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Summer Camps for Children with Medical Complexities

Summer camp is filled with memories of fresh air, new friends, crafts, and campfire stories that are shared before heading back to the cabin. And with so many options now available for kids with various medical complexities, there are opportunities for children to be happy campers this summer.

We’re sharing some of the best options with you as the new season kicks off – camps that have specially trained counselors, staff members, and 24-hour on-call health care professionals who are able to bring unique training, expertise, and enthusiasm for working with kids who have special considerations.

One of the greatest benefits to these camps is the opportunity for kids to meet peers who are just like them – creating a special community and bond between friends. Check out this information about summer camps – although some may be closed for registration, you can put it on your calendar for next summer! We loving seeing patients thrive in their communities (check out this blog  about Clara going to MDA Camp), and hope to hear about your summer adventures.


National Camps

  • Camp Oasis – A residential summer camp for children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
    • Locations nationwide
    • Available to campers entering grades 2-11
  • MDA CampProviding thousands of kids with muscular dystrophy and related muscle-debilitating diseases “the best week of the year”
    • Locations nationwide
    • Unavailable for summer 2021, but keep this on your list for next year!
  • Epilepsy Foundation – More than 35 years of safe, educational and fun camping experience for youth with seizures
    • Locations nationwide
    • Summer 2021 camp will be virtual
    • Find your closest camp here


Kentucky Camps

  • Courageous Kids – Providing summer adventures and family retreat weekends to children with serious illnesses
    • Located in Scottsville, KY
    • Upcoming camp dates coming soon

Minnesota Camps

  • Adventure Program at St. David’s Center – A community-based therapeutic recreation program for teens and young adults with special needs 
    • Summer locations include: Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park
    • Participants must be ages 10 or older
  • Camp Odayin – Residential camp and community building opportunities for young people with heart disease
    • Residential Camp – For campers in grades 1-11.
    • Day Camp – For grades K-3
    • Registration closed for summer 2021 – keep in mind for next year!
  • Camp True Friends – Providing camp and respite experiences to children and adults with a variety of disabilities, along with their friends and families. 5 camp locations means there are a number of opportunities for your family. And different types of camps – from fishing to literacy, and soccer to gluten free – mean there’s something for everyone. 
    • Summer 2021 registration has now closed – keep in mind for next year!
      • Camp Courage – near Maple Lake, MN
      • Camp Friendship – near Annandale, MN
      • Camp Eden Wood – near Eden Prairie, MN
      • Camp Courage North – near Itasca State Park
      • Camp New Hope – near McGregor, MN
    • Find more details on camp programs and locations here.
  • Kamp Kace – For school-age children in all stages of cancer treatment
    • Summer 2021 camp will be hosted virtually
    • Held in Fargo, ND
  • Lundstrom Performing Arts Dancemania Summer Class – Creative dance movement adapted for students with special needs and tons of talent and star quality
    • Offered in Minneapolis, MN
    • Ages 13+
    • Register here

Ohio Camps

  • Camp Joyful Heartsa residential summer camp for kids and teens with heart disease.
    • Located in Cincinnati, OH
    • Children and teens with congenital or acquired heart disease, ages 8 to 18, may attend Camp Joyful Hearts.
    • Eligible campers are cardiac patients actively being followed by a cardiologist at the Heart Institute or another medical center.
    • Registration is full for summer 2021, but a waitlist is available.
  • Stepping Stonesproviding an inclusive, encouraging environment where individuals with disabilities find adventure
    • Located in Great Cincinnati, OH area
    • Ages 5+
    • Summer 2021 registration open now

Texas Camps

  • Camp Summit – Providing barrier-free outdoor experiences for children and adults with disabilities
    • Located in Dallas, TX
    • Multiple camp options, from virtual to week-long or family camp. See all the options here.
  • Camp for All – Camp for those with challenging illnesses or special needs
    • Located in Burton, TX
    • Find your camp here.
  • YMCA Programs – Metropolitan Dallas
    • A variety of options including day camp, baseball, swimming, and more for individuals with special needs
    • Learn more here
  • Camp in Motion – Adaptive Sports Camp For individuals ages 5-20 with cerebral palsy
    • Camps held in Austin and Round Rock, TX
    • Learn more and apply here 

Wisconsin Camps

  • Camp Kinder catering to youth, teens, and adults who vary significantly in their physical, social, and cognitive development
    • Located in Racine, WI
    • 8 week summer day camp for ages 7-17
  • Wisconsin Badger Campweek-long camp programs carefully designed to be adaptable and to encourage participation for kids of all abilities and interests
    • Located in Prairie du Chien, WI
    • One week available for kids 3-13, one week available for kids 14-21
  • Camp Danielan organization dedicated to providing people with disabilities opportunities for personal, social and spiritual growth
    • Located in Athelstane, WI
    • Summer camp cancelled for 2021 season – check back next year!


Have your kids attended summer camp? Which sessions can you recommend? We’d like to hear about it. If you have photos of your happy campers, we’d love to see those, too.

Originally published: June 9, 2017