Major Funding provided by the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation
Soaring Spirits is proud to serve both our widowed men and women, and their dependent children through our once a year Camp Widow® Kids program held concurrently with our annual Camp Widow® San Diego weekend.
Please note that the kids program is a separate program from our regular camp weekend. Camp Widow® will be run with all the elements, energy and focus on widowed adults to which our organizational mission calls us.
Soaring Spirits’ Camp Widow® Kids program creates the same peer atmosphere for children ages 5-17 that we provide for their parents who attend Camp Widow®. Our kids program is focused on the power of narrative and the building of community. Over two days, we will be assisting young people who have experienced the death of a parent to tell the story of their grief experience in their own words. Throughout the weekend they will ‘build’ their storytelling skills and create their own unique narrative that acknowledges the death of their parent, and also honors the love they will always have for their parent.
Each camp weekend has a unique theme which is woven through fun outings, team building games and experiences, time to honor their loved one, and most importantly the experience of being in a community of peers, to create a memorable and meaningful weekend.
We love the opportunity to create a community of peers for the kids of our campers, and to offer them the ongoing opportunity to attend the Camp Widow® Kids program year after year. Community matters!
Children who attend MUST be accompanied by a parent who is attending Camp Widow®, there is no additional fee for any child attending the Camp Widow® Kids program.
Registration for the event will open as soon as we can verify the availability of our key volunteers!
We are still in the process of verifying the availability of our key volunteers, and we will post an update by the end of May, 2021!
Information on schedule coming soon!
Where: Marriott Marquis and Marina Hotel – 333 W Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
Who: Young people ages 5-17 who are accompanying a registered Camp Widow® camper.
What: Camp Widow® Kids is a weekend long program designed to provide age-appropriate coping techniques and a peer community for children who have experienced the death of a parent.
Registration: Will hopefully open in the first quarter of 2021 as we have a better idea of our ability to safely meet in person.
Volunteers: We will be seeking young adults who have experienced the death of a parent to join our Camp Widow® Kids Leadership Team. If you are interested in joining our volunteer team check back here during the first quarter – our volunteer application will be posted when registration for the event opens.
**Any person over the age of 18 who volunteers for our program will be required to participate in a Livescan screening.
You must be a currently registered Camp Widow San Diego camper before registering your child/ren for this program. Please fill out one form per child, there is no cost associated with registering your children for Camp Widow® Kids.
Camp Widow® Kids Director
Meet Dr. Michael Rodriquez AKA Big Mike, named by the kids he has worked with over the past 30+ years.
Dr. Rodriquez heads up our Camp Widow® Team as the Director of our kids programming. Dr. Rodriguez graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology with both a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in marriage and family therapy. He earned licensure as both an MFT as well as a Clinical Psychologist.
On a personal note, Big Mike is the proud father of 2 girls, Juliet and Portia. He played football for Royal High and graduated in 1993. Mike attended Cal State Northridge and graduated with a degree in Urban Planning. During this time he was the youth director for many high school and junior high programs for four different youth programs in the California area (St Paschal’s, St Rose, St Julie’s and St Edwards). Mike coached high school football at Oak Park High School and served as the youth leader for Hospice of Conejo. Mike loves travel, and he is passionate about volunteering his time in the service of others.
Camp Widow® Kids Program Manager
Meet Caitlin Ibanez who has been a part of our Camp Widow Kids team since our first camp!
Caitlin brings five years of event planning and people management expertise to our team as well as a long history with our host organization Soaring Spirits. She was one of our first volunteers ten years ago. Caitlin is compassionate, funny, kind and she loves our campers. She does this work in memory of her stepdad, Phillip Hernandez.