"How cows and a cornfield help heal childhood trauma."
In her March 2020 TEDx Scranton talk, Suzanne shares her personal story on the far-reaching effects of growing up surrounded by addiction and repeated childhood trauma.
"Growing up in the 60s and 70s, one did not talk about what happened at home." Suzanne credits a local dairy farm with helping her overcome shame and often crippling setbacks. At this farm, Suzanne launched a "long journey of self-initiated nature and animal assisted therapy."
Decades later, Suzanne was offered the opportunity to work at this same dairy farm. "Drawing on my personal experiences growing up I wanted to find a way where this farm, my childhood haven, could help other children who were hurting. Find something so they too could feel comforted and safe."
This something is Suzanne's creating the nation's first dairy farm-based Children's Grief Camp.
Launched in 2013, Children's Grief Camp combines farm-based activities, animal assisted interventions, grief education, and emotional support. Today, Camp is a successful collaboration of community including child welfare agencies, court systems, local universities, food pantries, and mental health professionals. Children's Grief Camp has been recognized in numerous publications and at national grief conferences.
To learn more about creating, funding, and sustaining your organization's grief camp for children or adults, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a response within one business day.