Feel the Magic, a not-for-profit organisation that supports bereaved children, is looking for volunteer mentors to attend its November 1-3 camp in Armidale.
Tanya Fox from Bellingen has been involved as a counsellor since 2015, when the camps began.
She's done seven in Sydney and one in Armidale, but they also run in Melbourne, the ACT and, from next year, possibly Brisbane as well.
The first regional camp held in Armidale in 2018 pulled participants from a 300km radius from Byron down to Port Macquarie and inland.
Apart from travel costs, children attend the camps free of charge, with expenses met by corporate sponsorship and government funding.
"Most of the kids who come have lost a parent," Tanya said. "Some have lost both parents and some have lost siblings."
She said it was "amazingly beautiful" to watch children connecting with others who have suffered a similar loss.
"What we hear a lot is that kids feel they're the only one in their school group of friends who is going through this, and no one can relate to what they're experiencing, and no one wants to talk about it with them because they don't want to upset them."
Kids feel no one can relate to what they're experiencing
Currently, 30 children have signed up to attend the November camp, but more could be accepted if extra mentors can be found.
"Specifically, we're looking for male mentors," Tanya said. "Each camper gets allocated a same-gendered mentor to spend the weekend with them - to guide them and support them through the process.
"There are a lot of boys but we always have more women volunteers than men."
The three-day, two-night camps follow a structured program developed by a psychologist.
Attendees are aged 7-17 and they meet in small age-based groups led by mental health and educational professionals.
"The kids do fun activities, but the main focus is the talk-time sessions where we run grief education and support groups," Tanya said. "That's what my role is - to facilitate those groups.
"That's where we teach them that it's okay to feel whatever they're feeling and give them skills to deal with their grief."
Many of the volunteers have a grief story of their own, which draws them to want to help someone else.
"A lot of mentors have lost a parent when they were a child," Tanya said. "The intention is not for it to be therapeutic for the mentor, but by being there and supporting children through the process, it often is."
Mentors need to obtain a Working with Children Check, a Volunteer National Criminal History Check and attend a day of training.
To find out more, see feelthemagic.org.au