This year’s free youth grief support retreat has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Join us August 13-15, 2021 for a healing weekend in the beautiful Sonoma County redwoods that campers and staff will never forget!

By the Bay Camp™ — for Grieving Children & Teens

Sonoma County, California

For the safety and well-being of our campers, volunteers and staff, we are cancelling our 2020 summer youth grief retreat, By the Bay Camp. We look forward to welcoming you to By the Bay Camp the weekend of August 13-15, 2021.

In the meantime, we are offering an online Teen Grief Workshop. Click here for details.

Click here to watch a video of our 2019 By the Bay Camp.

Young people experience loss differently than adults.

For years, Hospice by the Bay has met that need by offering a free, all-inclusive, three-day summer retreat for grieving children and teens, ages 7-17 (18, if still in high school).

We are excited to present By the Bay Camp in partnership with Comfort Zone Camp, an experienced camp organizer and facilitator, whose unique program allows us to offer more opportunities for grieving children, teens and families, while providing an even more supportive 1:1 camper to Big Buddy grief mentor experience. Camp activities include icebreakers, confidence-building exercises and age-based support groups — all led by trained grief specialists — that will help promote trust, expression and interaction among campers.

By the Bay Camp is designed to:

  • Break the isolation children and teens feel after a death
  • Introduce peers who can personally relate to the death of someone close to them
  • Provide mentorship and professional therapeutic services
  • Teach healthy coping skills for managing grief in daily life
  • Develop resiliency in youth affected by death and grief

Set among the beautiful coastal redwoods of Sonoma County near the town of Occidental, By the Bay Camp combines age-appropriate grief therapy with traditional summer fun to help children and teens learn that a sense of normalcy in their lives is still possible.

All By the Bay Camp services are free of charge to campers.

Parents are encouraged to join campers for short activities at drop-off and pick-up at the camp retreat site in Sonoma.

Camper Application

Note: When you click on the link above, you will be taken to the Comfort Zone Camp website, where you will be asked to create a My Comfort Zone account to begin your application process. If you need help with registration or have questions, call Callee Miller at (866) 488.5679, or email her at:

Click here for a printable copy of the 2019 Camper flier.

Haga clic aquí para ver el folleto By the Bay Camp en español.

Volunteer Application

Note: When you click on the link above, you will be taken to our By the Bay Camp page on the Comfort Zone Camp website. Once you are there, follow these easy steps:

  1. Click on the “Become a Volunteer” link pinned to the left-hand side menu by a red pushpin.
  2. On the same menu, now click on “Volunteer Roles” to familiarize yourself with the opportunities available.
  3. Click on the “Continue” button at the bottom of the role descriptions.
  4. Create an account on the My Comfort Zone Welcome page.
  5. Continue on to complete an application and click “Save” when you are done.
  6. Click the “Volunteer” tab at the top of the page. You will be taken to a list of camps. Select By the Bay Camp on August 10.
  7. Choose a training date (there is a selection of dates, but our camp training is either July 15 or July 16). You only need to attend one training at our Larksur headquarters at 17 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. (dinner will be provided).

If you need help with registration of have questions about volunteering, call Brooke Winston (866) 488.5679, or email her at:

Click here for a printable copy of the 2019 Volunteer flier.

Previous Camp Videos

Camp FAQs

What is Comfort Zone Camp?
By partnering with Comfort Zone Camp, we can offer more opportunities for grieving children, teens and families. We are able to take advantage of Comfort Zone Camp’s unique program and expertise to accept additional campers and provide an even more supportive 1:1 camper to grief mentor (Big Buddy) experience.Comfort Zone Camp is a non-profit organization that has served more than 13,000 children in almost 20 years of operation through its therapeutic programs.

How do campers get to camp?
Parents/guardians are encouraged to drop off their children at camp, where they can see the retreat site, meet the staff, and be introduced to each child’s individual grief mentor. At close of camp, parents/guardians are invited to participate in activities with their children.

What if I can’t drive to camp?
We’ll make every effort to help provide transportation for you and your camper. Just contact Comfort Zone Camp once you’ve been notified that your child has been accepted to this year’s camp.

How do I apply for camp?
Simply click on the link above and you will be taken to the By the Bay Camp page on the Comfort Zone Camp website. You can read more about this year’s camp and will be directed to create a My Comfort Zone account, which will begin your secure application process.

How long does it take to complete an application?
Please note that the application may take 30 minutes or more to complete. You will have the ability to save and finish the application at another time, if needed. The goal is to help us provide the best possible experience for your child at camp.

How is my child’s grief mentor selected?
One reason the camp application is so thorough is that it assists in carefully selecting each camper’s grief mentor (Big Buddy). Your child will be matched with a Big Buddy based on their hobbies, interests, and sometimes their loss history.

Do I have to apply online?
If you do not have access to a computer (though you may wish to try your local library first) you may call Brooke Winston at (866) 188.5679, or email her at

I volunteered last year. Do I need to fill out a new application?
No need to fill out a new application if you are a returning By the Bay Camp Volunteer. Simply to go the Volunteer portal and select “By the Bay Camp” as the Camp you’d like to attend.

Are local and returning volunteers given special consideration?
While some Comfort Zone Camp volunteers do pay their own way to assist at camps around the country, local and returning volunteers who have completed the online volunteer application process and training have first priority.

Sign up for Our Newsletter

Get updates, information, and news about upcoming events