Registration is Open!
We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting registrations and volunteer applications for our family bereavement retreat program, “Camp Kerry”, which will be help in British Columbia and Ontario the fall of 2023. Families with children/youth that have been impacted by the death of a loved one encouraged to register as soon as possible for spaces fill up quickly.
Volunteers are also encouraged to apply quickly, for we always have a waitlist and a number of people who hope to return year after year. For those interested in volunteering at the retreat near Princeton near British Columbia, consider coming as a kitchen volunteer – you’ll likely get in if the other positions are full! Our kitchen wizards work full days cleaning and assisting the chef. During time off, they get to enjoy biking, hiking, boating, and participating in some of the ceremonies offered at camp. Each kitchen volunteer also helps reduce our costs for site rentals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Attending Camp Kerry
What age do I have to be to go to Camp Kerry?
Our retreat is geared for families .. and we know that families come in many configurations and variations. Our programming and staffing levels will accommodate the needs of babies, toddlers, children, youth and adults of all ages. Please note that children and youth are not permitted to attend Camp Kerry without a guardian or adult family member. On occasion adults/adult family members do attend Camp Kerry without children, but if this is your situation, please contact our office first for a discussion with one of our staff. Our goal in talking with you is always to ensure that a Camp Kerry retreat will be the best resource and best possible fit for you and your family at this moment in time.
What is the recommended length of time after my loss before I can apply to Camp Kerry?
Our family retreats are intensive experiences and can be overwhelming for those in the very early days and weeks after a loss. We highly recommend that you not attend a Camp until a minimum of three or four months past the date of your loved one’s death. Some people are not ready to come to Camp in their first year at all, but find it very helpful in their second or even third year of grieving. There is no exact formula or timetable as each one of us moves in different ways and at a different pace through our grief process. If you are unsure of what to expect and whether the specific timing of a retreat will suit your family, we encourage you to call our office directly for a further discussion with one of our staff.
Where are the camps located this year?
Camp Kerry will be help in two locations this year; one near Princeton, British Columbia, and the other near Huntsville, Ontario.
Can I return to Camp Kerry if I have already attended?
A lot of people attend Camp Kerry for more than one year and many stay involved with our Society’s programs and services for much longer than that. We recognize that grief is an ongoing process that changes over time and that other life stressors and situations have the potential to add complexity and challenge to our bereavement.
I don't live in British Columbia or Ontario. Can I still attend?
At Lumara, we envision a world where no person ever has to grieve alone. We also understand that most communities across Canada lack adequate access to grief and bereavement care. That being said, if your prepared and able to get yourself and/or your family to one of our programs, we’ll certainly consider your application.
Can I leave early or arrive late?
Alot of time, energy, and resources go into organizing these retreats each year, and our waitlists are extensive – we always have people who are desperate to attend this particular program. Our experience of people arriving late and leaving early is that it tends to be very disruptive. We also believe that those who are attending and supporting this program deserve to have the best experience/outcome possible, so we generally don’t make exceptions for those who wish to arrive late or leave early.
Upon approval of an application, we expect both our participants and volunteers to make a commit to meet the time requirements for this program. If things change, we encourage communication so that we can make room for others on the waitlist.
What will we be doing?
There will be moments to relax as well as times that are scheduled for meals, group processes (therapy, land-based healing), and outdoor recreational activities (canoeing, hiking, etc).
Where will I sleep?
The accommodations at the camps vary from private rooms for new families and some of our volunteers to small cabins and dorm rooms.
What will I eat?
Three wholesome meals will be provided along with snacks. With all of our sites, we emphasize to our hosts that having good food is important to our programming. Most of the sites can accomodate dietary restrictions, and will provide nutritous food that appeals to both children and adults.
Can I bring a phone or electronic device?
In order to achieve the greatest outcomes we strongly encourage participants not to bring their mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) to any of our retreat programs.
We also understand that some people may need access to their phones when it is time to return home. So, if you do need to bring your device then our expectation is that it will be turned off throughout the retreat program.
What does it cost?
In an ideal world, we could serve grieving families all across this country without ever being concerned about finances. Unfortunately, there is little to no funding designated towards bereavement care in Canada, so we work tirelessly throughout the year to fundraise for our programming.
We also ask our participants to contribute so that we can sustain our services. For this program, we request a contribution of $750/family, which is less than 1/4 of our actual costs to cover accommodations, meals, therapists, and so on. Payment can be made all at once, or through installments overtime.
Rest assured, nobody is ever turned away due to an inability to pay, nor are participants selected due to the amount they contribute.
I've been to Camp Kerry for several years now and feel like I am doing pretty well with my grief but I still want to stay connected and involved. How do I do this?
Camp Kerry is a community that cares and we would love for you to stay involved with us! There are year-round opportunities to participate in a variety of Society programs as a volunteer. We need help in several areas and believe that everyone has something positive to give back to their community when they feel ready to do so. For more details on volunteering or attending any of our alumni events please contact our office to inquire about volunteering with us.
Interested in Volunteering
Our volunteers play an integral role in supporting the quality of our programming. They often have the greatest of hearts and come from a variety of backgrounds – both personal and professional.
The time commitment for this program is five days – September 14-18, 2023 in British Columbia and October 11-15, 2023 in Ontario – in addition to an online orientation of approximately one hour.
If you are interested in joining us at Camp Kerry this fall then please complete your volunteer application today.
Become an Official Sponsor
Our amazing sponsors help us provide world-class grief and bereavement services to individuals and families all across Canada. No matter the amount, every contribution helps. If you are an individual or business interested in supporting this program then please reach out to us. Sponsors can receive recognition through our website, printed materials, and on location at numerous events throughout the year.