Wayne County day camp helps turn grief into growth

We've all lost a loved one and that process and grief is tough - but when it comes to kids, it's a tricky topic. But a Wayne County day camp is helping kids heal.

The camp at Maybury Farms in Northville welcomed 150 kids between 5 and 14. They were greeted by volunteers including Northville Police and Michigan State Police

The children are met by people like Mallory Kirby who lost her mother.

"Sometimes it feels like it happened yesterday," Kirby said.

Another volunteer, Bill Dolezal, credits this camp for him still being here today.

"For a lack of better terms saved me when my wife died 5 1/2 years ago," Dolezal said.

MSP Lt. Michael Shaw said this helps the officers who are there in different ways than the children.

"You want to watch a bunch of tough acting macho troopers turning into Jell-O? This is a good place to watch that happen," he said. "This is an opportunity for the kids to come out and be with other kids that have been through this stuff and maybe not talk about any of that stuff but just run around and have a good time. What's better than that?"

The two-day safe space allows children to forget about their loss and sit back and breathe for a couple of days. Jen Flush from New Hope Center for Grief Support explains that it does take a bit of warming up.

"The first day the kids are apprehensive. Who wants to deal with talking about loss and their feelings, especially the boys? They don't want to cry," Flush said.

The kids get activities throughout the day, including equestrian horse therapy, scavenger hunts, nature hikes, and more.

The 'Grief is Messy' Kids Grief Camp ends Saturday at Maybury Farm.