Sallie Wandling

As the founder of Camp Comfort, Sallie knows that the key to camp is that children can look around and realize, ‘I’m not alone in my grief.’ “Seeing children evolve and open up during their weekend grief journey is amazing. The hugs, the conversation, and the smiles are worth everything. To provide such a safe and fun place where a child can be silent or crying in a support group and then be joyful when they are participating in an activity is truly heartwarming. Camp Comfort is simply a part of my heart.”

Sallie Wandling, Senior Director of Camp ComfortQ: Why did you want to work at Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice?

A: Mount Evans has always had an impeccable reputation. Great clinicians are drawn to the agency. It felt like a family when I started in 1990 and truly still does today.

Q: Does Camp Comfort only serve children in our mountain region?
A: We serve children from all over Colorado and often have campers from other states too! We even had 2 children from Mexico attend, so we’re internationally known.

Q: Do you feel like you make a difference in the lives of the children?
A. We definitely see a transformation of the children throughout the weekend. For them to be with other children who know how they feel is life changing. We have had numerous campers return as adult buddies, which is so meaningful for them and their campers. The key to Camp Comfort is that the children can look around and realize, “I’m not alone in my grief.”

Q: Describe a moment from your job that touched your heart?
A: There are so many moments every year that feel like meaningful victories! Most of the campers do not love that they are going to a grief camp… but most want to return the next year!

We had a six year old a few years ago that hardly spoke and only shared “my Dad did suicide.” He came back at seven and was verbal, playful, and part of the group. Camp Comfort allows children to be themselves when they are grieving. It provides them security and hope knowing they are not alone during their grief journey.

Q: Not all health care organizations are equal, what do you think that makes Mount Evans special?
A: Mount Evans has the most incredible, professional staff with so much heart. It is as much a calling as it is a job to work at this agency. We have had nurses, social workers, board members, and agency volunteers help us with Camp Comfort for over 25 years!

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