Kids in canoe

Camps for Children with Epilepsy

Our member organizations offer a wide selection of camp programs, including day programs, weekend camps, and weeklong summer camps. These include camps for children, teens, and adults with epilepsy. Camp can be a great opportunity for children to develop self-confidence, independence and self-advocacy skills. Children with epilepsy should have the same fun camp experiences that all children get to have.  Is your child heading to camp? Check out our Prep for Camp Checklist.

Why a Camp for Children with Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a hidden disorder. Despite how common it is fear and stigma exist. It’s easy to feel isolated and alone. Everyone at these camps knows what it’s like to have epilepsy. Taking medications, having seizures, or having epilepsy is typical here. Everyone at camp understands! Kids with epilepsy can be just KIDS!

If you want your child to go to a camp where they have a chance to meet other children with epilepsy, several of our member organizations have programs available.

Thinking about Camp for your Child with Epilepsy?

If your child has seizures, chances are that safety is your primary concern when it comes to sending your child to camp. Many camps have activities like swimming, boating, and climbing, all of which can be particularly dangerous for youth with epilepsy. That does not mean your child has to miss out on these experiences. You just have to ensure there are plans in place to keep your child safe, The best way to approach this is to have a discussion with the camp director.

Sample Discussion Points

Do the camp counselors know how to recognize and respond to seizures?

Share the Seizure Recognition and First Aid Training opportunities with them

What medical staff does the camp have on hand?

Most camps have medical staff available for medication administration, but some do not and rely on the camper or their counselor to manage medications. Make sure you know who will be administering your child’s medication and the camp’s procedure in the event of a medical emergency. Make sure everyone who will interact with your child has reviewed their Seizure Action Plan.

How close by are the staff when children are swimming?

A seizure that takes place in the water is always a medical emergency. Ensure safeguards are in place for your child which could include assistive devices or a counselor or other staff person in the water when you child is swimming. The lifeguard on duty should know when a child who is swimming has a history of seizures.

Should the other campers be taught about epilepsy?

If your child has frequent seizures that will be obvious and possibly scary to the other campers, consider talking to the camp about providing some tools and training for the other campers to learn about epilepsy.

Check out our Prep for Camp checklist


Member Spotlight: Camp NOVA (Epilepsy Services of New Jersey)