Camp Oz Day 1 – Sensational Sunday

- Updates from Camp

Welcome one and welcome all to 2024 Camp Oz! We are so excited to transition from 6 months of planning to now finally having all of our campers here for the 41st year of the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota’s Camp Oz. As part of the Sunday recap, I want to first share some key stats for the year.

  • 91 Campers in 12 Cabins
  • 52 Returning and 39 Brand New Campers
  • Campers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Montana and Texas
  • 1 Medical Director, 14 Camp Nurses, 3 Mental Health Providers and 6 Pharmacists
  • 40 YMCA Camp St. Croix Staff
  • 16-19 Daily Volunteers

Check-in went as smooth as can be today and we quickly got each camper to their cabin to meet their counselors and the rest of their cabinmates. With both returning and new campers in each cabin, we spent the next few hours getting reacquainted with old friends and meeting new ones. The YMCA values of respect, responsibility, inclusion, honesty and caring were on display while making cabin contracts for the week and we already saw plenty of those values in action throughout the afternoon.

A quick rendezvous gathering before dinner with all of Camp Oz helped fill everyone in on the protocols during meals and getting enough to eat (a crucial topic!), which was then followed by an extreme weather preparedness drill (simply a necessary topic…). We eat family style at Camp Oz with each kid responsible for heaping up their own plates. We chowed down on a dinner of lasagna roll-ups and breadsticks and as always were very surprised at the traffic around the salad bar. Healthy eaters, picky eaters, hearty eaters, we’ve got them all!

Thankfully dinner was a classic case of carbo-loading because we all needed the energy for a rousing all camp game of Capture the Flag. Painted cheeks separated our orange and purple teams and it was so fun to see how quick the campers were to form spirited rivalries with joyful exuberance. If the intensity was high for the normal purple team versus orange team rounds, it got kicked up to eleven when it was campers versus counselors for the final round of the evening. The loudest cheer of the night was definitely when the campers took home the prize with a dramatic last second victory!

Our heads hit the pillow early here at Camp Oz so after a post-game snack, campers headed back to their cabins to get ready for bed. The sticky temperature today took a lot out of us so nary a peep was heard about not being ready to go to sleep yet. The weather forecast doesn’t give us a ton of hope for dry conditions during the week, but we can at least bank on cooler temps for tomorrow. We’ll dance in the rain if it means less sweating!

Getting Camp Oz off and running feels so great and we’re beyond excited to dive headfirst into the rest of the week. Stay tuned here for daily updates on all of our adventures and I can’t wait to talk to you tomorrow!


Camp Oz Co-Director