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Camp Firefly

A place for young hearts to grieve – and heal – together

Saturday, Sept. 7 • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Warriors’ Path State Park, Kingsport, Tenn.

Camp Firefly is a free, one-day camp designed for children and teenagers who have experienced the death of a loved one.

What to expect

For children and teens

Campers come together in age-divided groups to address their feelings of grief, remember loved ones and learn healthy coping skills.

For adults

Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend Camp Firefly with their children. Separate sessions are conducted to help understand children’s grieving processes, cope with adult grief and learn how to respond to children’s unique needs. A panel of experienced professionals will be available to answer questions. Lunch is provided, with time for families to reconnect and relax. The camp day concludes with a memorial ceremony that includes a lighted lantern release. 

What happens at Camp Firefly?

The camp provides a safe, fun and caring atmosphere for campers and their families to explore their feelings by:

  • Developing an age-appropriate understanding of death
  • Forming relationships with peers who have experienced similar losses
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Reducing feelings of isolation
  • Strengthening coping skills

Trained volunteers serve as camp buddies and accompany participants through activities led by professional social workers, counselors and nurses. Volunteers are always needed, and Ballad Health team members who volunteer can earn CAPs and BEST credits.

Preparing for the day of camp

Camp Firefly participants are asked to arrive at 9 a.m. for registration and orientation. Campers will be divided into groups by age to engage in a wide variety of activities, including sessions to help learn about grief and how to cope with it:

Sessions are professionally led and designed to respond to each person’s unique needs.

The following guidelines will help campers prepare for Camp Firefly.

  • Because many camp activities are held outdoors, campers should wear appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes – sandals and flip flops are not recommended and will not allow for full participation in the day’s activities.
  • Camp Firefly is held rain or shine – campers should bring a jacket if it is raining or if rain is expected.
  • Campers should bring any medications required during the day, and a registered nurse will be on-site at Camp Firefly in the event first aid or medical assistance is needed.
  • Because many different activities will be offered to keep participants engaged, campers should avoid bringing electronic devices such as cell phones, portable gaming systems or music devices that could distract from the day’s activities.
  • Campers are not required to bring their own food or meals. Lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day.

Getting started with Camp Firefly

Camp Firefly is offered at no charge to participants, being fully funded by donations.

Child and parent camper registration

To register to attend Camp Firefly, please download, complete and return the following forms:

Volunteer registration

Individuals interested in volunteering at Camp Firefly should download, complete and return the volunteer registration forms to Ballad Health Hospice prior to the training dates listed on the form.

Where to send registration forms

Camper and volunteer registration forms may be returned by mail to:

Camp Firefly Registration 
Sarah Hale, Ballad Health Hospice House 
1 Medical Park Blvd. 
Bristol, TN 37620

Or the forms can be faxed to (423) 844-5279.

For more information

Contact Ballad Health Hospice at (423) 431-6146 to learn more about Camp Firefly.

Camp Firefly location

Warriors’ Path State Park 
409 Hemlock Road 
Kingsport, TN 37663