Every child deserves to experience the beautiful rush of adventure, as well as respite from doctor’s offices and hospitals — and that’s summer camp! Fortunately, there are safe and supportive places where they can make lifelong memories without fear of judgment or misunderstanding. As a follow-up to our blog, “9 Summer Camps and Programs for Medically Complex Kids,” we’re bringing you even more incredible camps that care for kids with disabilities, chronic illnesses, medical devices, and complex conditions.
Gather round the campfire! Here are more of the best summer camps for medically complex kids!
More of the Best Camps & Programs for Medically Complex Kids
Held annually, Heart Camp brings together over 150 children (ages 8-17) from across the country. Designed specifically for children with heart conditions, Heart Camp is held during the week before Father’s Day. Alongside a camp director, there are plenty of physicians, nurses, volunteers, and members of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC present. Having this many experts presents gives campers and/or parents the chance to discuss all their issues or concerns.
A collaborative effort between Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Woodlands Foundation, INSPIRE is a no-cost overnight camp for kids with tracheostomies, ventilators, and BiPAP machines who have complex medical conditions. Campers participate in all sorts of adaptive activities, including wheelchair rugby, swimming, tennis, golf, archery, arts and crafts, a talent show, and more.
This residential summer camp is perfect for kids and teens with type 1 diabetes. It allows them to tap into the spirit of adventure, challenge themselves in a medically safe environment, and forge friendships with peers they can relate to. With 33 different camps nationwide, you can find an ADA Camp Courage near you.
Offered by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, the nationwide Camp Oasis is perfect for any child with medically stable Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis (UC). Available to campers grades 2 through 11, Camp Oasis sessions run throughout the entire summer. For your peace of mind, there is a 24-hour on-site health center staffed by experienced physicians, nurses, dieticians, and mental health professionals.
Swimming, zip-lining, horseback riding — you name it! Each summer, it’s all possible for kids living with neuromuscular diseases at MDA Summer Camp. With overnight locations across the country, and at no cost to families, this weeklong camp lets kids be kids, have fun, learn new things, and make new friends.
The Epilepsy Foundation’s Camp Program, which includes Camp Oz, Day Camp, and Family Camp, provides safe, educational, fun camping experiences for kids and teens with epilepsy. With on-site medical staff and counselors trained in seizure first-aid, campers and their caregivers can rest easy knowing they’ll be safe and cared for.
This week-long summer camp, founded by the National Kidney Foundation is designed for kids ages 8 to 18. Campers can expect to play outside, learn new things, and make new friends who understand the ins and outs of living with kidney disease or organ transplant. Camp Independence, which is operated through Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, relies on donors and is offered at no cost to families!
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