Camp Safe Haven: Empowerment, Encouragement, and Enlightenment

Helping Children, Teens, and Families to Overcome Grief

Haven Hospice will be offering five dates and locations to help children, teens and families understand their feelings of loss and to  heal through the free, grief-support Camp Safe Haven program.


“The purpose of Camp Safe Haven is to provide children, teens and families with the tools and support needed to understand and manage their emotional health,” said Vonceil Levine, MSW, a bereavement counselor at the camp who has served families in the Gainesville area for nearly 20 years and been a social worker for Haven Hospice since 2006.”We aim to encourage, enlighten and empower campers while offering them a chance to have a little fun too.”


The first camp will be a family camp on Sunday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Camp Kulaqua located at 23400 NW 212 Avenue in High Springs.  Two additional Family Camps will be offered on Saturday, September 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Otter Springs Park and Campground located at 6470 SW 80th Avenue in Trenton and on Saturday, September 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Inc. located at 1170 Youth Camp Lane in Pierson.


A day camp for children ages 6 to 12 will be offered Saturday, June 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Camp Chowenwaw Park located at 1517 Ball Road in Green Cove Springs and an overnight camp for teens will be held from 6 p.m. on Friday, October 10 until 11 a.m. on Sunday October 12 at Camp Immokalee located at 6765 Immokalee Road in Keystone Heights.


Although the camps are free, the overnight camp requires a $35 deposit for registration, and the full amount will be refunded upon arrival at the camp. Teens participating in the overnight camp will need to bring the following items: Twin-size linens or sleeping bag, a pillow, toiletries, towels, personal items, clothes for Saturday and Sunday and a swimsuit.


Supported by Haven’s professionals and volunteers, Camp Safe Haven provides children, teens and families with fun and therapeutic activities to help them work through their feelings of grief. The goal of the program is to help children, teens and families acknowledge that a loss in their lives has occurred, to accept that loss and to make adjustments. Camp Safe Haven is free and open to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. The loved one did not have to be cared for by Haven Hospice in order to participate in the camp. For more information or to sign up for the camps, call Vonceil Levine or Marissa McGehe at 800-HOSPICE (467-7423) or visit