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Talking About Grief with Experience Camps

Joy. Wonder. Delight. Grief. These feelings are all deeply associated with the holiday season, but that last one isn’t talked about much. Talking about grief has become even more urgent during the pandemic, with 86% of Americans now saying grief should be addressed as an important mental health issue. Yet, 70% of adults don’t have the skills they need, saying they’re often unsure what to do or say when someone they care about is grieving. 

Experience Camps is seeking to change that by championing the nation’s 5.3 million bereaved children running no-cost programs that help grieving children thrive. The organization focuses on kids who have gone through the death of a sibling or parent/primary caregiver, organizing week-long overnight summer camps and year-round programs to help children build the community and coping skills they need to thrive. 

To hear hard-won insights from nearly 450,000 hours with grieving kids and actionable ideas for supporting others through grief, we welcomed to the show Sara Deren, founder and CEO (that’s Chief Experience Officer) of Experience Camps. 

Listen for Sara’s insights on: 

  • Why it’s important to ‘Talk About Grief,’ and how you can have hard conversations in constructive ways. 
  • How Experience Camps is navigating a 500% increase in demand over the last five years, expanding programming and resources to meet the unprecedented need. 
  • The lifelong impacts that healthy coping skills can provide grieving children, and how Experience Camps extends support beyond camp sessions. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with grief this holiday season, or want to help someone who is, please find grief resources here. If you would like to light a virtual candle for a loved one, please click here.

Links & Notes

  • 00:00 – Welcome to Purpose 360
  • 01:01 – Experience Camps
  • 03:32 – Sara Deren
  • 10:14 – Finding Your Purpose
  • 11:43 – The First Year
  • 18:13 – Childhood Grief
  • 20:42 – What Happens at Camp
  • 22:57 – Growth
  • 27:19 – By the Numbers
  • 31:45 – Grief
  • 35:28 – TAG
  • 38:12 – Pandemic
  • 40:53 – Beyond the Bunk
  • 42:59 – Getting Involved
  • 44:48 – Giving Tuesday
  • 46:57 – Corporate Support
  • 47:34 – Finding Motivation
  • 49:54 – Insights
  • 51:36 – Last Word
  • 53:44 – Wrap Up

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Business is an unlikely hero: a force for good working to solve society's most pressing challenges, while boosting bottom line. This is social purpose at work. And it's a dynamic journey.

Purpose 360 is a masterclass in unlocking the potential of social purpose to ignite business and social impact. We illuminate the growing impacts of purpose, from engaging employees and fostering deeper consumer loyalty to inspiring product innovation and increasing market share.