Camp Brave Heart
Camp Brave Heart
Children who are grieving can experience a sense of isolation as they struggle with deep and complicated feelings. Often, these children know no one else who has suffered a similar loss.
Camp Brave Heart is a free bereavement camp for children and teens ages 6 – 17 who are grieving the death of someone they love. It is a traditional, fun, high-energy camp combined with grief education, peer bonding, and emotional support led by grief support professionals and trained volunteers.
Swimming, hiking, campfires, canoeing, sing-a-longs, crafts and a high- and low-level ropes course are just a few of the activities that campers enjoy. Over the course of three days and two nights packed with recreational and therapeutic activities, campers hear each other’s stories, explore their grief in a safe and understanding environment, and learn ways to help them cope with their loss.
The free, 3-day/2-night camp is held every summer at John Knox Ranch outside Wimberley in the heart of the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Bus transportation to and from the camp is provided from a location near Hospice Austin’s main office in northwest Austin.
Campers are accepted after determining that the child is emotionally ready and able to participate and benefit from the camp. Children who have never attended Camp Brave Heart (or 2018’s Camp Erin Central Texas) will be given priority to attend camp (unless they have experienced the death of another person who is important to them after they attended camp). If the child or teen has attended in a previous year and they have not experienced another death, they will be placed on a waitlist. Any remaining camper spots will be offered to return campers on July 15th. Available space will be dependent on which age group(s) have room for additional campers. Please apply as soon as possible if you have a return camper to get his or her name on the waitlist.
Camp Brave Heart 2020 will be held Wednesday, June 10th – Saturday, June 13th. Applications for Camp will be available starting mid-February, 2020 in English and Spanish. Please contact Bereavement Supervisor Maggie Cochran at 512-342-4784 if you need assistance completing all or part of the application. Se habla español.
Camp Brave Heart is provided to families free of charge due in large part to the financial support of generous donors.
Camp Brave Heart 2019
To see pictures from the 2019 camp, please click here.
KVUE and CBS Austin both came out and did wonderful stories on camp:
A Letter from a Camper
I went to Camp Brave Heart honestly thinking it wouldn’t help. Then I got to camp. It was ok to cry, ask questions, tell people how you really felt. We did things that helped me understand what I was feeling. And there was nothing awkward when you said “My _____ passed,” because we all understood the feeling well enough in order to not make someone else feel it. At Camp Brave Heart, I also made lifetime bonds with four friends who also lost their dads. We meet up on holidays, birthdays, any day we can really, and my little brother does the same with his friends he made at camp. Thank you for letting me tell you how Camp Brave Heart has helped me even now when I’m 14.
Have a nice day,
Madison attended camp when she was 12 and wrote this letter at 14. After turning 18, Madison volunteered at Camp Brave Heart for several summers to help other children cope with losing someone they love.