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Camp Lighthouse 

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Camp Lighthouse a Beacon of Hope for Grieving Children

About Camp Lighthouse

Camp Lighthouse balloon ceremonyCamp Lighthouse is a two-day camp for children, teens, and their families dealing with the loss of a loved one. Trained professionals and volunteers help explore issues related to grief, walking beside them as they take the steps needed to heal. 

Dates and Locations
Please check back for the 2015 Annual Camp Lighthouse dates hosted in the Greater Hampton Roads and Greater Peninsula areas.

Greater Hampton Roads
October 2015
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. both days
Triple-R Ranch
3531 Bunch Walnuts Road
Chesapeake, VA  23322

Greater Peninsula
October 2015
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. both days
Jamestown 4-H Educational Center
3751 4-H Club Road
Williamsburg, VA  23185

Camper Registration Form

Volunteer Interest Form

Age Groups
The camp is for children from kindergarten through teens and young adults who have experienced the death of a close family member or loved one in the past two years. Parents, grandparents and caregivers are also encouraged to participate in their own adult group.


Contact Us
Greater Hampton Roads
Phone: (757) 553-3004

Greater Peninsula
Phone: (757) 736-0709

The cost per camper is $20. Financial assistance is available.

Additional Information

Who is organizing the camp?
The camp is organized by the hospice program of Sentara Home Care Services. Camp Lighthouse helps children, teens, and families of the community and not necessarily those of Sentara Hospice. This camp is open to anyone who has lost a family member or friend within the last two years.

How is the camp funded?
Camp Lighthouse is partially funded by donations from the community and local businesses.

Where did the idea of a “camp for grieving children” originate?
Similar camps have been held all over the country in an effort to help children dealing with grief and help them understand that they are no different from other children.  This is the only two-day camp in the Greater Hampton Roads and Peninsula areas. 

Why the name “Camp Lighthouse?”
The camp’s name comes from a real-life story of a former hospice patient by the name of Cheryl.  For numerous years, she had saved many of her 14-year-old daughter’s clothes. It had always been her plan to make a quilt she could give her daughter on her wedding day.  Cancer got in the way.

Camp Lighthouse group with lighthouse

As Cheryl was dying, a Sentara hospice nurse listened to her talk about her dream and offered to work with volunteers in making the quilt a reality. They immediately said yes and started their work on what would be a special gift. She was able to use the last energy of her life designing the quilt for her beloved daughter. And Cheryl died knowing volunteers would finish the work she had started.  The design Cheryl had picked out for her quilt was of a huge lighthouse.

As a result of their work with thousands of families, Sentara’s hospice staff developed Camp Lighthouse to help children dealing with their grief. Camp Lighthouse, “a beacon of hope for grieving children,” is dedicated to people like Cheryl and her daughter.

Who will be leading the camp?
Camp Lighthouse will be facilitated by trained professionals and volunteers from the Sentara Hospice Program, Sentara Home Care Services, and Sentara Healthcare who will provide a safe environment for the children.

What activities will take place during the two-day camp?
Besides a fun-packed weekend of team-building games, crafts, making of memory boxes, music therapy, and archery, the children will be encouraged to discuss their grief in small group sessions. They’ll see Camp Lighthouse as a place where they can open up, where they can see they’re not alone, where they don’t have to feel different.  The camp’s activities will conclude with a special memorial service for the children and their families. The children will leave with new tools to help them cope.

How can I help?
Volunteers are needed to help make the camp successful. To volunteer, call 757-553-3004 or 757-736-0709 or email Depending on the volunteer role at Camp Lighthouse, an additional all day training is required.

A camp like this requires caring people like you who are willing to provide funding. Your financial support will help with the cost of a camper’s stay, including meals, art supplies, and additional training for volunteers. Your help in making this camp a success will sustain the program for years to come.

Where can I send donations?
Please make checks payable to Sentara Health Foundation (write “for Camp Lighthouse” in the memo line), and send them to:

Sentara Health Foundation
6015 Poplar Hall Drive, Suite 308
Norfolk, VA  23502

Visa and MasterCard are also accepted.

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