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Behavioral Health at Wellspring Camp Hope

Camp Hope

Designed for children and teens, ages 6-17, Camp Hope is a three-day camp that assists children in processing the grief that follows the death of a loved one. It also offers them an opportunity to interact and connect with each other — lessening the feeling of loneliness that often accompanies childhood grief.

How Much Does Camp Hope Cost?

Camp Hope is free for kids to attend. It is generously supported by donors.

Where is Camp Hope?

Camp Hope is hosted at Camp Lael, located in Lapeer, MI.

You can apply by downloading the application packet and returning it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When is Camp Hope?

Camp Hope 2024: August 14-16, 2024

Camp Hope 2024 is a 3-day/2-night camp. Wellspring will provide bus transportation from a designated location in Frankenmuth to and from the campsite.
Applications are due Monday, July 1, 2024.

The Camp Hope Experience

Many of the campers who attend say that this was the most helpful part of dealing with their grief. Some are so moved by the experience that they end up coming back to work for Wellspring long after camp is over.

But don’t just take our word for it. Hear from three brothers who attended Camp Hope after their father passed away.

Benefits of Camp Hope

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    Allows kids to express their grief

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    Teaches them ways to cope with and manage their grief

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    Sets them on the path to healthy healing

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    Connects kids with peers who are also experiencing grief

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    Reduces feelings of loneliness

How Can My Child Attend?

Download and fill out the application (below), then send it in following the directions on the form. A screening committee reviews each application carefully and determines who attends camp. We’ll notify you if your child has been selected to attend.

  Download PDFs

Camp Hope FAQs

Who will be at camp with my child?

Wellspring Lutheran Services social workers serve as camp leaders. All adults at camp receive specific training in order to be a Camp Hope volunteer. Camp Hope also has a partnership with UM-Flint, which provides psychology students and their instructor as camp volunteers. We are very selective about who is at camp with your children. All adult volunteers are required to pass a criminal background check, fingerprint check and drug screen test.

How do I apply for camp?
Applications are accepted for children and teens ages 6-17 years old, each spring. You can download an application above. Prefer to have one mailed to you? Call 989-652-4663 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
How will the children get to camp?

Wellspring provides transportation to and from camp. Campers are picked up at a designated location in Frankenmuth and returned to that same location.

How do you select children for the camp?
A screening committee comprised of medical social workers and grief counselors from Wellspring Lutheran Services reviews all applications and determines whether or not the child would benefit from the camp experience.
When will I know if my child is accepted?
The Screening Committee will meet immediately after the application deadline. You will receive a letter notifying you about your child’s acceptance, along with further instructions and information about a mandatory meeting for parents/guardians.
What if my child has already been to this camp?
If your child has already attended Camp Hope, they will automatically be placed on the waiting list. We want to give every child an opportunity to attend this camp at least once, and space is limited to 40 campers. First priority is given to children who have never been to camp.
What do the kids do at camp?
The camp is set up according to the child’s age and developmental level. Children are placed in groups according to age; they participate in age-appropriate grief and fun play activities. Some of the grief activities may include creating memory pillows and treasure boxes. Fun play activities may include swimming, boating, challenge course and bonfires.
What if my child gets homesick?
The caring professionals and volunteers spend time with your child to assess their needs. Every attempt will be made to reassure and comfort your child. If your child is still very homesick, as a last resort they may place a phone call to home. Please note, this has only happened one time in all the years we’ve been conducting Camp Hope.
What if my child acts out at camp?

All campers and staff are to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. Because we will not condone any behaviors that could cause physical and/or emotional harm, we have a “Three Strikes, You’re Out” policy. It works like this:

  • Strike #1: The child’s group leader will talk to the child.
  • Strike #2: Some of the child’s recreational activities will be limited.
  • Strike #3: If the negative behaviors continue after the first two strikes, the next strike could involve dismissal from camp.
Does it matter who died or how long ago the death was?
No. Any child can attend who has experienced the death of a close loved one, whether a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, classmate, babysitter or close neighbor. Children are also encouraged to attend no matter how recent or how long ago the death occurred.
What if I have more questions?
Call Wellspring Lutheran Services at 989-652-4663 to learn more. Our Camp Hope team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.