Camp Caterpillar

A free, one-day camp for grieving children, teens and adults

April 29, 2017 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Warriors’ Path State Park, Kingsport, Tennessee

Camp CaterpillarCamp Caterpillar is a free, one-day camp designed to meet the needs of children and teenagers who have experienced the death of a loved one or similar loss. The camp is held annually.

Children of all ages participate with adult family members and other campers from across the Tri-Cities region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. 

Volunteers serve as camp buddies and accompany participants throughout the day's activities as they are led by professional social workers, counselors and nurses.

To receive periodic updates and join the discussions about Camp Caterpillar, please visit and "like" our Camp Caterpillar Facebook page.

What happens at Camp Caterpillar?

The camp provides a safe, fun, and caring atmosphere to explore feelings of grief.

Campers will:

  • Develop an age appropriate understanding of death
  • Strengthen coping skills
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Reduce the feelings of isolation
  • Develop relationships with others who have experienced similar losses

For children and teens

The busy camp day consists of age divided groups addressing feelings of grief, remembering loved ones, and learning effective coping skills. Opportunities for fun include:

  • Crafts
  • Games
  • Exciting physical activities

Lunch is provided with time for families to reconnect and relax. The camp day concludes with a memorial ceremony that includes a butterfly release.

For adults

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. A panel of experienced professionals will be available to answer questions.

Parents and guardians will be able to interact with their children and other campers during breaks and lunch and at the closing memorial ceremony.

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.

Getting started with Camp Caterpillar

Being fully funded by donations, Camp Caterpillar is offered at no charge to participants.

Please note: The forms linked below only work in the Internet Explorer Web browser or the Adobe Acrobat Reader application.

Child and parent camper registration

To register to attend Camp Caterpillar, please download, complete and return the following forms:

Volunteer registration

Individuals interested in volunteering at Camp Caterpillar should download, complete and return the volunteer registration forms to Wellmont Hospice prior to the training dates listed on the form.

Where to send registration forms

Camper and volunteer registration forms may be returned by mail to:

  • Camp Caterpillar Registration
    Sarah Hale, Wellmont Hospice House
    1 Medical Park Blvd.
    Bristol, TN 37620

Or the forms can be faxed to (423) 844-5279.

For more information

Contact Wellmont Hospice at (423) 844-5252 to learn more about Camp Caterpillar.

Camp Caterpillar location

Warriors' Path State Park
409 Hemlock Road
Kingsport, TN 37663