CLEARWATER, Fla. — A new camp in Pinellas County is helping children understand the concepts of death and dying and helping them to talk about it.

Camp Kangaroo is a national program solely focused on helping children through the grieving process. 

The nonprofit Seasons Hospice Foundation created the event to guide children in finding new meaning through tough times. Part of that process is helping young people get around any stigma they may perceive around just the topics of death and loss.

“We still have such a stigma about death and dying,” said Yelena Zatulovski, vice-president of patient experience for the program. “We’ve had so many of these traumatic deaths and losses that children need to learn the vocabulary to identify these emotions.”

At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, 17 Bay area children of all ages took part in the two-day event. Over the course of the camp, they learn how to identify grief and how to manage it through counseling, music, and art therapy.

“If they don’t expose those feelings, it will creep up on them in their future,” said Zatulovski.

Death, is inevitable, but the hope is this program inspires campers that tough times are never fought through alone.

For more information on Camp Kangaroo, click visit them on the web at