Camp Widow® sounds like a place to sit and cry. Is it really an uplifting event?


We’ll offer the photos on the website as proof. We laugh, we share dark humor, we allow space for lightness and a break from the reality of being in charge of all the responsibilities that were once shared. Of course there are emotional moments when we talk about our loss which are both healing and natural, but the focus of Camp Widow® is on what lies ahead in our lives. One of our favorite quotes about this weekend has been repeated after every camp, without exception, by several different campers…“I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt.”

How much does it cost to attend Camp Widow?


Regular registration: $399
Group registration: $349
Early Bird: $300
International: $300

What does the registration fee cover?

  • Friday: Access to a full day of workshops, discussions, and intensive seminars
  • Coffee service at registration
  • One ticket to the Friday evening Welcome Reception
  • Saturday: Morning coffee and breakfast snacks
  • Saturday: Keynote address
  • Saturday: Access to a full day of workshops, discussions, and intensive seminars
  • One ticket to the Soaring Spirits Semi-Formal Award Banquet
  • Sunday: One paid registration to the Widow Dash 5K Run/Walk in Tampa, FL or San Diego, CA (registration applies to campers only)
  • One ticket to our farewell breakfast buffet
  • Camper welcome bag
  • Unique camp memento

*Travel and accommodations are not included in the registration fee

I don’t know anyone and am feeling very nervous about coming to camp alone. Will there be other people also attending solo?


YES, many widowed people come to camp having never met anyone else who is attending. Throughout the weekend, we will provide you with several opportunities for meeting other people both individually and in small groups. If you are a new camper, we highly recommend attending the New Camper workshop held at 9:00AM on Friday morning, in all locations. By attending this workshop, you will immediately meet other people who came to camp alone, and have a chance to ask any questions you may have as the weekend begins. We promise that you won't be the only person attending camp alone, and by taking the risk and joining us for this event, you will meet people who get you, and very likely make friendships that will last a lifetime.

Will there be people my age at Camp Widow®?


The age range of campers is generally between 21 and 83! There is a liberal sprinkling of campers from all age ranges, and through the time spent at camp we come to discover how very much we have in common, regardless of our chronological age.

There don’t seem to be many men at Camp Widow®. Is this program only for women?


Camp Widow is for anyone who has lost a life partner regardless of gender, age, religious background, sexual orientation, married or not married, and for those who have remarried as well. We’ve all lived through the loss of a life partner, and the energy created by this unique bond is incredible. There are definitely more women than men at camp, but we hope as word spreads about this program that not only will more men attend Camp Widow®, but that general support for widowers will continue to grow.

Will you hold Camp Widow® in other locations?


Currently, we hold Camp Widow® in two US locations and one International location. We have been asked repeatedly to move our program to additional locations, however, we want to grow at a pace that is sustainable, and continue to ensure that we consistently offer a quality program at every location. With those goals in mind, we are exploring ideas and opportunities for hosting additional camps, but have no specific plans at this time for expansion. 

Does Soaring Spirits make a profit on the Camp Widow® program?


No. In fact, each year we count on the generosity of our donors, our volunteer speakers, and both our onsite and year-round volunteer team to make hosting Camp Widow® financially possible. Our dream is to make Camp Widow® a very low cost program, and to that end we are actively seeking reputable corporate sponsorships for subsidizing our camp events. If you, your company, or someone in your circle would be interested in supporting the life-changing work of the Camp Widow® program, we’d love to talk!

Why do you hold Camp Widow® at a fancy hotel?


The Marriott Hotel chain has been a phenomenal partner in the planning of our Camp Widow® weekends. This level of hotel allows us all the planning tools we need, and has the space available to accommodate not only a block of hotel rooms, but also the numerous break out rooms our event requires. The Marriott has an exceptional record of customer service, and allows our campers a get-away that pampers them in body, while the weekend energy feeds their souls.

What are some cost saving tips for making the camp experience more affordable?


1.) Share rooming costs with another camper through our roommate program. At your request, we will pair you with another camper to save costs by sharing a room. You will have a chance to be in touch with your roommate in advance of camp or you can sign up for camp with a friend and have a built in roommate.  This immediately cuts your housing cost in half, and the hotel will bill each person separately. 

2.) Get a discount on registration! We offer several discounts that will lower your camp registration fee:

  • Our group rate of $349 applies to: groups of four or more who sign up for camp together; all camp alumni; and to various groups associated with Soaring Spirits. You can apply your group discount to your registration during the checkout process when finalizing your registration payment. 
  • We also offer an International rate of $300 for any camper attending Camp Widow® in a country other than their home nation.
  • Register for any camp within two weeks of having just attended and our Early Bird discount of $99 will apply!

3.) Consider carpooling to save on both gas and parking costs. We have heard great stories from the many widowed road trips that have landed campers at any of our three locations! Choosing self parking over valet will save you around $10 per day at any of our locations.

4.) Pack some snacks and lunch options to house in your hotel room.  All rooms are equipped with refrigerators, and there are several less expensive “grab and go” options for quick meals at our host hotels or in the very near vicinity.

5.) Purchase any drink of your choice in advance, and store in your hotel room. This will ensure you have what you like to drink, as well as offer a lower price option for beverages than you may find in the hotel. 

6.) Ask for Camp Bucks as a gift for any special occasion from friends and family who may be choosing a gift for you. Camp Bucks can be purchased by anyone and gifted to you for use at the hotel (applied to your hotel bill directly) or as gift cards for the Soaring Spirits' store. This is a great way for the people who love you to support your camp experience! You will find information about purchasing Camp Bucks under the Support a Camper tab.

Why is there a semi-formal banquet at camp?


When you are widowed, forgetting how to have fun is a common experience. Rarely do we have an opportunity to dance, laugh, and enjoy the company of friends, in a judgment-free, safe environment. The Soaring Spirits banquet at Camp Widow® creates an atmosphere where celebrating how far we’ve each come through this widowed experience, honoring the love we have for our late spouses and partners, as well as reveling in the friendships we’ve made over this unique weekend is encouraged. Many of our campers have rediscovered their desire to live on the dance floor at Camp Widow®.

Is the banquet optional and do I have to dress up to attend?


Attendance at the Soaring Spirits’ banquet is optional, but encouraged. As odd as a group of dancing widowed people may sound to the outside world, at camp we dance to honor our loves, and to celebrate the hard, healing work we’ve each done over just 48 hours.

The banquet is a semi-formal or formal event (depending on location) because many widowed people don’t have the chance to dress up after the death of their partner. That said, we want you to feel comfortable and welcome. So, wear something that makes you feel good. You are welcome to celebrate with us no matter what you wear!

If I request a roommate, how are people paired for room sharing?


Our Camp Operations Manager goes to great lengths to pair roommates based on complementary arrival and departure dates, age of campers, and possibly similarities in loss experiences. We work hard to pair you with someone with whom we think you may have something in common. Once a pairing is made, an email introduction will go out to both campers. At this point, corresponding with your roommate is up to you. Feel free to be in touch at whatever level feels right for you. *Each camper MUST check into the hotel with a credit card so that individual bills can be created, and additional purchases made in the hotel can be charged to the correct campers’ closing bill.

Do you offer any scholarships for people who need financial assistance to attend Camp Widow®?


Yes! Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Soaring Spirits is able to offer some level of financial assistance to every widowed person who applies for one of our camp scholarships, known as camperships. For information on applying for financial support to attend a camp weekend, see the Request a Campership Camper page of this site.

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  • Michele Neff Hernandez
    published this page in Camp Facts 2015-03-14 12:40:50 -0700