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August 14, 2023

Dyan Duncan
Executive Director Marketing & Communication

(LOUISVILLE, KY) — Did you know that 1 in 9 children in Kentucky will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 18? The Commonwealth ranks 7th in the nation for childhood bereavement rates on the 2023 Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM). When a child experiences the death of someone significant in their life, such as a family member, friend, or other influential figure, the effects can be long-lasting. A child’s grief may come and go at different levels of intensity for some time after the death, making it challenging for parents and caregivers to know how to support the child through this process.

The Hosparus Health Grief Counseling Center (GCC), with campuses on Ephraim McDowell Drive in East Louisville and Broadway in West Louisville, is committed to serving the bereavement needs of children in our community. As a cornerstone of Hosparus Health, the GCC serves patients and families in hospice care. Using a variety of modalities, including individual and family counseling, peer support groups, year-round special events, and innovative camps, the GCC is proud to extend these important grief services to the community at large.

On the weekend of September 29, the Louisville-based nonprofit will host its 28th annual Camp Evergreen, a family bereavement camp weekend at Country Lake Christian Retreat Center in Underwood, IN. Just 30 minutes north of downtown Louisville, Camp Evergreen provides a safe, comfortable environment for families to face their grief, both individually and collectively, while resolving to recharge and reconnect.

Long-time volunteer Jim Pilbean has witnessed the power of Camp Evergreen firsthand. “Facing grief is an act of courage and creativity: the courage to grapple with intense and, often, conflicting feelings and having the creativity to recreate a path for moving forward while keeping the connection to those we remember,” said Pilbean. “Nowhere is this more genuine than at Camp Evergreen.”

The goals of the camp are simple:

  • Build resilience.
  • Encourage growth.
  • Foster community among those who have gone through similar experiences.

Camp Directors Erin Guthrie, LCSW, and Joe Ferry, LPAT, CT, are intentional about making sure fun is also on the agenda. Families will enjoy camp activities including a traditional campfire complete with roasting hotdogs, making s’mores, and storytelling. “We counterbalance the tough work of grief with lots of fun and plenty of time for rest and recreation,” said Ferry. “We like to counterbalance the tough work of grief with lots of fun and silliness. Kids do their work through play and exploration, so we have plenty of time to enjoy the camp amenities.”

The camp is open to bereaved families with children between the ages of 6 and 18. Counselors suggest waiting at least two months after a death to attend, with programming designed for those whose losses occurred within the past two years. Families of all make-up are welcome. Each family will enjoy a private room with two queen beds and a private bathroom. All meals and snacks are provided. Visit the retreat center website for more information about camp accommodations.

Camp Evergreen is affordable thanks to the generous support of donors such as the WHAS Crusade for Children and Kosair for Kids, as well as other corporations, groups, and individuals. Registration fees start at $100 for a family of two; each additional family member is only $25. Scholarship assistance is available for families based on need.

The application deadline for Camp Evergreen is Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

For more information or to register, visit or call 502-546-5451.

About Hosparus Health

Established in 1978, Hosparus Health is one of the nation’s largest and most respected community-based, nonprofit care providers for those facing serious illnesses. For 45 years, the mission-driven organization has championed equitable healthcare access by delivering specialized programs and holistic services across 41 counties in Kentucky and Indiana. Through the support of more than 600 employees and over 500 volunteers, Hosparus Health’s person-centered approach is focused on improving the quality of life for over 10,000 patients and families annually. Its interdisciplinary teams provide support for serious illnesses across the continuum, including medical care, symptom and medication management, grief counseling, hospice care, and palliative medicine. For more information about Hosparus Health, please call 800-264-0521 or visit

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