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 we serve. If you need assistance please contact your local office (see Contact Us page for information link). Our new Kid Camp Corner below contains grief related activity sheets and resource links. These will be available on our Facebook page as well. For questions or more information please contact Cherie Shoemake at 661-301-5446 or Camp will be back bigger and better in 2021.

Kids Camp Corner

Activity Sheets

Click on the Title to view and print

Remembering My Person – Helps children use their 5 senses to remember their loved one.

Adults in My Life – Understand the ways kids interact with adults in their life.

My Support System – Helps children identify their support system.

Letter to My Special Person – Worksheet to help kids write a letter to their loved one.

A Special Day with My Person – Children can use as a single page diary to write about a special day with their loved one.

Remembering Using Their Name – Kids use their loved ones name to write down words that remind them of their special person.

How to Make a Paper Airplane – Instructions on how to make different paper airplanes, including the one Director Scott teaches at Kids Camp.

If you need copies of the activity sheets listed or would like addtional resources please contact the Foundation office at 661-716-8000 or Hard copies will be sent in the mail.

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

Kids Camp Online Referral Form

Referral forms may be submitted year round. By completing this form the child will be placed on our registration packet mailing list for our summer camp. Registration packets will be mailed to parent/guardian in June (Fresno & Bakersfield) and July & (NORCAL). A completed registration packet is required for attendance.

Camp Location

Please select one 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