Camp Widow is a Thing. Is it for You?

Nov 12, 2021

Camp Widow is a one-of-a-kind event. In short, it’s a conference for people who have lost a spouse or partner. But it’s so much more.

On day one, many first-time campers wonder what they’ve signed up for. A camp? For widowed people? Many loathe the word widow, and yet signed up in a moment of desperation, and then, in a subsequent moment of what felt more like clarity, realized that there are no refunds (only postponements).

To get on a plane or into a car for a road trip without one’s spouse can be daunting. To walk into a room full of people is terrifying. For some, the prevalent thought is, “I don’t want to go.” And yet a mere two days later, it becomes, “I don’t want to go home.”

What happens in between is the unique experience served up by the small but mighty team of widowed people who make up Soaring Spirits International. It’s real and raw, and simultaneously joyful and fun. It is the full range of authentic human emotions, happening all at once.

In his book The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran writes, “ The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”

There are no merit badges provided at Camp Widow because each camper already carries the deep carvings of sorrow. At Camp Widow, attendees face the grief, learn from presenters and peers and understand themselves at a deeper level.

There are tears and there is laughter and there are tears from the laughter.

Campers experience the joy that begins to fill the depths that sorrow has carved.

While attendees may have otherwise been divided by political party, religious belief, age, or geography, to name a few, campers are above all else united by their shared experience of loss.

In a world that lacks grief savvy, the widowed journey can be lonely. Although well-intentioned, most people don’t get it, (and good for them.) Many campers have walked in this loneliness for months or years, even decades.

And then they walk into Camp Widow.

There is nothing quite  like being in a room with 400 people who have their own version of the darkest darkness. There is a nearly audible collective sigh of relief as people feel seen and understood.

Having hosted numerous camps to date, the team of staff and volunteers at Soaring Spirits expertly facilitates connection. Through various formats, campers easily find counterparts whose spouses passed due to similar causes, or those who have a shared experience navigating grief, or peers who are in the same geography.

Anyone having a rough moment is likely to be spotted by a member of the Soaring Spirits team who are always on the lookout for someone in need of kindness, compassion and understanding. It’s simply what they do.

“We are fundamentally different people than when we arrived,” commented one camper on the final day. He is himself widowed less than a year and was speaking on behalf of a small group of other newly widowed people.

Deep, lasting friendships are made. Grief is processed in new and profound ways. Each person and their journey are honored. Camp Widow is transformative.

For those who lack the funds to attend Camp Widow, Soaring Spirits International’s donors provide scholarships (called “camperships”). If you’re not ready to attend camp, Soaring Spirits provides a number of other free programs to support you, right in your own home. Simply go to or

Learn more about Life Reconstructed.

Click here

Stay connected.

Join the mailing list to receive the latest blog, news and updates.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.