With the ongoing support of people like you, we have been performing magic and making history since 2007. The Camp Kerry Society was created to support the psycho/social/spiritual needs of individuals, families, and professionals coping with life-threatening illness and bereavement.
Kerry Kirstiuk, an inspiring mother of two young children, lost her battle to cancer in 2006. Her husband, Bob Kirstiuk, requested that donations in Kerry’s memory be given to Dr. Heather Mohan’s bereavement program in gratitude for the support she had given them during the final months of Kerry’s life. In order to utilize the funds that were raised, Heather proposed a novel treatment idea that involved the creation of a retreat for families who had lost a loved one. With Bob’s enthusiastic approval and support, it was decided to name this special weekend “Camp Kerry” in memory of the courageous young woman who so inspired those around her.
In September 2007, the very first Camp Kerry was launched as a pilot project on British Columbia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Eleven families attended and it was a resounding success. Since that time, many more families have been helped and demand for the program continues to grow with referrals coming in from across Canada.
Over the years, incredible support has poured in from individuals, families, community groups and businesses who have been inspired by Kerry’s story and/or touched by their own personal losses. Many have provided financial support while others have offered their time, skill, energy, and expertise as volunteers. It is only through these efforts that our programs may continue and for them we are truely grateful.
Over time, as the popularity and success of the program grew, it became quite clear that Camp Kerry was no longer a pilot project and it was time to establish an independent organization. In 2011 the Camp Kerry Society was formed and official charitable status was obtained. Our services continue to expand and include: an anual family bereavement retreat, "Camp Kerry", in British Columbia, Canada, year-round support groups, "Circles of Strength", grief counselling, and workshops for health care professionals, teachers, and community groups.
This past year the Camp Kerry Society embarked on a new exciting adventure with a Camp Kerry pilot project in Maui. Three families were selected for an eight-day intensive retreat and cultural exchange. It appears to have been a great success and it is likely that this retreat will continue on an anual basis in the future.
The music shared by us has been created by youth who have participated in our youth groups at Camp Kerry. Proceeds from these songs will be used to send more families to Camp Kerry.