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Nestled in the beautiful hills and forests along Cheat Lake in Morgantown, WV, Circle of EKC is your typical sleep-away summer camp – with a twist.

Circle Camp provides free summer camp for girls aged nine to 14 who have experienced the death of a parent.

“Grieving girls often feel isolated and removed from the world of their peers,” said Sandi Welch, founder and executive director of Circle Camps. “The Circle program gives girls skills to cope with their losses and enables them to make lasting friendships with others who understand their losses.”

Campers live in cabins and enjoy regular camp activities like tubing, crafts and sports. And under the guidance of licensed professionals, the Circle week offers structured opportunities for campers to share and rework their stories of loss.

"I didn’t know anyone else who’s parent died when I first came to Circle,” said Lena Carr from Ambridge who lost her mother. “At Circle everyone is just like me so I felt like I belonged right away.

Circle creates an environment that is safe, supportive and accepting so campers can develop a healthy sense of self and lasting friendships with girls who understand their loss.

“During the school year, when I’m having a sad moment, I’ll snapchat with a friend from Circle and she’ll let me know she has hard days, too.” Lena Carr will return for her seventh summer at Circle of EKC and wants to be a counselor at Circle when she’s old enough.

Her father, Dan Carr, believes she’d make a great counselor. “Who better to do it?”

If you know a family that could benefit from Circle EKC, applications are still being accepted for the week of August 12-17, 2019. For details, please visit http://www.circlecamps.org/

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