In 1996, Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and the Child Life Program developed Camp Good Grief; an annual cost-free, 3-day camp that catered specifically to children who had a sibling die. A few years later this camp began to include children who had had a parent or caregiver die. In 2004, Marilyn Kimball from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office contacted our program regarding starting a camp for children who had a significant loved one die due to homicide or suicide.
Due to the stigma associated with homicide and suicide, child victims of traumatic crimes often feel emotionally distant and “different” to those children who have lost a parent or sibling to illness or injury. To address these special needs the District Attorney’s Office collaborated with Loma Linda Children’s Hospital to host Camp Good Grief-Special Victims Program (SVP). On Friday, March 11, 2005, twenty-three children between the ages of 9 to 15 attended the first three day grief camp.