About Camp Erin
Camp Erin Toronto is a 3 day-long overnight bereavement camp in Muskoka for children and youth aged 6-17. Camp Erin is provided at no cost to families and is open to any child who has experienced the death of an immediate family member or custodial caregiver, regardless of cause or length of time since the death.
There is no catchment area for Camp Erin as long as the camper can get to drop-off or Camp Manitou. Campers come through a variety of avenues, including community, child protection, health and mental health agencies, schools, word of mouth, and existing clients of the Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre. All are welcome. Camp Erin Toronto strives to create an environment that honours and reflects the diversity of individuals and families in our communities.
Camp Erin Toronto combines traditional outdoor camp activities, such as swimming, high ropes and canoeing with grief education and emotional support activities, such as memory bears, ‘Ask the Doctor’ sessions and a candlelight memorial ceremony. Activities focus on providing campers with the tools needed to help them in their grief and with difficult experiences throughout their lives, while enhancing overall wellness, play and vitality. Camp Erin gives children and youth the opportunity to meet with other grieving kids in a fun and natural environment; understanding that they are not the only ones to experience the death of someone close to them decreases the sense of isolation that many grieving children experience.
The Camp Erin experience includes a Camper Meet and Greet and Caregiver Orientation event, Camp Erin weekend, and Camp Reunion. The Meet and Greet and Orientation occurs prior to camp and helps increase comfort with the weekend and ease anxieties around separation for both campers and caregivers. Many campers describe their Camp Erin weekend as transformational, changing the course of their grieving and making a significant positive impact on the trajectory of their young lives. All activities are facilitated by our grief counsellors and trained volunteers.
Camp Erin Toronto 2020 will take place Friday, June 5th to Sunday, June 7th, 2020.
A mandatory Camper Meet & Greet event will be held on May 23rd, 2020. This as an opportunity for campers, families and volunteers to meet each other and receive additional important information about Camp.
Camper REGISTRATION will open on Friday, February 14th/20. Spaces are limited and fill quickly. Registrations must be complete, including caregiver consent, to register a camper.
We are pleased to be able to offer this free camp weekend to children/youth who meet the following criteria*:
- aged 6 to 17 years old
- has never attended any Camp Erin in the past
- has experienced the death of a parent, sibling or custodial guardian
* If you are unsure about eligibility, please contact us for more information. Note there are no geographical restrictions for applications and campers are accepted from anywhere in Ontario or Canada.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with our Camp Erin Program in 2020. The camp takes place over the weekend of June 5th - June 7th at beautiful Camp Manitou.
Please note of the following mandatory dates for volunteering at Camp Erin Toronto 2020:
- Volunteer Orientation - May 9/20, 9am-5pm
- Volunteer Training and Camper Meet & Greet/Caregiver Orientation: Saturday, May 23/20, 9am-5pm
- Camp Weekend: June 5/20, 7:00 am to June 7, 6:00pm - Camp Manitou
- Camp Reunion: June 2020 - Rogers Centre Toronto
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for Camp or other opportunities at the Centre, please click here.
Thank you again for your interest in Camp Erin Toronto!
CBC's The National visited Camp Erin Toronto and spoke with campers and parents about their personal experiences dealing with the loss of loved ones — watch the story
Camp Erin: Bereavement camp for children and teens from the Greater Toronto Area via InsideToronto.com
Camps bring summer magic to kids who appreciate it most via The Toronto Star
Camp Erin offers a weekend for kids coping with loss via The Globe and Mail
Body & Soul: Grief Counselling for Kids and Teens via Cece Scott