Originally named Circle of Tapawingo, Circle Camps began in 2002 at Camp Tapawingo in Sweden, Maine. For 12 years, the program enjoyed consistent growth in camper numbers and recognition throughout the New England region. In 2012, inspired by the proven success of the Circle of Tapawingo program, the Board of Directors voted to change the organization's name to Circle Camps for Grieving Children with the goal of serving more young girls. The 2016 Circle programs are Circle of Tapawingo in Sweden, Maine, Circle of EKC in Morgantown, West Virginia, Circle Summit Leadership Training in Morgantown, West Virginia and Circle of Fleur de Lis in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire.
The Circle experience begins with the Camper Program for girls ages 9-12 and continues with the Teen Program for ages 13-14. Campers live in bunks with trained, volunteer counselors and participate in a unique schedule combining traditional camp activities and age-appropriate grief activities. Under the guidance of licensed professionals, the Circle week offers several structured opportunities for campers to share and rework their stories of loss. Equally important to the Circle program are the spontaneous conversations – in the bunks, on walks down to the lake, during rest hour – that help campers feel supported and connected to each other.
The Counselor In Training (CIT) program empowers Circle camper alumnae, ages 15-16, to recognize themselves as positive role models. The CIT program provides grief and emotional support and begins to teach leadership skills that will serve the CITs within the Circle community, at home and in school.
CIT graduates are invited to apply for the two-year Circle Summit leadership program. The Summit experience provides a challenging environment where campers build on their strengths, develop authentic voices, and engage in growth-fostering relationships. Summit campers leave Circle Camps empowered to be enthusiastic, supportive Circle counselors and lifelong community leaders.
Circle Camps for Grieving Children is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 2002 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania