GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com)– Haley Oelke was just 13 years old when her older sister Rebecca passed away unexpectedly in 2004. Barely a teenager at the time, Oelke admits she had a hard time dealing with the loss, keeping her feelings inside and not knowing if what she was going through was normal.
Now a senior captain on the Green Bay volleyball team, Oelke recently called on her own experiences, as well as what she has learned as a psychology major at UW-Green Bay, to benefit similar children at Camp Lloyd – a week-long day camp for kids who are grieving the death of a loved one.
“Going through what I went through with my sister definitely changed my perspective on life a lot,” Oelke said. “It made me want to help children who are going through that type of experience and let them know that their feelings are normal, that it’s OK to keep living your life and show them that you can find strength in the loss of a loved one.”
To watch a video about Oelke’s experience at Camp Lloyd, click here.
Camp Lloyd, which was started by UW-Green Bay professor Dr. Illene Cupit seven years ago, was held June 18-22 at the Mauthe Center on the UW-Green Bay campus. Oelke, along with the rest of the Camp Lloyd “buddies”, had to go through extensive training sessions to work at the camp, as well as take Cupit’s Death, Dying and Loss course, keep journal entries and write a 15-20 page paper about the experience.
This year’s camp was filled with fun activities such as arts and crafts, music, swimming, hiking, kayaking, relay races, scavenger hunts and trips to the zoo. The campers, ages seven to 14, also worked with Oelke and the other trained students, as well as Camp Lloyd’s profession grief counselors to explore their feelings and support one another.
Tags: Green Bay - Volleyball