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Art therapy camp helps grieving children cope

CBS 21

A long sheet of paper on a wall has drawings that appear to be typical artwork from children, but a closer look reveals there's a deeper message behind the drawings.

The drawings are part of art therapy offered to grieving children by Camp Koala in Carlisle.

"It's an opportunity for them to open up with one another and not feel ashamed and not feel like they're going to be judged," Lis Liebetrau, founder and director of Camp Koala, said.

Various arts and crafts were available for children.

Camper Jaden Morrison has lost six loved ones. She works through her grief by making a mask, "Say I was smiling, but on the inside I was feeling sad. That's a mask that I put as a smiling when I'm feeling depressed and stuff on the inside."

Camp Koala has been offering this kind of therapy in one-, two- and three-day camps to children for eight years.

Liebetrau sees a transformation in children's behavior, "When they arrive, their heads are down and they think it's going to be a lot of crying and tears, but it's so much fun and I think that's the best thing is seeing the kids at the end of the first day can't wait to come back and even by the second day, they want to come back a third day."

Another camp will be held in the Fall. If you're interested in the services provided, head to their website, www.campkoala.org.

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