Camp Caterpillar is a free, one-day camp held annually and designed to meet the needs of grieving children, teenagers and adults. Children of all ages participate with adult family members and other campers from across the Tri-Cities region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia who have experienced the death of a loved one or similar loss. Volunteers serve as camp buddies and accompany participants throughout the day's activities as they are led by professional social workers, counselors and nurses.
Camp Caterpillar will be held this year on Saturday, May 17. To receive periodic updates and join the discussions about Camp Caterpillar, please visit and "like" our Camp Caterpillar Facebook page.
Preparing for the day of camp
Camp Caterpillar participants are asked to arrive at 9 a.m. for registration and orientation. Campers will be divided into groups by age to engage in a wide variety of activities, including sessions to help learn about grief and how to cope with it. Sessions are professionally led and designed to respond to each person's unique needs.
The following guidelines will help campers prepare for Camp Caterpillar.
- Because many camp activities are held outdoors, campers should wear appropriate clothing and closed-toed shoes – sandals and flip flops are not recommended and will not allow for full participation in the day's activities.
- Camp Caterpillar is held "rain or shine" – campers should bring a jacket if it is raining or if rain is expected.
- Campers should bring any medications required during the day, and a registered nurse will be on-site at Camp Caterpillar in the event first aid or medical assistance is needed.
- Because many different activities will be offered to keep participants engaged, campers should avoid bringing electronic devices such as cell phones, portable gaming systems or music devices that could distract from the day's activities.
- Campers are not required to bring their own food or meals. Lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend Camp Caterpillar with their children. Separate sessions are conducted to help understand children's grieving processes, cope with adult grief and learn how to respond to children's unique needs. Parents and guardians will be able to interact with their children and other campers during breaks and lunch and at the closing memorial ceremony.
Getting started with Camp Caterpillar
Camp Caterpillar is funded by donations and offered at no charge to participants. To get started, please download and complete the camper registration forms and return them to the Wellmont Hospice before May 9. Individuals interested in volunteering at Camp Caterpillar should download and complete the volunteer registration form and return it to Wellmont Hospice prior to the training dates listed on the form.
Camper and volunteer registration forms may be returned by mail to Camp Caterpillar, Wellmont Hospice, 280 Steeles Road, Bristol, TN 37620 or by fax to (423) 844-6379.
For more information, please contact Wellmont Hospice at (423) 844-5252.
Camp Caterpillar location
531 Timbermill Private Drive
Bluff City, TN 37618
If you are using a GPS device, please use the following address:
550 Beaver Creak Road
Bluff City, TN 37618