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Summer Camp Designed To Help Children Of Victims Of 9/11 Terror Attacks

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9-11 Summer Camp (credit: CBS 2)

9-11 Summer Camp (credit: CBS 2)

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BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — The 9/11 Families Center Summer Workshop at Long Island University is a weekly program designed to help kids deal with the trauma of the terror attacks as they grow older, through therapeutic but fun activities.

James Carson and Jake Campbell both lost a parent in the attacks and have only stories to remember them.

“And he really liked football,” said Carson said.

“She loved the Mets, the baseball team,” said Campbell.

This is the first time bereaved kids as well as children of first responders have been brought together in an ongoing program, and participants say that integration is crucial.

“There was one time when he asked could his mother talk, because all he’d ever seen were still pictures of her,” Joe Maurer, Jake’s grandfather, told CBS 2’s Katie Fehlinger.

“They’re able to come together and talk about this in a way that is not strange to them, is not weird,” explained Beth Culkin, clinical psychologist with the Center.

New York Fire Lieutenant Pete Culkin was a first responder on 9/11. His wife Beth coordinated the workshop. The couple brings their three kids to the camp every week. The kids say it’s a special relationship.

“They’re just like any other kids really. It’s like being in a room full of kids,” said Matthew Culkin.

“They don’t really know what it feels like, you know? You don’t really know what it feels like, so I don’t want to say anything around you,” Carson said.

What do you think of this workshop? Sound off in our comments section below…

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