Summer camp helps children deal with loss of loved one

MEMPHIS, TN (NBC) - Many Mid-South parents are enrolling their children in summer camps.

They can focus on all sorts of sports, hobbies and all kinds of interests.

One summer camp put on by Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is out there to help those who've lost a parent or a close relative.

Camp Braveheart is a free summer camp that helps children cope with a tragic loss.

With pain and pride in their eyes, sisters Caitlin Pfrenger and Bethany Erwin talked about their mother Catherine Sullivan who died suddenly of an abdominal Aorta aneurism in 2016.

"She was silly and terrifying," Pfrenger said. "She was my best friend. She was young when she had me -- she was 19. I used to say that we grew up together."

Pfrenger now is her 7-year-old sister's guardian and both have each other to share stories of their mother.

"She would just say breakfast is ready and we would have bacon and pancakes and toast,"  Erwin said. "I used to cuddle with her in the middle of the night."

Next month both sisters will go back to Camp Braveheart for a second straight year.

"We teach that having emotions and having feelings is okay, " Mark Smith, director of Camp Braveheart, said.

The camp targets children ages 6 to 16 who have lost a parent or close family member but it's available for other family as well.

"We help children be able to put a name to the feelings we look for ways to express those feelings and to work through those feelings in ways that are healthy and positive."

Pfrenger says she's looking forward to the camp next month. "It's fun where you think it wouldn't be and you don't expect to have a good time at a place like that."

About 100 campers are expected at this year's grief camp set to help and heal from July 18 through the 20th.

To register: Call 901-818-2105 or visit their website.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.