Girls’ grief camp provides ‘anchor’ of hope

Published 5:00 pm Sunday, October 29, 2023

“Anchored: A Christian Grief Camp for Girls” was conducted Oct. 6-7, 2023, at Brushy Creek Ranch in Gloster.

The overnight camp was designed for girls who have experienced loss – from loss of life to loss of family through separation or absence. The mission of Anchored is to provide a safe place for grieving children to experience God’s love as the anchor in their storm of grief.

“Through worship and connection, we prayed that these children would leave empowered, strengthened, and encouraged,” said creator and organizer Harlie Blauw. Blauw is a counselor and psychologist at Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Campers were able to ride horses, work with clay, and paint with artists. The retreat concluded with the release of live butterflies to honor and recognize their loss. The activities aimed to help children reinvest in life after loss together as a community of grievers.

“Children were able to experience the freedom to feel without judgment, to be as expressive or as quiet as they chose, and for their grief to be acknowledged as important and worthy of recognition,” Blauw said.

Anchored was created by Blauw and made possible by Brushy Creek Ranch camp staff Amber Bowman, Seaira Kowalski, Rebecca Teasley, Caitlyn McDonald, Martha McMillan, Mendez Nelson, John Kelly Shelburne, Janet Smith, and Kayla Ann Walker.