Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

Camp Kerry Ontario

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
Shelley Hermer

Shelley Hermer

Regional Manager, Camp Kerry Ontario

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 sixth Camp Kerry Ontario in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands.


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…

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 dozens of 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.

As many of you are aware, more and more people dies each year, and the demand for our service continues to grow. Due to the ongoing support of our volunteer team, the generosity of our donors and the fantastic fundraising results of some of our alumni are we able to be offering this program in Ontario for its seventh consecutive year.

We are excited to announce that the next family bereavement retreat will occur between October 1-4, 2020 and will be located just outside of Minden. Registration opens April 6, 2020.

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.

Camp Kerry Ontario








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

Your welcome to contact us anytime throughout the year to express interest in attending any of our programs. Once registrations opens you’ll be notified by email.

Registration for Camp Kerry Ontario 2020 will open April 6, 2020 and close once the spaces are full. To apply, scroll down to the bottom of this page to our registration portal.

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.

We understand that for some families making a $600 contribution can be difficult all at once, so we’ve added a couple of options that will allow you to secure your spots for your family while also helping us to sustain this program. Option one includes paying a $100 deposit and the remainder in three instalments: June 1st, Sept 1st and Dec 1st. Option two allows you to pay $100 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 Below

Register for Camp Kerry Ontario Programs

Registration for our family bereavement retreat, “Camp Kerry Ontario”, will open on April 6, 2020. 

Click on the button below to proceed to the registration portal for programs offered in that province. Please note, that only programs open for registration in Ontario will appear in this portal.

Camp Kerry Ontario Supporters

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