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The Elizabeth Hospice Expands Its Summer Camp Program for Grieving Children and Teens

No Cost to Attend and Open to Everyone in the Community


San Diego youth who are coping with the death of a special person in their life can find support and comfort at Camp Spero, an overnight weekend grief camp hosted by The Elizabeth Hospice. Camp Spero offers kids, ages 7 to 17, a weekend filled with traditional camp fun and many opportunities to honor and memorialize their loved one. There is no cost to attend and the camp is open to everyone in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County.
Based on the Latin phrase, Dum Spiro Spero, “While I breathe, I hope,” Camp Spero campers will engage in grief-related activities, learn coping skills and make friends with other kids who are facing similar circumstances.
“At camp, Colin and Maddy are getting something I can’t give them,” explained their mother, Wendy, “They are surrounded by kids who know what their type of sadness feels like. Every child should have the opportunity to learn skills and coping mechanisms for grieving that don’t come naturally.”
Building on years of experience operating bereavement camps for children and teens, The Elizabeth Hospice’s expanded summer camp program includes a session for children who have previously attended bereavement camp. “Grief is not linear and doesn’t follow a fixed timeline,” said Melissa Lunardini, Children’s Bereavement Manager at The Elizabeth Hospice, and Camp Spero Director. “We believe it’s important to support children through their grief journey without imposing a time constraint.”
“Our commitment to caring for the children of San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County is stronger than ever,” said Jan Jones, President and CEO of The Elizabeth Hospice. “With this expanded summer camp offering, we can help our community’s grieving children rediscover hope for the future.”
Newcomer Camp (first-time campers)               Alumni Camp (returning campers)
May 31 – June 2                                                July 26 – July 28
Julian, CA                                                          San Bernardino, CA
Camper and Volunteer Applications are available now at
For more information, email or call 760.796.3705.  
The Elizabeth Hospice offers the most comprehensive children’s bereavement program in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. In addition to Camp Spero, the program includes: peer grief support groups for children 3 to 17 years old, on-site grief support groups in 18 school districts, as well as grief education, training and resources for school professionals. These bereavement services are offered at no charge and are open to everyone in the community, including families who do not have a patient affiliation with The Elizabeth Hospice. One-on-one counseling for bereaved children is also available.
Camp Spero is made possible through the generosity of individuals and organizations. Donations can be made at
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About The Elizabeth Hospice
The Elizabeth Hospice, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit healthcare leader, has been providing comfort and counsel to children and adults faced with the challenges associated with a life-threatening illness, and restoring hope to grieving children and adults who are feeling lost and alone. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 100,000 people in the communities it serves by providing medical, emotional and spiritual support, regardless of patient affiliation or ability to pay. The Elizabeth Hospice is accredited by The Joint Commission and is a member of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. To learn more, call 800-797-2050 or visit

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 child grief support
 San Diego hospice
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 Camp Marston

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