What Our Campers Say

It was weird showing up and not knowing a single person, but as time moved on, I felt so welcome.  I’ve always known that I wasn’t alone in my struggle, but when I heard the stories of both the campers and the volunteers, it solidified that for me.  It was an amazing weekend that has really helped me in my own grief journey in knowing that the pain and uncertainty that I faced over the past few years since my parents died can be used to help someone else.  People expect it to be a sad weekend, but it’s not.  There are sad moments, for sure, but mostly, it just feels amazing to be in a place where everyone understands what you are going through and is there to take care of you.

– Charles Graham

This year’s theme: BELIEVE. I believe in the most resilient & inspiring little buddies. I believe in the generosity of amazing volunteers. I believe in the power of community. I believe in the special bond that can be formed in just three days. I believe in being present for one another. I believe in heart, soul and LOVE making a difference. I BELIEVE in Comfort Zone Camp!

– Rachel Kamrasch

So grateful for another weekend in the bubble to grieve, heal and grow with a huge community I get to call my family. I continue to be amazed every camp at the bravery, resiliency and honesty these campers show up with. They teach me so much and I am honored to be a part of their grief journey. There’s no way I’d rather spend my weekend and no way to truly describe the CZC experience until you’ve experienced it yourself. I get a lot of weird looks at first when I say I’m going to grief camp for the weekend, and while there are tears and hard moments there’s also amazing laughter and growth that I get to be a part of. CZC has helped me become the person I am today, and sometimes I feel I’m getting more out of it then the campers. Then I get a massive hug from my (shy) camper at the end of the weekend, thanking me for supporting them and engaging in a massive snowball fight and asking if I’ll be back next year. Heck ya kid, we’re family now and I’ll always be here for you. Thank you Comfort Zone Camp.

– Brittany Grabau

I started going to Comfort Zone Camp at the age of eleven in April of 2006, only six months after my dad had passed away. Life felt almost unbearable when it came to losing my dad, and I never thought I would be able to get through it. Until I found Comfort Zone. It was the first place as a kid that I walked into that everyone treated me like a normal kid, I finally felt like I didn’t have the word different written across my forehead. CZC gave me the coping skills I needed to go back into the real world with that I could utilize against those who were bullies, on my bad days, and even on my good days when I felt guilty for being happy again without my loved one being present. Had my mom not found CZC all those years ago I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and for that I am so completely blessed. I continue going to camp as a volunteer because I can think of no better way to repay the help of all the big buddies and healing circle leaders gave me for many years. To experience a weekend at Comfort Zone Camp is a complete gift for me, one that doesn’t have to be wrapped. We are a big family, free of judgment, and full of love. What more could you ever want?

– Nikki Russo

“I KINDA WANTED TO GO TO CZC BUT I KINDA DIDN’T. I WAS SCARED TO GO BECAUSE I HAD
NEVER BEEN SEPARATED FROM MY DAD FOR THAT LONG OF TIME. BUT I WANTED TO GO BECAUSE MY SISTER WAS GOING TO BE THERE TOO. CAMP WAS SO MUCH MORE THAN WHAT I EXPECTED IT TO BE. I THOUGHT EVERYONE WOULD BE SITTING IN A CIRCLE CRYING ABOUT THEIR
LOVED ONES, BUT IT’S NOT AT ALL LIKE THAT! I HAD SO MUCH FUN.”

– DIANE, 15, RICHMOND, VA

“EACH CAMP MAKES ME FEEL LIKE MY SOUL HAS TAKEN A SHOWER. MY LOSS HAD BEEN THE
MUD PUDDLE AND COMFORT ZONE HELPS CLEAN IT OFF OF ME.”

– TYLER, 12, TENAFLY, NJ

“CZC IS THE BEST HELP YOU’LL EVER FIND BECAUSE YOU GET TO MEET KIDS YOUR AGE IN EXACTLY THE SAME SITUATION, WHICH I FIND MORE HELPFUL THAN TALKING TO A THERAPIST OR
SUCH ABOUT IT. IT’S THE MOST AMAZING PLACE AND IT’S SO MUCH FUN, AND IT’S MORE THAN
HELPFUL. IT’S CHANGED MY LIFE.”

– SYDNEY, 14, WESTFIELD, NJ

“COMFORT ZONE HAS CHANGED MY LIFE FOR THE BEST. I DON’T KNOW WHERE I WOULD BE
WITHOUT IT. I CONSIDER COMFORT ZONE MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME, AND THE PEOPLE
THERE AS MY SECOND FAMILY. WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME TO TELL THEM WHAT HAPPENS DURING
A WEEKEND AT COMFORT ZONE, I TELL THEM IT’S TOO GOOD FOR WORDS TO DESCRIBE, BUT
IT’S THE BEST THING I’VE DONE WITH MY LIFE.”

– MATT, CZC CAMPER TURNED VOLUNTEER

“I THOUGHT CZC WAS JUST GOING TO BE A LOT OF EMOTIONAL STUFF. BUT IT WASN’T. IT WAS
MORE THAN I COULD’VE EVER IMAGINED. I WOULD LIVE AT CZC IF I COULD. IT’S LIKE MY
SECOND FAMILY.”

– STEPH, 15, PARKERSBURG, WV

“IT IS HARD TO TELL MY FRIENDS THAT I GO TO COMFORT ZONE CAMP BECAUSE THEY JUST
DON’T UNDERSTAND, THEY JUST DON’T ‘GET IT’. NOBODY UNDERSTANDS, UNTIL I GET TO COMFORT ZONE CAMP, WHERE EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS.”

– DAVID, 12, STATEN ISLAND, NY