The Epilepsy Foundation’s Camp Programs provide safe, educational, and fun camping experiences for children and teens with epilepsy. With on-site medical staff and counselors trained in seizure first aid, campers and their parents can rest assured they will be safe and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
To make sure a camp experience is accessible for youth of all abilities, we offer Camp Oz and Family Camp that are designed to accommodate youth with different needs.
We are excited to have Camp Oz be in-person again this year! We are once again holding Camp Oz at YMCA Camp St. Croix in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Founded in 1982, Camp Oz is a traditional summer camp that provides a safe and fun camping experience for youth ages 9–17 with epilepsy.
Camp Oz is intended for youth with epilepsy, and siblings, ages 9-17 who have a high level of independence. Traditionally, campers enjoy activities like swimming, horseback riding, team-building exercises, and more. Space includes 15 cabins, two modern bathroom/shower buildings, an indoor lodge/dining hall/activity center, and beachfront access.
Camp Oz requires campers to function independently, with a positive attitude, within a structured group setting. For the safety of all participants, campers must be able to do the following:
Safety is our priority. Registered nurses are on-site 24 hours a day, as are physicians, psychologists, pharmacists, and a neurologist from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Camp St. Croix staff and volunteers are trained in seizure recognition and response.
Per YMCA Camps of the North policies, EVERY camper is required to have a negative COVID test result within 3 days (or 72 hours) of arrival at camp. Campers without proof of negative test, will not be allowed beyond the camp check-in area. PCR tests are preferred, but if a Rapid Antigen test is taken at home, camper parents will be required to sign off on a form stating their child took the test as of the date of the test. A picture of the negative result is required.
Current masking guidelines during the camp week are that masks are worn in all indoor areas, except for cabins, and while eating. This guideline is subject to change based on confirmed COVID numbers, etc. Any update to the masking guideline will be communicated in the week prior to camp.
EFMN will host TWO Day Camp options in 2022:
Day Camps are for youth ages 8-12 and are intended to help prepare eligible campers for future attendance at Camp Oz. Activities include sports, team building, arts and crafts, and outdoor adventures. Day Camp will have an RN/nurse present to dispense medications and ensure safety.
Day Camp requires campers to function independently, with a positive attitude, within a structured group setting. For the safety of all participants, campers must be able to do the following:
Family Camp is intended for youth with epilepsy ages 5+ who have additional healthcare needs, e.g. medical, emotional, developmental, social, etc. At least one adult/caregiver must be present for the session however the whole family is welcome.
Family Camp will be in person at YMCA Camp Christmas Tree in Mound, MN.
Mara LeRoy is always looking for her next activity. She recently learned about indoor skydiving, which naturally she had to try, and just finished up her eighth year of adapted downhill skiing. She’s eager now for the snow to back off and plans to attend the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota’s (EFMN) Family Camp for the third consecutive year this July.Mara's Story
Ben Stowell has carried both friendships and memories from camp into his adult life. It helped him become more comfortable with his epilepsy, and as he puts it, "Camp Oz taught me the only job I have is to be myself, and that's the best thing there is."Read Ben's Story
In addition to our camp programming, we offer a Shining Star program specifically for youth to help kids and teens with epilepsy meet and support each other.Learn More