Camp Erin Paddle

About Camp Erin Toronto

Camp Erin Toronto is a weekend-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.

Clients are referred to Camp Erin through a variety of sources, including community, child protection, health and mental health agencies, through schools, word of mouth, and many are 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 journal making, 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.

CBC's The National Camp Erin Feature
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
More Camp Erin Media Coverage
Our wonderful sponsors

As we continue to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation, we wanted to reach out to each of you with an update about changes related to the Centre’s upcoming programming calendar.

The DJCGC is committed to the health and wellbeing of all of our clients, volunteers and staff and as such, we have made the hard decision to suspend all in-person programs until further notice.

These cancellations include:

  • Camp Erin Toronto 2020 events
  • Peer Support Groups
  • Upcoming Family Nights

Increasing connection, supporting family communication and reducing isolation have always been foundational to service decisions and program development at the DJCGC and are values that will continue to guide our actions.  Our clinical team will continue to provide counselling to our client community by phone and virtual support when appropriate.

As a small charitable organization with limited resources and no government funding, continuing to meet the diverse needs of more than 500 clients each year poses a significant challenge to the Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre. If you’re able and willing to support our efforts through this difficult time, please consider donating or fundraising for us as we innovate and explore creative ways to connect to our community and provide support.

We will also continue to provide the community with updates, information and helpful resources via our website and through social media on a regular basis- so stay tuned! If you have any questions about our activities, please check out our website and social media streams for updates.

We will get through this together.

Sending warmth and light,
The Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre