Bridges’ Programs, Events, & Workshops

Camp and Bereavement Programs for Children and Teens

Shannon’s Hope: (Spring and Fall Grief Camps at Camp St. Christopher, Seabrook Island)

Shannon’s Hope is an initiative of Bridges. A therapeutic weekend camp, Shannon’s Hope targets children ages 6-15 who have experienced the death of a loved one.  Shannon Heisler was the inspiration for the camp, which began in August 1989. The courage and hope demonstrated by this 16-year-old hospice patient, who died in November of 1988, were the driving forces behind the development of Shannon’s Hope.

Bridges collaborates with other organizations to make this unique program a community effort.

What happens at camp?
Through participation in fun, yet intense, activities, Shannon’s Hope campers are encouraged to speak openly about issues of death and grief. The experience is structured to teach the children that feelings such as sadness, fear, anger, and desperation are all normal aspects of the grieving process. Together they create friendships and support that allow them to identify and express their emotions in a safe, secure environment. It is a weekend of laughter, tears, sharing, and remembering.

How is the camp staffed?
Professional counselors facilitate the camp. Trained volunteer buddies provide compassionate individual support to the children. Together these adults help the children “create stepping stones from their stumbling blocks”.

More Details
Shannon’s Hope is held twice a year at Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island. A fee of $35 per camper is requested; however, scholarships are available based on financial need. Bridges underwrites all camp costs. Referrals of campers are welcomed from parents, counselors, teachers, ministers, or other concerned persons. Transportation to and from camp is available upon request.

To refer a camper or for questions, contact us at: amy@bridgessc.org or 843-216-7323

 

Bridges’ School-Based Grief Support Program: (Held in local schools)

It’s no secret that many people are uncomfortable expressing their grief verbally. For children, it is even more difficult to put pain into words. All children need to know that their feelings matter. They need to feel physically and emotionally safe and feel accepted, not judged. Many children need the support of a group. They need to trust others again, and they need feel trusted. If you know a child who has experienced the loss of a loved one, please consider having the child’s parent/legal guardian register them in Bridges’ School-Based Grief Support Groups. This program is offered for free so the only cost is your time to register!

What happens in the grief support groups?
Bridges, in collaboration with local schools, will provide the group a safe environment to speak openly about their loss and grief. Similarly to what is experienced at Shannon’s Hope camp, participation in fun, yet powerful, activities will help encourage the children learn about topics that include understanding emotions, grief, coping skills, self esteem, and building a good supports system.

How are the groups staffed?

In collaboration with a Communities in School (CIS) staff member, Bridges’ professional counselors and trained volunteers facilitate all of the grief groups. They provide a compassionate environment to support to the children.

If you are interested in the Bridges’ School-Based Grief Program, please contact us at amy@bridgessc.org or 843-216-7323.

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Events

What Matters Most: A creative arts festival exploring living fully and dying well: (Held in the Spring)

We know that the arts are a wonderful, safe, even fun, way to approach what can be difficult topics. This festival is for everyone and every age and through the use of creative art, festival goers are encouraged to focus on “what matters most” in whatever phase of life they may find themselves.

Part of living fully is also thinking about dying well. The basics of this are simple. Reflect on your values, wishes & fears, talk with family & friends, get your things in order, and grieve fully in ways that honor the memories of those who’ve died. The best part about learning about dying well is really about making time to live fully and preventing the crisis that so many go through when a loved one passes suddenly.

At the festival we offer some “serious fun” featuring live performances, art exhibits, pet therapy dogs, creative & fun hands-on activities & games, food trucks, & more.

For more information, contact us at 843-216-7323 or amy@bridgessc.org

 

Candlelight Memorial Ceremony: (Held in November)

For the past 25 years, our Bridges organization has helped people in the Lowcountry remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones with the Candlelight Memorial Ceremony

Each year, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the community comes together to hear an inspirational message and special music and to light luminaries. As part of our commitment to Veterans, we offer patriotic colored bags for Veteran luminaries. We are grateful for the contributions from the community, which support this event.

For more information, contact us at 843-216-7323 or amy@bridgessc.org

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Professional Education Workshops

Training on grief and bereavement for professionals: (held throughout the year)

In an effort to improve the quality of bereavement services in our community, Bridges sponsors seminars and virtual webinars on topics related to grief and loss for professionals. When possible, CEU’s for social workers and nurses are provided. Click here to find out about upcoming workshops.

Contact us at amy@bridgessc.org  or 843-216-7323 for more information or suggestions for a topic.