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Published September 27, 2011, 07:04 PM

Fergus Falls camp helps children and families deal with grief

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - A special camp is coming up in Fergus Falls. It's a 1 day event to help children and their family deal with a topic so few of us are good at: Dealing with grief.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

A special camp is coming up in Fergus Falls. It's a 1 day event to help children and their family deal with a topic so few of us are good at: Dealing with grief. It is called Camp Emily, named in memory of a bubbly, much loved 2 year old who was senselessly and tragically killed at her day care 5 years ago.

Lynn Johnson always knew her 2 year old daughter Emily was something special. 5 years after her death, there is a legacy in the form of a one day Camp Emily. Where children as well as adults come together to share grief and joy stories. Tesa Rude and her son Dawson attended the camp and came away refreshed.

Tesa Rude – Attended Camp Emily: “The dying and going to heaven and we know where we are going, the spiritual aspect is there but letting us grieve is not there and this lets us do that.”

Everyone who attends the camp may be at different stages with their grief. A recent death perhaps, or unresolved feelings from a loss long ago. Counselors like Jim Wold say it allows families to open up to others going through the same thing.

Jim Wold – Camp Counselor: “We all need to talk and that is part of the healing process.”

Emily's mom, Lynn, still cannot believe she has been without her little girl 5 years. The camp is one way she and her family find some peace out of the tragic loss.

Lynn Johnson – Camp Emily Founder: “I have told some friends that the funeral part is not the tough part but the days and weeks and months, just sucks. And so it is good that people are here who have gone through it.”

None of us is very good at grieving....expressing loss.....but this upcoming camp...Emily's Camp, honors the little girl who changed lives in a short time, and whose spirit now touches families who never even knew her.

Camp Emily will be held Saturday, October 8th at Lakeland Hospice in Fergus Falls. Registration is still open. Call Hospice at 218-998-1400.

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