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Learn from yesterday. Live for today...HOPE for tomorrow.
Woman Standing on Dock
Woman Standing on Docks

Rhythm of Nature Bereavement Camp

Rhythm Of Nature Bereavement Day Camp
at The Forever Farm ♫ Stoughton, WI

The Rhythm of Nature day camp supports youth 7-14 as they travel the sometimes long and confusing journey of healing from loss, whether from death, divorce, deployment, out-of-home placement or other trauma. When youth come to The Forever Farm they will meet others who have experienced similar challenges and, hopefully, not feel so alone.

This nature-based, animal-assisted musical camp is for youth who can use bereavement support regardless of how long it’s been since they experienced a significant loss. Each youth’s needs will be unique; yet an overriding goal of the program is to bring peace of mind and a renewed sense of hope to all.

Through fun animal-assisted and music-based activities participants tune into their own natural rhythms and learn why “When words fail… music speaks.”

Highlights of activities:
  • Mindfulness-based listening focused on the “music of nature,” improves your ability to tune out distractions and focus on the connection to natural rhythms within self.
  • Create instruments using materials found in nature and playing that instrument as a means of exploring inner rhythms that seek expression.
  • Creative arts expression projects including Spirit Horse Painting
  • Explore the “Circle of Life” concept during a Herd Walk with horses who are grieving the loss of one of their own family members.
  • Time to express your feelings to the animals while practicing Healing Touch massage.

Camp is mostly about fun. We play games, have cool experiences with the cats, dog & horses on the farm, sing or play instruments around the campfire and eat s'mores. But there are also times throughout camp where you will be able to hear other kids' stories, and have the chance to tell your own (if you want). Everything is Challenge By Choice, so you can share as much - or as little - as you want.
Many first time campers are unsure, which is understandable—it’s different. But, know that camp is about making friendships, meeting other kids who can relate, and doing typical "camp stuff." Even if you’re still nervous, give us a shot. We promise it’s worth it.

A Note To Adults Reading This Flier:
There is true healing power in nature and the relationship humans have with animals such as horses. As MaryEllen McKillion Salamone, widow to John Salamone who was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center stated so eloquently, “One crucial element of life that is missing during times of intense grief is peace. Peace of mind, peace of your soul is absent and it contributes to fatigue, sadness, and despair. The human-equine bond is special and fosters peace…the opportunity to have these moments is such a gift to those bereaved and fosters healing. “Therapy” for some bereaved can simply be the pursuit of peace. Secondly, one size does not fit all and traditional therapeutic intervention does not work for some children and MANY teens. Equine assisted therapy can be the tool that helps a child or teen begin to progress through the stages of mourning without having it “feel” like therapy.”

Research shows that people experience many physiological benefits while interacting with horses, including lowered blood pressure and heart rate, increased beta-endorphin levels, decreased stress levels, reduced feelings of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, improved social functioning and increased feelings of empowerment, trust, patience and self-efficacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend: youth 7-14 years old. Youth with high levels of anxiety may benefit from a Meet & Greet session prior to first day of camp to become familiar with the environment and staff.

Where: The Forever Farm/Healing Horsemanship, 2655 County Road BN, Stoughton, WI (20 min SE of Madison)

Cost: to be determined once final schedule is set (groups form on casual basis as we determine a need in community based on referrals of at least 3-5 youth)

Fee includes: full days of nature-based music & natural leadership focused activities, a camp t-shirt and admission for family and friends for Summer’s End Showcase. This showcase will bring all summer camp staff and youth together for a full-day rehearsal with additional activities including a performance in the nature-theatre youth will help build. August date TBD via survey with participant families.
*Music lessons are available before or after camp-day for additional fee: Semi-private +$10/lesson; private $25/lesson
**Riding is not part of this experience; rather the focus is on social-emotional skill development through relationship with horses in a variety of activities. Participants qualify for special rates on lessons scheduled outside of camp [regular rate: $70/hour. Discounted rate: $35/hour]

Payments, discounts, and refunds:
We accept checks, cash or will bill an approved funding source such as CCF or Community Partnerships. A $75 deposit will reserve your child’s space in camp. Full payment is due by day one of camp unless we’re billing.

Multi-camper discount:
A 10% discount is available for families with more than one camper attending during the same summer and is applied to all siblings.

General Financial Aid / Scholarships:
Healing Horsemanship Foundation, Inc. (HHF) is committed to providing nature-based activities to people from all walks of life so they will work with ALL individuals with financial need to make camp affordable via efforts to attain scholarship sponsors for individual youth who lack funding.

Bob, Nikki & Britni Cohen-Wichner are personally committed to providing scholarship support for up to one-third of the fee for up to 25% of our campers.

To apply for financial aid, complete the Registration Form. Include a Scholarship Application. 

Melvin Cohen Military Connected Youth Scholarships

In honor of her dad, Mel Cohen, Nikki will provide one 100% scholarship for a military-connected youth AND a commitment to find sponsors for 100% financial assistance for ALL military-connected youth who want to attend camp.

Mel volunteered for the U.S. Army at age 15 and served his country proudly in the Korean War and beyond. He fell in love with band music while listening to the U.S. Marine Corp Band and wholeheartedly supported his granddaughter’s passion for playing music from the first day she picked up a violin in 4th grade. He never missed a single concert of hers until he passed away in 2010.

The general scholarship application combined with a paragraph written by an adult who cares about the youth sharing how this camp could make a positive difference in the life of the youth and why financial support is needed.