entire community to support and embrace those who are grieving.

Call for Nominations 2020: Board of Directors

The Camp Kerry Board of Directors is calling for nomination of candidates to stand for the Camp Kerry Society Board of Directors.

Vancouver Island Grief Retreat for Youth

Vancouver Island Grief Retreat for Youth March 20-23, 2020, Crofton, Vancouver Island If you're between the ages of 13-19 and want to learn how to cope with the death of a loved one then join us for an experience like no other - you'll be glad you did!AboutCamp...

Grief Made My Kids Stronger

My name is Laurette. In 2009 I had three children under seven. And a husband with cancer…

National Bereavement Day 2019

November 19, 2019, is Canada’s third National Bereavement Day. On this day, the Camp Kerry Society invites all Canadians to think about our loved ones who have died and to help advocate for support at local, provincial and national levels for grieving Canadians.

New Brunswick Children’s Foundation Making a Difference Once Again

Marilyn Lester (right), president New Brunswick Children’s Foundation presents a $7,000 grant to Pam Pastirik, Camp Kerry Atlantic.   Since 2016, the New Brunswick Children's Foundation has gone above and beyond to support families in New Brunswick through our...

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

Our third Camp Kerry Atlantic Family Bereavement Retreat was huge success this past summer. Registration will open on April 6, 2020 for the next one, which will be held near Sussex, New Brunswick. For further information about our family day retreat in December, and for year round programs please click on the registration button below, or contact our office.

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

Throughout the year you can sign up for various programs and events through our online portal as they become available. Registration for our family bereavement retreat program, which will be hosted by our friends at Snider Mountain Ranch in New Brunswick, will open on Arpil 6, 2020. We strongly recommend that if your family is interested in attending that you register early because there is a high demand for this program.

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. With some of our programs we ask participants to contribute financially because there is virtually no governement funding for bereavement care services in Canada. The program contribution fees represent approximately one-third of the actual costs that the Society must fundraise in order to provide such services. Your program contributions help ensure that more families from Atlantic Canada can have access to our programs in the future.

We understand that for some families making a contribution can be difficult all at once, so we’ve added a couple of options that allow you to secure your spots. Option one includes paying a deposit and the remainder in three instalments. Option two allows you to pay a deposit and the balance over six instalments.

For those in need of financial assistance, we are more than happy to talk with you. 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. If you would prefer us to call you, then simply email our Head Office through our contact us page on this website.

Register for 2020 Programming

To register for Atlantic Canada’s only family bereavement retreat and any of our programs throughout the year please click on the button below to proceed. Registration for Camp Kerry Atlantic opens April 6, 2020.

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