The Place that Changes Lives…also known as Camp Erin

7 Sep

2008 marks the fourth year of Camp Erin in Portland, OR.

To find out how Camp Erin was started, click here

Many people don’t believe in coincidences. I am one of them. It was by fate that I got started with this.

I worked at Providence while getting my Master’s degree. My friend was out on maternity leave having her darling girls and I was checking her emails with her permission of course! I ran across an email and the subject read: Camp Erin. Hmm…I love me a good camp! So I opened it! Little did I know then, that was the beginning of a journey that would take me places I never imagined. The email stated there was a meeting for a camp that was being started for grieving children. Hmm…I like children and I may know about grieving…I’m just sayin!

SIDENOTE: I don’t LIKE to do things alone that are scary…but I often do them anyway! The motto “feel the fear and do it anyway.” So

I went to the meeting. As I was signing in I was approached by a lady I sat next to at Orientation for Providence. She was in charge of the entire Camp. Hmm…another twist of fate.

I sat down, kind of scared. It seemed as though most people knew each other. They probably didn’t but it seemed that way.

Next, Jamie came to sit next to me. She introduced herself and told me I looked familar and wanted to know if I had connections to the Dougy Center. HELLO!!! I starred in a few of the videos made for that place! People should be asking for autographs! She recognized me from one of those videos…NICE!

As the meeting went on, I got more and more excited to be a part of this organization. This was an amazing place and I NEEDED to be a part of. Within 5 minutes, I decided that MiMi (my mom) needed to be there too.

The rest is history. I just finished my fourth year at Camp Erin as a Lead Big Buddy. Don’t forget that LEAD part…it means, Candy and Laura get to ask me EVERYTHING and leave the HARD decisions to me as well as I get to carry the walkie talkie…FABULOUS!

Some things about Camp Erin that I heart…

-All campers get a handmade quilt and bear on their bunks when they arrive to take home at the end of the weekend.

-All campers make a quilt square in memory of their loved one that has passed. The quilt is put together by our very own Camp Erin Quilter and ready for the kids to see Sunday morning. Bless Karen’s heart for staying up ALL NIGHT to get it done.

-A luminary ceremony takes place Saturday night in memory of their loved ones. Each child makes a paperbag luminary decorated in rememberance and then set on a raft in the pond. It is was of the most amazing things you will ever see.

-Candy and I are the “feature” entertainers…or at least we like to think we are. We do a “dueling toothbrushes” skit that the kids talk about for hours! Probably days!

-Campers are spoiled rotten by us!

-There is a waterslide to die for! (no pun intended…I HAD TO!)

We usually accept 48 campers. Statistics show that 1 in every 20 kids will experience the death of a loved one before high school graduation. There is a HUGE need for kids to experience this camp. There is ALWAYS a waiting list to get in. The goal of Jamie Moyer is to have one of these camps in AT LEAST every major league baseball city in the US. GO MOYERS!

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