Summer Camps & Activities

Summer Activities: Keeping Kids Safe while Staying Active

Summer is almost here and with it comes the excitement of camps and activities! Summer camp can be fun for everyone. Most SADS patients don’t need to go to a special heart camp, but it’s important to talk to camp staff to tell them about your child’s SADS condition and check to see if staff are CPR trained. By making sure camp staff members are aware of your child’s medications, AED (where indicated) and care plan, you know that your kids will be having fun and making friends in a safe environment.

Exercise is also a big part of summer activities, whether it’s organized sports or just for fun recreation. This is a great resource for more information on how to stay safe. Learn more about Sports and Exercise 

If palpitations, light-headedness, weakness and/or blurry vision occur, the exercise or activity should immediately stop to prevent progression of symptoms. Adult supervisors need to be aware that a child should never be pressured to continue an activity if they are not feeling well, and your child needs to feel free to stop if they think it’s necessary.

AEDs are an important part of your child’s safety equipment during these summer activities. You will want to make sure the pads are not expired and the battery is functioning properly before your child heads out on their summer adventures. For questions, email Genevie@sads.org.

It’s important for camp counselors to know that AEDs are safe and easy to use, as well as:

  • How to recognize a sudden cardiac arrest
  • That time is critical
  • Who the first responders are
  • That there is an AED & where the AED is located
This is a list of some of the summer heart camps available:

Alabama - WIRED Together

Specifically for kids and teens with implanted cardio defibrillators (ICDs).

California - Camp Del Corazon

“Camp del Corazon is a non-profit organization that provides year-round experiential opportunities for children faced with the challenges of growing up and living with heart disease. We provide a residential summer camp experience for children ages 7-17 as well as programs that offer opportunities for growth, education and support for children, young adults and the families who are living with heart disease.” 

California and Hawaii - Camp Taylor

“Camp Taylor offers several free programs for young people and families of children with heart disease. Our flagship program is our well known medically supervised free residential summer camp sessions. We offer 5 camp sessions catering to the under-served population of pediatric cardiology. Camp programs are offered in the states of California and Hawaii and serve hundreds of families from across the United States each year. Our unique camp programs provide the calming surroundings of nature & nurturing, a safe haven a world away from the daily cares and challenges that life-threatening heart disease can bring.”

Georgia - Camp Braveheart

Camp Braveheart is a week-long summer camp for kids ages 7 to 17.

Maryland - Camp Accomplish

“Melwood and Children’s National Hospital have created an unforgettable camp experience by uniting the deep-rooted dedication of the Melwood team with the unmatched medical expertise and care of the Children’s National team. Camp Accomplish offers an extraordinary, unique and inclusive summer camp for kids and teens with disabilities and chronic health conditions.”

Minnesota - Camp Odayin

“Camp Odayin provides a residential camping experience for young people who have heart disease, where campers discover outdoor, athletic, and creative activities in a safe and medically supervised environment. Our state-of-the-art facility is fully staffed with highly trained pediatric cardiologists, cardiac nurses, and a full cadre of trained counselors and program directors. Campers enjoy horseback riding, boating, nature and much more while fostering lifelong relationships among youth who share similar health, emotional and social concerns.”

Camp Kostopulos

“Since 1967 the Kostopulos Dream Foundation has been dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through the medium of recreation and leisure education. Our longest running program, Camp Kostopulos, accredited by the American Camp Association, is a residential summer camp where kids, teens, and adults with disabilities are able to choose from two options a five day residential camp or travel trips.”

Camp Kostopulos

“Since 1967 the Kostopulos Dream Foundation has been dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through the medium of recreation and leisure education. Our longest running program, Camp Kostopulos, accredited by the American Camp Association, is a residential summer camp where kids, teens, and adults with disabilities are able to choose from two options a five day residential camp or travel trips.”

Tennessee - Cardiac Kids Camp at Camp Lakeshore in Eva, TN

A fun-filled week at camp with other children just like them.  The camp is designed to provide education about heart diagnoses and promote healthy lifestyles.  For children age 8-16 who are currently under a cardiologist’s care for a congenital heart condition or rhythm disorder.  Camp is free due to the generosity of Le Bonheur donors.”

Wisconsin - Camp Odayin

“Camp Odayin provides a residential camping experience for young people who have heart disease, where campers discover outdoor, athletic, and creative activities in a safe and medically supervised environment. Our state-of-the-art facility is fully staffed with highly trained pediatric cardiologists, cardiac nurses, and a full cadre of trained counselors and program directors.Campers enjoy horseback riding, boating, nature and much more while fostering lifelong relationships among youth who share similar health, emotional and social concerns.”