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.


Virtual Perinatal Loss Support Groups: Summer Session 2020

— Camp Kerry Society PresentsConnections:  Perinatal Loss Support GroupsThe loss of a pregnancy or baby can be complicated and often unrecognized, and this may be especially true during the current pandemic restrictions. Whether your loss is recent or your grief feels...

Leadership Announcement for Canada East

RE: EASTERN CANADA PROGRAMS LEADERSHIP ANNOUNCEMENTWe are thrilled to announce the appointment of Shelley Hermer ~ in an expanded new role as our Manager of Regional Programs: Canada East. Shelley has volunteered extensively with the Camp Kerry Society since 2011 and...

Making Space for Grief

As the pandemic has taken its toll on our team this spring, I have found myself feeling so grateful for Camp Kerry’s amazing volunteers. Volunteers like Sam French, who have stepped up during this pandemic to serve families that need our support now more than ever....

2020 Scotiabank Charity Challenge

Virtual Half Marathon, 10K and 5K events   June 29, 2020 - September 18, 2020  The world looks very different than it did twelve weeks ago. Along with the many changes we're facing as a community, the 2020 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5K has been...

Virtual Grief Support Groups – Available Across Canada

— Camp Kerry Society PresentsConnections:  Virtual Grief Support Groups for AdultsIn response to COVID-19 and the requirements for social distancing, the Camp Kerry Society is pleased to offer a variety of programs and workshops virtually to those impacted by serious...

Family Art Therapy – Virtual Series

— Camp Kerry Society PresentsFAMILY ART THERAPY: A six week family-focused expressive arts seriesMay 21 - June 25, 20204:00PM - 5:00PM PST 7:00PM - 8:00PM EST 8:00PM - 9:00PM ASTThis six-week series of interactive online sessions are facilitated by Camp Kerry Art...
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

As most of you are aware, we are in the midst of unprecedented times and uncertainty. In response to Covid-19, many of our existing services (community choirs, support groups, workshops) are being offered online at no cost, so we encourage everyone who feels the need for support and wellness to take advantage of them.

Our family bereavement retreat program in Ontario, Camp Kerry, is scheduled to occur near the Haliburton Highlands from October 1-4, 2020. Until new information arrives this summer, we cannot confirm at this time as to whether or not this program will need to be postponed. Therefore, registration will open on April 14, 2020, and all applicants will be placed automatically on our waitlist until further notice.

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

In response to Covid-19 many of our existing programs will be offered online throughout the year at no cost (support groups, workshops, and more). If you are interested in participating we encourage you to either check in regularly through the portal for available programs in your area or email our head office for more information.

Registration for our family bereavement retreat program will open on Arpil 14, 2020 and all applicants for this program will be placed on a waitlist till further notice.

Program Contribution Fee

We understand that there a lot of families who are facing financial challenges as a result of Covid-19, therefore, the Camp Kerry Society will be waiving all program contribution fees for this year.

We wish to thank all of those who have given and continue to donate, for it is your contributions that make this option possible.

Register Below

Register for Camp Kerry Ontario Programs

To register for Ontario’s first and only family bereavement retreat and other programs we offer throughout the year please click on the button below to proceed.

Registration for Camp Kerry Ontario opens April 14, 2020.

Camp Kerry Ontario Supporters

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