Camp Helping Kids Grin Again After Sorrow

While some Texoma kids are heading to summer camp to grab hold of adventure, others are just trying to get a hold of their emotions.  All the kids at Camp Grin Again have at least one thing in common -- they've all lost a loved one.  Bailey Kurtz lost a grandma and a grandpa in just a 15-month span.  But Hospice of Wichita Falls is hoping to put a smile on her face.

"To see how they're feeling and for them to be able to like connect, it makes it a lot easier to see that there are people my age who are going through the same thing," she said.

All week, volunteers have been using games, art, and books to teach more than 30 kids some skills to help themselves deal with grief.

"They always have something that can make you feel better, like all the projects that we do, they can definitely make you feel a lot better about everything," Bailey said.

Camp Director Margory Smith says Hospice care isn't just for people who are close to death -- it's also for the living.

"Sometimes parents are scared about their children grieving but they don't want to see them hurting.  They don't want to see them crying, and they don't know how to handle it," she said.

For Bailey, her pastel project is one of the best ways to handle it.

"You can definitely vent it through it and express your whole mind in it," she said.

While some of the children's camp experiences are too personal to share, Smith says families can already feel Grin Again's influence.

"By the end of the first day, when they saw their children come out and the second morning, coming in saying, 'This is great.  We're so glad our children are coming,'" she said.

But events and activities aside, Hospice says there's power in the relationships formed at camp.

Camp Grin Again will wrap up Friday around noon.  All the campers will get a chance to display the art they've created throughout the week.