Compassionate Care

Unforgettable Experience

David, a patient at Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City, navigates the water at Camp Un-Limb-ited.

Shriners Children’s camps give patients a sense of belonging

Living with serious medical conditions can be frightening and isolating for children. Shriners Children’s supports patients nationwide with special summer programs for children living with orthopedic conditions, congenital hand and upper limb differences, and more. These camps not only accommodate patients with those disabilities, but they also help kids enjoy tackling challenges in environments where they’ll be safe, gain confidence and independence, and can make friends and memories that last a lifetime.

Camp Fez

“For many of our campers, this is the first experience where they spend an extended period away from family,” said Beth English, a certified therapeutic recreational therapist at Shriners Children’s Lexington and an organizer of Camp Fez. “Campers are provided an opportunity to build independence during manageable daily life challenges in a nurturing camp environment with a counselor and peer support.”

Camp Fez is a three-day, two-night camp hosted at the beautiful Camp Horsin’ Around facility in Perryville, Kentucky. It offers a camp experience for children and teens with orthopedic conditions who receive services at Shriners Children’s Lexington.

Campers experience many adventurous outdoor activities, including fishing, swimming, a rock-climbing wall, paddle boating, archery, miniature golf, team-building games, creek adventures, evening bonfires and crafts.

“The kids who attend our camps are so excited to be around kids with similar disabilities. At the end of each camp, the kids tell me, ‘I love this camp because no one makes fun of me here, and I can be myself,’” said Frazann Milbern, a certified therapeutic recreational therapist.

Camp Winning Hands

Rock climbing is only one of the activities offered at Camp Fez, run by Shriners Children’s Lexington.

That’s also the mission of Camp Winning Hands, which is organized every summer by Shriners Children’s Northern California in partnership with the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital. Here, kids can focus on typical camp activities without worrying about explaining their hand differences.

Many campers are Shriners Children’s patients with congenital hand and upper limb differences, including missing arms, hands or fingers; webbed or fused fingers; extra fingers; undergrowth or overgrowth of hand parts; and constriction band syndrome.

“The intent was to create a safe space for kids with hand differences, so they could be together and try new things they may not have otherwise, in a supportive environment,” said Michelle James, M.D., one of Camp Winning Hands’ founders and former chief of orthopedics at Shriners Children’s Northern California.

Campers ages 7 to 17 participate in rock climbing, archery, swimming, roasting s’mores, nature walks, ziplining and more. Besides your typical camp activities, kids also participate in group activities such as “teen talks,” which offer a safe space to ask questions and share experiences with peers.

“There’s something so powerful about finding a community where you can be completely at ease with your differences,” said Sarah Tuberty, an occupational therapist at Camp Winning Hands and a former Shriners Children’s Northern California patient.

Camp Un-Limb-ited

Salt Lake City’s Un-Limb-ited camps are for Shriners Children’s teen patients across the country who are living with limb loss or limb deficiency.

The Un-Limb-ited summer camp takes teens out of their comfort zone on an epic weeklong whitewater rafting adventure down the Green River. The experience is full of hikes, water fights, kayaking, stargazing and who knows how many inside jokes.

But the real draw to the camp is the opportunity for teens to gain self-confidence and form strong bonds with peers who also have limb differences and can understand them better than most.

Shriners Children’s mission is to provide kids with opportunities to reach their dreams and live without limits.

TO LEARN MORE about summer camps, visit or contact the Shriners Children’s location nearest you.

Building Confidence with FLOW

The recreational therapy staff at Shriners Children’s Chicago provides year-round FLOW (Friendship, Leisure, Opportunity and Wellness) programming. Recreation therapy may seem fun and it is but each interaction or activity within the FLOW program has a defined purpose.

Sarah participates
in adaptive biking through the FLOW program.

Classes and workshops allow patients to build confidence, socialize, and learn sports and recreation skills. The program allows Shriners Children’s to extend hope and healing into its patients’ lives and communities.

FLOW is provided to patients at Shriners Children’s Chicago with physical disabilities, cognitive impairments, developmental disorders and speech delays. Individual programs, which include a variety of sports, social activities and art, are designed for specific age and ability levels and identified in program descriptions.

Certified therapeutic recreation specialists lead and plan all offered programming to ensure the participants have access to programs and social events that benefit their mental, emotional and physical well-being.

The sports and recreation programs provide benefits such as increased self-esteem, development of rule-following and sequencing, sportsmanship, increased strength and endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination. Some sports included are summer horseback riding, adaptive golf and adaptive waterskiing.

Participants can express their emotions; develop social skills, self-awareness and coping skills; and advance gross and fine motor skills within the creative arts. Programs include dance, play/movement therapy, art, science, music therapy and horticulture therapy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION and a current FLOW program list, visit