To tell the truth, Tatiana Olmeda didn't really want to attend the Rays of Hope grief camp. However, her brothers and sisters came last year to explore their emotions after their older brother died, and they convinced the 14 year old to attend.
"It is just really hard going through the process," said Olmeda.
Now, she says camp has helped her delve into the feelings she would typically hide.
Alyssa Walter has come for the past four years. Her father died in a construction accident. She was also hesitant that first year.
"Every year I feel like I have less grief and gain more closure," said Walter.
Heather Fields came after her grandfather died of cancer. Camp is a place where she can talk openly about the pain she usually doesn't feel comfortable sharing.
"Not really cause I'm always at school and stuff," said Fields who says most of her friends haven't been through what she has.
Tatiana's brother Ramone is here for the second year in a row. He's completing an art project about his brother.
"My family, we have a little garden for him in the back just for him. So, I'm probably going to put it back there," said Ramone Olmeda.
In the afternoon the kids complete your everyday summer camp activities like swimming and hiking, but in the mornings they do activities to share their emotions.
"We had to write in what we feel but how others see us on the outside," said Tatiana about a picture of herself surrounded by words like happy and funny but with the word sad in the middle. She says her true feelings often aren't the ones she lets people see.
"It's different. It's really different. Like I feel sometimes angry and hurt, but on the outside I show the complete opposite."
Alyssa has a plea for others kids who've lost a loved one.
I just really miss my dad and if you guys want to come out and gain more closure then you should come out, and it's a really good program."
The three day camp is held each summer in Van Wert. Nurses, counselors, and social workers lead the activities.