Camp Ray of Hope, a program of Hospice Volunteers of Waterville, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Sept. 17, at Pine Tree Camp, 114 Pint Tree Camp Road, in Rome.

The event is for grieving families, people of all ages participate in outdoor activities like boating and swimming, get massages, eating treats around a campfire, and attend activities like cooking class and art centers.

The weekend retreat is held annually for those who have lost someone they love. It was founded in 1995 to give grieving individuals and families a place to come together and learn new ways to cope with their loss, to meet others with similar circumstances, to remember special times, to make new friends, and to have fun.

Participants come from all over the state to spend time with their families as they process the death of their loved one. Along with spending special time together, family members also participate in bereavement groups with others their own age. Adults will be with adults, teens with teens, and children with children. For example, children of the same age gather together with trained bereavement group facilitators to write stories about their loved ones, draw pictures, participate in arts and crafts, and go on nature hikes all with the focus of finding healthy ways to express their confusion and anger.

The camp also is a safe place for individuals to meet others who have lost someone dear to them. Tears and talking about the loss of a loved one are welcomed and encouraged at the camp. In fact, everyone at Camp Ray of Hope comes for the same reason — a broken heart from the loss of a loved one.

For more information please contact Jillian Roy, Bereavement Coordinator at Hospice Volunteers of Waterville at 873-3615 or email at [email protected].