Variety’s Katerpillar Kids Camp seeks campers

Variety’s Katerpillar Kids Camp is an annual bereavement camp for children and teens in grades 1-12 who have lost someone they love. The camp is a free community service provided by Covenant HomeCare Hospice and sponsored by Variety-The Children’s Charity.

Variety’s Katerpillar Kids Camp 2010 will be held at camp Wesley Woods in Townsend on Sept. 11 and 12. Celebrating its 17th year, the camp has helped hundreds of young people on their healing journey.

In addition to the many fun outdoor activities offered by the camp, there will also be therapeutic activities such as Mane Support, non-riding grief therapy with horses; a Kids on the Block puppet show; group times; and special art activities designed to help them understand and cope with their grief. Other “extras” include dogs from H.A.B.I.T. (Human Animal Bond in Tennessee), which will be accompanied by their owners; clowns; and music, the latter of which will be offered to grades 1-3.

The camp provides a safe and caring environment in which campers can feel comfortable sharing their grief experience.

Campers in grades 9-12 will spend Saturday night at camp and enjoy a special time of sharing around a bonfire. Campers in grades 1-8 will go home Saturday night and return to camp Sunday morning for the final day. Transportation to and from camp will be provided by bus from Fort Sanders West. All campers must ride the bus or be driven to camp by a parent or guardian.

After the closing ceremony on Sunday, campers and volunteers will participate in the traditional butterfly release that officially signals the end of camp every year.

Applications are currently being accepted for this year’s camp, and the deadline for registration is Aug. 27. Enrollment is limited, and camp is only weeks away, so Smith encourages interested parents/guardians to contact her as soon as possible. For more information or an application, contact Valerie Smith at 865-374-0864 or Parents and guardians may also register their children and get additional information by going to

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