Kids Camp

The loss of a loved one touches each member of the family, including children.  To help young people through their bereavement, Optimal Hospice Foundation created Kids Camp.  This over-night summer camp program is specially designed for young people ages 5 – 16 that have experienced the death of a loved one.

At Kids Camp, young people enjoy traditional camping activities, such as swimming and hiking, in an atmosphere where both staff and fellow campers understand their special needs. Kids Camp is held in the Bakersfield, Fresno, and Northern California (Livermore) areas and is open to the community – attendees loved one did not have to utilize hospice services. The Fresno Camp is held in mid July, Bakersfield in late July/early August and NORCAL in mid August. 

Optimal Hospice Foundation would like to recognize The Taylor Family Foundation for hosting our NORCAL Kids Camp held at The Taylor Family Foundation at Camp Arroyo. The Taylor Family Foundation’s mission is to preserve the wellness and enhance the quality of life for children in Northern California with life-threatening and chronic illnesses, disabilities and youth at-risk through unique therapeutic experiences and support. For more information, please visit

This innovative experience is available at no cost to families, thanks to generous support from the community. Camp participants may be referred by school counselors, healthcare providers, family members and other individuals.

Click on the Kids Camp link below for a look at what Kids Camp has to offer. Activities vary from camp to camp based on the facility, however the essence and message is the same. The video was made possible via a grant from the Kern Community Foundation.

2020 Kids Camp Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Optimal Hopsice Foundation Board of Directors has made the very difficult decision to cancel all 2020 sessions of Kids Camp. Optimal Hospice Care Bereavement teams are available to provide grief support and resources for any family in the communities where we have camp. If you need assistance please contact your local office. Over the summer the Foundation will provide updates via our Facebook page and this website. Coming soon – Kids Camp Corner with resources and activities families can use at home. For questions or more information please contact Cherie Shoemake at 661-301-5446 or Camp will be back bigger and better in 2021.

2020 Kids Camp Dates

Fresno (ages 9-16) – Cancelled for 2020
Fresno One Day (ages 5-9) – Cancelled for 2020
Bakersfield One Day (ages 5-9) – Cancelled for 2020
Bakersfield Session 1 (ages 9-12) – Cancelled for 2020
Bakersfield Session 2 (ages 12-16) – Cancelled for 2020
NORCAL (ages 9-16) – Cancelled for 2020

Referrals can be submitted year-round. Scroll down for online and downloadable forms. 

For our archive of past Kids Camp photo galleries, scroll down to the bottom of this page

2020 Kids Camp Referral Online Form

Even though camp has been cancelled for 2020 we are still accepting referrals forms. Children will be added to the registration distribution list for our 2021 camps. Please indicate in the additional information section if you would like the Optimal Hospice Care Bereavement department to contact the family to offer grief support and/or resources.

Camp Location - Select Desired Camp Location

Child's Information


Deceased Information

Referred By

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors and Donors
Without their support this camp would not be possible


American Legion Riders Chapter 20 Porterville – Courage Sponsor
C.A.R.E. for Kids – Courage Sponsor
Delta Theta Tau Sorority, Gamma XI Chapter Bakersfield – Courage Sponsor
Isnardi Foundation – Courage Sponsor
The Taylor Family Foundation – Courage Sponsor
The Plank Foundation – Courage Sponsor
Bitco, Inc. – Hope Sponsor
The Sommer Family- Hope Sponsor
KGET TV 17 – Media Sponsor
Buck Owens Broadcasting, Inc. – Media Sponsor
Bakersfield North Rotary Foundation – Strength Sponsor
Kaiser Permanente Kern County – Strength Sponsor
David Doig – Friendship Sponsor
Walter Grainger & Kathleen Schaffer – Camper Sponsor
Gaye Siemon/Therapy Dog Lulu – Donor
Les Schwab Tires, Jersey Mike’s Subs, The Boshers Family, Bakersfield Breakfast Lions, Bill Burgemaster, Optimal Hospice Care Management Team, Rusty’s Pizza, The Procell Family, Michael & Suzanne Saltz, Michelle Cooper & Suzi Beaty – Meal Donors
Project Linus Chapters – Kern County, Fresno & Central Valley Chapters – Blankets for Bakersfield & Fresno
American Legion Riders Chapter 20 – Shirts and Ride Pins

If you are interested in being a sponsor for 2020 please contact Cherie Shoemake in the Foundation office at 661-716-8000 or via email at