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      Camp Magic helps children deal with death

      Campers played games to help them overcome their losses by building up their self-confidence.

      Children from all across Mid-Missouri spent their day at a camp to help them deal with the loss of a loved one.

      8-year-old Kaya Huffman??s Grandpa Mike recently passed away. Kaya said she was very close to her grandpa who loved motorcycles. Camp Magic gives children like Kaya a chance to express themselves through activities at Jefferson City??s Binder Park.

      Kaya said, ??It??s kind of hard to explain. I think it??s easier for me to let my feelings go.??

      The grief support camp pairs up campers with buddies at no cost. The pairs work together one on one. The buddies are volunteers from Jefferson City??s SSM Hospice.

      Kaya??s Buddy Kim Hubbard said, ??They hold anger. They don??t know how to express themselves. This gives them a chance to express those feelings and have fun, kind of, doing that.??

      The campers made posters and memory boxes for their lost loved ones. For most of the children, it was there first loss. 15 children spent their day at Camp Magic. They found out they are not alone when trying to deal with the loss of a loved one.

      Campers played games to help them overcome their losses by building up their self-confidence. Organizers call it Camp Magic, but they say there is no magic to completely heal the emotional wounds.

      SSM Hospice Branch Manager Janet Walker said, ??We don??t do grief and support and death very well here in our culture. Often times, it??s really ignored. SSM Hospice really wanted to focus on the kids and acknowledge their grief and their loss and to help them work through it.??

      Camp buddies also helped parents and other family members by giving them advice on how to help children deal with anger, denial and acceptance while saving the good memories of the ones they lost.

      Camp Magic will happen again next summer at Binder Park.

      No date has been scheduled yet.