Camp Keaton

Through outdoor play and activities, Camp Keaton empowers and supports grieving children and teenagers.

Important dates for registered campers and volunteers: 

  • Mandatory Volunteer Meet & Greet – at the hospice in the evening on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.
  • Mandatory Meet & Greet – all volunteers, campers, families in the evening on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

What is Camp Keaton?

Camp Keaton is a bereavement camp designed for children and youth aged 7–17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, friend or someone important to them. Campers are grouped by age, allowing them to be with their peers. It is a weekend-long experience filled with traditional, enjoyable camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers.

Register Here

Read below on the various roles you can apply for in Camp Keaton.

A group of young campers wearing camp shirts and holding keepsakes from home

Become a Camper

Please complete and submit your camper application by Friday, April 5, 2024. Only completed forms will be considered. Acceptance into the Camp Keaton Program is on a first-come, first-served basis. You must attend a family interview to ensure "camper readiness." You must also attend the mandatory “Meet & Greet” event on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in the evening, giving all campers, families, and volunteers the opportunity to meet each other and receive additional important information about Camp Keaton. Campers must live in the catchment area boundaries: Hamilton and surrounding area, Oakville/Mississauga, Fort Erie/Niagara Falls, Guelph, Brantford.

Counsellor in Training

Counsellor in Training volunteers must be 14 – 17 years of age and be in good physical condition. They must attend all required volunteer trainings and relevant meetings. Please note that we will be accepting four applicants. You will be contacted for an interview following your sub­mission if application requirements are met. As a Counsellor in Training, you will shadow a Cabin Big Buddy volunteer and are part of the Camp Keaton Hamilton family. These volunteer Community Service hours can be applied to meet your high school volunteer requirements. You will be a major part of the camp experience for the campers and therefore we ask that everyone conducts themselves accordingly.
Volunteers and kids at Camp Keaton

Cabin Big Buddies (CBB)

Volunteers are responsible for the campers assigned to their cabin the entire weekend, with some cabins having as many as 2 or 3 CBB’s. Each Cabin Big Buddy must participate in mandatory pre-camp training to develop skills and prepare for working with the children, hearing camper stories, and maintaining personal boundaries. Cabin Big Buddies and campers eat all meals together and share a sleeping cabin. It is the responsibility of the CBB’s to know where the campers are at all times and to accompany them to each activity. Cabin Big Buddies are there to offer support and companionship over the weekend for the campers.

Grief Activity Facilitators (GAF)

Volunteers help facilitate various grief activities and support the campers through specially designed activities that encourage them to express their feelings. Each GAF must participate in mandatory pre-camp training to develop skills and prepare for working with the children, hearing camper stories, and maintaining personal boundaries. GAF’s also serve as support to Cabin Big Buddies, helping with any issues that may arise during the weekend. Bereavement experience is an asset.

Camp Keaton Sponsors

Sponsors play a vital role in supporting the Kemp Care Network's ability to offer programs like Camp Keaton to children and families, providing hope and healing in times of grief.

Become a Camp Keaton Sponsor

Keaton Miller

Keaton's Story

Camp Keaton is named after Keaton Millar, a local young boy who inspired others through his fight against a serious illness. Keaton was an energetic and spunky 4-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2007, which he courageously battled for three years. On December 4, 2010, at seven years old, Keaton lost his battle – leaving behind his family, many young friends and his 3-year-old sister, Ella. Keaton was known for his laughter and zest for life, embracing every opportunity to savour the moment. 

Common Questions

Camp Keaton will be held from June 7–9, 2024, at Camp Wenonah in Bracebridge, Ontario.

Camp Keaton is open to individuals aged 7 to 17 who have experienced the death of a someone important to them. Applications will be reviewed, and interviews will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Camp Keaton is free for all campers thanks to grants, sponsors, fundraising efforts‌ and support from the community.

Camp Keaton offers a variety of activities, including music, swimming, nature walks, canoeing, sharing, rock climbing, arts & crafts, storytelling and luminaries.

Camp Keaton is coordinated and staffed by a highly experienced team, along with bereavement professionals and trained volunteers. Camp Wenonah's staff also provide support and leadership during the camp weekend.

The Camp Keaton Meet & Greet event in May allows campers, families and volunteers to meet each other and receive important information. Attendance is strongly encouraged to build connections and community.

Campers, staff‌ and volunteers will be transported to and from Camp Wenonah by bus.

Need More Information?

Please submit your inquiry via the contact form, and we will get in touch with you.

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