Camp Heartstrings/Camp Dreams
Help and Healing for Grieving Children
Camp Heartstrings/Camp Dreams is a three day camp for children (entering grades 2-11 in September 2023) who are adjusting to the death of a loved one. Developed by Licensed Master Social Workers, this camp promotes understanding, acceptance, healing and hope through a comprehensive program of activities, as well as plenty of fun. It is staffed by credentialed professionals and trained volunteers, and is sponsored by UR Medicine Hospice (a program of UR Medicine Home Care), Pittsford Youth Services, and Dreams from Drake.
How Camp Can Benefit Your Child
Grief is difficult for everyone. It can be especially confusing for children who do not have the life experiences and resources adults draw on during difficult times. Camp helps fill that gap by:
- Offering campers an opportunity to be with peers who also experienced loss; this helps them realize they are not alone.
- Developing campers’ coping skills for expressing and processing their grief.
- Teaching campers that it is okay to have fun and still honor their loved ones.
- Providing therapeutic and social activities, such as pet therapy, games, art therapy, music, and a family style dinner at the conclusion of camp.
- Assisting campers to talk openly about their loved ones with camp staff and peers.
- Having trained staff that includes professional grief counselors, social work interns, and trained volunteers.
Registration will begin on January 9, 2023, for the 2023 Camp Session.
Please Note: In order to attend camp in 2023, the loss of a loved one(s) must have occurred prior to January 2023.
June 26–28, 2023
12:00–5:30 p.m. daily
Campers are required to attend all days and times.
4245 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618
There is no cost to campers or their families. We are happy to provide this program free of charge.
"My son found the camp very helpful. He never really talked about his feelings, but after camp he started talking about how he feels sad that his dad is no longer around. He enjoys attending and feels better about not having to put on a false face. He can truly be himself."
Mother of former camper
Registration closes on April 17 or when 40 campers are registered. Download and fill out the Camp Heartstrings/Camp Dreams application. Please see the contact info below on where to send your child's application.
For questions, please contact Michele Allman, LMSW, Bereavement Coordinator for UR Medicine Hospice (a program of UR Medicine Home Care) at (585) 274-4069 or at URMHC-CampHeartstrings@URMC.Rochester.edu. You will receive confirmation that a reservation is held for your camper(s).
We are grateful to the businesses and families who make Camp Heartstrings/Camp Dreams possible. Businesses or families who wish to donate to the camp can call (585) 274-4253 or donate online and designate Camp Heartstrings/Camp Dreams as the recipient.
Make a Gift
If you would like to volunteer for Camp Heartstrings/Camp Dreams, please fill out the volunteer application and either email it to URMHC-CampHeartstrings@URMC.Rochester.edu or mail it to:
UR Medicine Home Care
Attn: Camp Heartstrings
2180 Empire Boulevard
Webster, NY 14580
You and your child may benefit from other programs provided by UR Medicine Hospice (a program of UR Medicine Home Care), Dreams from Drake, and Pittsford Youth Services throughout the year.
UR Medicine Hospice
- Bereavement support group for adults who lost a child (no matter what age) at the same time as a bereavement support group for children
- Bereavement groups for adults
- Remembrance services
- Bereavement resources
Call (585) 274-4069.
Dreams from Drake
- Monthly support group for children and teens who lost a sibling or parent/guardian
- Meal gift cards to ensure families receive the nutrients needed to move through each day
- Therapeutic books for caretakers and/or children/teens affected by the loss
Pittsford Youth Services
- Bereavement support for children, adolescents and families
- Individual counseling by licensed social workers to help children and families work through their grief
Call (585) 264-0604 or visit PittsfordYouthServices.org.