Camp Sheilah

Jr. Explorers … are you ready to laugh, jump, climb, sing, roast marshmallows, sleep in a cabin and hang out for a fun weekend in the woods?

First and foremost, our camp is LOADS OF FUN! Who doesn’t like spending an entire weekend sleeping on bunk beds in the middle of the woods, making s’mores (or going straight for the chocolate!), climbing rock walls, zipping down zip lines, sitting by a bonfire and going to a BBQ? The friends you make at Camp Sheilah are special too. They understand one other. Our campers are called “Jr. Explorers.” Because the common journey that brings us all together is the fact that we have lost someone we loved.

“We built this camp because we wanted people to know they are not alone. We’re building our own community at Camp Sheilah for those who lost someone they loved to homicide. Grief is a journey. We walk it together.”

KEVIN DOYLE, Executive Director of the Sheilah A. Doyle Foundation


The SAD Foundation sets kids up for success. Because we’re all in this together.

It’s a fact that kids go through a lifetime journey for their grief. Camp Sheilah is one important stop along the way. Loss by homicide doesn’t ever go away. Tragedy is not a one and done event. You don’t get over it. Instead, you take it with you. You become stronger and more resilient. You begin to build a path forward.

Camp Sheilah was created by a family that “gets it.” The Doyle family founded the Sheilah A. Doyle Foundation in honor of their mother who was brutally murdered in 1993. The camp gives children clear affirmation that they are not alone on their journey.

Whether it’s the smoky scent of the bonfire or the birds waking you up in the morning or the laughter rippling through the cabin as you fall asleep late at night, Camp Sheilah is an unforgettable experience.

Jr. Explorers, here are 5 Things You Will LOVE About Camp Sheilah.

#1  The camp is a fun experience you will never forget.

#2  You get the opportunity to share your story about the person you have lost – only if you feel comfortable and are ready for it. Sharing your story is completely optional.

#3  You will never be judged by what you say or don’t say. We are here to help you with your loss. Your loss does not define who you are or the path you are going to take in life. Instead, it is now part of your awesome story.

#4  You will have the opportunity to honor the person you lost through various activities. These are beautiful and thoughtful ways to remember the person you love.

#5  After the camp is over and you go back to your normal routine, you’ll bring home lots of ideas on how to cope with your loss. You will be able to take these tools with you all your life.


What to Expect at Camp Sheilah:

  • Three-day program for youth ages 7 to 17 who have lost a parent or sibling to homicide
  • The camp is fun!! Enjoy rock climbing, basketball, a zip line, crafts, a camp BBQ, s’mores around a campfire and much, much more!
  • Each Jr. Explorer is matched with an Explorer (an adult who shares similar interests)
  • Small group discussions are led by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois (we call them Journey Leaders)
  • All meals provided
  • Stay all weekend – from 4:30 p.m. Friday until 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Location: Camp Manitoqua at 8428 W Sauk Trail in Frankfort, IL
  • Completely free