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Helping Kids heal from homicide-related trauma

Camp Sheilah, an annual bereavement camp founded by the Sheilah A. Doyle Foundation in 2011, helps children ages 7-17 whose parent, legal guardian or sibling have been victims of homicide on their healing journey.

After several years of providing clinical support for the youth who attended camp, in 2020, Kids Above All entered into a formal partnership with the Sheilah A. Doyle Foundation, assuming operational control of Camp Sheilah.

Campers who attend the three-day event participate in fun activities like rock climbing and zip lining that challenge them to do things that they would normally wouldn’t do, building resilience and helping them learn how to navigate difficult situations. They also take part in small group discussions and art therapy to help them remember and honor their family member, as well as assist them in working through the trauma they’ve experienced.

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.

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 (camper) 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