There are many different camping experiences to consider for children and teens with seizures. Most are co-ed, meaning that both boys and girls attend the camp. Boys and girls are separated during sleeping hours, but generally other activities are offered to both groups together.
Epilepsy Exclusive Camps
These camps are only for children with epilepsy. One advantage of these camps is that children and teens with seizures find themselves in a more sensitive peer group than at mainstream camps. In an epilepsy exclusive camp, the child or teen can meet and interact with others who have seizures without fear of being ostracized or bullied. Medical supervision is usually high. Check our list of Epilepsy Camps associated with Epilepsy Foundation affiliates. Contact your local affiliate to learn about camp scholarships too!
-Ashlyn, Age 9
Mainstream Epilepsy Camps
Epilepsy camp sessions may be held at regular summer camps during specific times of the summer. Some of the campers have epilepsy, but many do not. The advantage of these camps is that campers with epilepsy get to meet and interact with others who have epilepsy, yet they also meet kids and teens without seizures. This can help campers achieve a sense of ‘normalcy’ and feel that they are not defined by seizures. Medical supervision is usually available by a 24-hour nurse with a neurologist on call and camp counselors who have received basic training in seizure safety. These camps can vary greatly so it’s important to check each one out carefully.
Camps for Those with Disabilities
These camps often accept children and teens with epilepsy, but also accommodate children with other disabilities, like severe asthma, neurological disorders, and mobility problems. This option may be best for children with many special needs or frequent seizures that require very close medical attention, or who need special accommodations for mobility.
What to do?
- Talk to the doctor and nurse who care for your child for their recommendations about the type of camp.
- Talk to camp directors and set up a time to visit the camps being considered.
- The final decision is up to you and your child, but you will also need appropriate medical forms signed by your child’s doctor. So, make sure that everyone agrees with the final camp choice.