Children ages six to 15 who have experienced a loved ones' death in the past two years are invited to Shannon's Hope, a therapeutic weekend camp.

Held March 29 and March 30, the camp is offered by the nonprofit Bridges in collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina and Roper Hospice.

It is held twice a year at Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island.

Through various activities, Shannon's Hope campers are encouraged to speak openly about issues of death and grief. The experience aims to teach the children that feelings such as sadness, fear, anger and desperation are all normal to the grieving process.

Campers also find friendships and support that allow them to identify and express their emotions in a safe, secure environment.

The camp is facilitated by professional counselors, and trained volunteer buddies provide compassionate individual support to the children. Together these adults help the children "create stepping stones from their stumbling blocks."

A fee of $35 is requested, although scholarships are available based on financial need. Transportation to and from camp is available.

The courage of hospice patient Shannon Heisler, who died at 16, inspired organizers to create Shannon's Hope in 1989.

For more, go to www.bridgessc.org or call 216-7323. To refer a camper, contact Kathy Berry at Bridges at Kathy@bridgessc.org or 216-7323.

Corporate sponsorships are available. Financial contributions also are welcome.

Formerly Hospice of Charleston Foundation, the nonprofit Bridges offers guidance about palliative and hospice care, bereavement support, caregiver support and other resources.

Jennifer Berry Hawes