Sunday, October 19, 2014

Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp at Oregon, IL

One of the camps I attended this year was near Oregon, Illinois at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center. This is a large facility with very nice motel style accommodations. It even has a zip line but we didn't get a chance to try that.

This camp was sponsored by: OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford Health Systems, Swedish American Health System and Van Matre Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital.

I'm including a few pictures here to give you an idea of what we do.

This is a group picture of the stroke survivors, caregivers and volunteers who attended the camp.


Kyle and Lindsey Wilhelm were our co-directors this year.

And Stephanie Super was our Music Therapist.

Karrie, one of our volunteers, is showing off our camp welcome banner.

This is one of the lodge's out-buildings that housed some of our camp attendees and also served as one of our meeting places and one of our craft centers.

This year we celebrated our 10th anniversary of conducting camps throughout the country. We started in Lewistown, Illinois with one in 2004 and have since grown to 20. Next year we are expecting to have 25 camps. 

We conducted camps in: Monticello, Iowa; Prescott, Arizona; Princeton, Illinois; Woodland Park, Colorado; Ridgecrest, North Carolina; Red Lodge, Montana; Merkel, Texas; Long Valley, New Jersey; Crandall, Georgia; Ashland, Nebraska; Allens Park, Colorado; Elmhurst, Illinois; Green Lake, Wisconsin; and Lewistown, Illinois.

We do skits.

And play games.

We do crafts.

These are called Touch Paintings. The idea is to put on paper what you are feeling inside of you, and the survivors can turn out some pretty interesting art with only using their one good hand.

These are coffee cups that you draw on and then take home to bake-in the design.
Then there is the pampering...get your nails done, a massage,

How about a manicure?

Ok guys we also do some fishing. This is Randy, a recent survivor, and he knows fishing.

Maybe you just want some alone time to relax or perhaps some time to chat with new friends.

This year our theme was American Bandstand. Everyone enjoyed this. We dressed as car hops and served dinner 50's style.

Even "Dick Clark" and his studio hands were there to emcee the show.

And how about a bubble gum blowing contest.

Well that pretty much wraps up a perfect weekend.

If you think you'd be interested in volunteering to help at a camp next year or want to attend as a stroke survivor and caregiver, drop us an email at or go to our web site: for more information.  

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