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Pediatric Epilepsy Wellness - Thrive

Thrive is a wellness component of the Mass General Pediatric Epilepsy Program. It has been developed to provide opportunities and programs for children with epilepsy.


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Like many children, those with epilepsy can struggle to learn, make friends, and develop a positive self-concept. The Mass General Thrive program provides opportunities for our patients to engage in fun activities make friends and develop more effective executive functioning skills.

We strive to foster executive functioning skills that consist of the ability to control impulsive behaviors, control emotions and stay focused. As these abilities develop, the child is then able to build more advanced skills that include reasoning, problem solving and planning, each of which is important for a child to thrive in school and in life. We promote activities that are enjoyable, increase a sense of belonging, involve physical activity and help reduce stress support the development of executive functions. The Thrive activity schedule is developed with these goals in mind.


Stress Management and Resiliency Training

Develop Lifelong Techniques for Managing Stress and Anxiety.

In this 1-session workshop, you will learn:

  • When stress becomes a problem and how to recognize your personal stress triggers
  • Techniques to stay calm in stressful situations
  • How to build develop lifelong positive habits that enhance personal resiliency

Leadership: This program is led by Leigh Horne-Mebel, LICSW, the Social Worker for the Herscot Center.

  • Who: MGH TSC patients, Age 18 and over
  • When: Sunday January 13th, 2019, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Where: MGH

Doggonit: Epilepsy is Ruff

During this 6 week session, adolescent epilepsy patients will work with a certified trainer to train rescue dogs twice per week. The goal of this activity is to improve the quality of life for both patients and dogs. The adolescents and rescue dogs will learn from each other as they work together and teach each other valuable life skills.

  • Who: MGH Pediatric Epilepsy Patients, Age 12-22
  • What: Work with professional dog trainers to help train rescue dogs
  • When: Starting March 4th (Mondays and Wednesdays)
  • Where: K9 Top Performance Reading, MA

Rowing on the Charles

Join other families and members of our staff for a fun day out on the Charles River. This activity pushes patients to tackle something new, and to build confidence & teamwork! A picnic will follow, please bring your own snacks.

  • Date: Additional dates will be schedule for the Spring/Summer 2019
  • Place: Charles River in Boston
  • Cost: Free for Boston residents and Boston Public School students. $20 for everyone else.

Ketoween: Halloween for our patients on Dietary Therapy

Wear your costumes and come celebrate with crafts and spooky fun! This year's event will be at the Museum of Science in Boston. Kids will have access to the museum for the full day following the event.

  • When: October 21, 2018, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Where: Museum of Science

NEW Virtual Parent Group

We know how busy life can be as a parent, therefore, we are trying out a format change for our Parent group. We hope that conducting this group virtually will make participation easier for those near and far. We will also be changing our format by introducing a different topic for each session. Each meeting will start with a presentation on the topic and then an opportunity for questions and open discussion.

Parent groups offer parents the opportunity to share their experiences as well as to develop strategies to help their child manage difficulties with attention and emotional behavioral dysregulation. This group, led virtually by our Pediatric Epilepsy Social Worker and Nurse, will be held the first Thursday of every month. Please call our office for more details: 617-724- 2954.

  • When: The first Thursday of every Month from 7:00 to 8:15 pm, starting April 2018
  • Where: Anywhere you can access a phone or computer to connect to webex

NEW Virtual Adolescent Social Group

Connect with peers over common interests: tv shows, books, movies, sports. This virtual group allows our adolescent patients to connect with each other in a low pressure online setting. This group will be guided by our Social worker and Nursing staff.

This activity will serve to allow anxious or shy patients to ease into a social setting; peers that may be going through similar experiences due to their medical condition. Each 4 week session will focus on a different topic.

Please call our office for more details: 617-724- 2954.

  • When: Starting the First Tuesday in October: Running for 4 weeks
  • Where: Anywhere where you can access a phone or computer to connect to to webex

Summer Camps

Children’s Camps

Double H: Hole in the Woods Ranch

  • Who: Children 6-16 with:
    • Cancer
    • Collagen Vascular Disease
    • Hemophilia/von Willibrands
    • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    • Immune Disorder/HIV
    • Mitochondrial Disease
    • Neuromuscular Disorders
    • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Where: Lake Luzerne, NY
  • When: 6-day sessions running from June-August; 126 campers per session; 2 sibling sessions and 1 alumni session for former campers ages 17-21.
  • Cost: NO CHARGE except for getting your child to and from camp
  • Medical resources: 24-hour/day on-site medical coverage and nearby area hospitals that are affiliated with the Ranch
  • Contact: Double H Ranch, A SeriousFun Camp 97 Hidden Valley Road, Lake Luzerne, NY 12846
  • Main Office: 518-696-5676
  • Development Office: 518-696-5921

Zebra Crossings

  • Who: Each day we will explore a different State Park within the Seacoast of New Hampshire. Every day will be a new adventure! Join us for this fun camp week and connect with other youth with chronic medical conditions in a supportive, safe environment. Ages 8-12 (Explorer Camp)
  • Where: New Hampshire Seacoast
  • When: July 9-13 8:45 am – 4:15 pm daily
  • Cost: TBD, but Camp scholarships are available upon request
  • Medical Resources: All our programs are supported by qualified medical staff
  • Contact: or 603-312-2052 x0 for more information

Zebra Crossings

  • Who: Our July Summer day camp allows youth with chronic medical conditions to spend their day in fun activities designed for building friendships and self-confidence. At Zebra Crossings you will find a sense of belonging and a safe place to try new things. Discover what you can achieve while being supported by caring medical staff. Ages 6-12.
  • Where: Camp Lincoln
  • When: July 30, 2018 – August 3, 2018 from 8:45 am – 4:15 pm daily
  • Cost: TBD, but Camp scholarships available upon request
  • Medical resources: All our programs are supported by qualified medical staff
  • Contact: or 603-312-2052 x0 for more information

Camp Allen

  • Who: Individuals of all ages with developmental and physical challenges. Ratio of 1:2 or 1:1 available allows campers who may not be able to attend other camps due to age, ability, or behavioral needs to come to a camp where all are welcome.
  • Where: 56 Camp Allen Rd, Bedford, NH 03110
  • When: Residential Camp starts June 10; Day Camp starts June 25
  • Cost: Cost varies from week to week, but residential camp ranges from $850-1900/week while day camp ranges from $340-425/week
  • Medical resources: Medical team that includes at least one RN, a first responder, and a nursing assistant. Campers who are ill but do not need to go home, can spend the night in the health center under observation of the nurse. Bedford Fire Dept and Ambulance Team are only ~5 minutes away.
  • Contact: Michael Constance (Executive Director) 603-622-8471; apply to camp online at

Camp Jabberwocky

  • Who: Children and adults with a wide range of disabilities the chance to enjoy summer in a small family-like community. Offers both summer camp and family camp!
  • Where: Martha’s Vineyard, MA
  • When (Summer Camp): June 22-July 6; July 6-July 19; July 24-July 31; July 31-August 7; August 7-August 20
  • When: (Family Camp): August 24-August 27 ; August 27–August 30 ; August 31-September 3
  • Cost: It costs more than $1,450 per week to provide programming for one camper. Camp asks that campers and families pay what they can.
  • Contact: 508-693-2339 (June-August only) or 508-687-0967 (year-round);

Special Surfers

  • Who: Any child or young adult that has special needs (physical, mental, or emotional) is welcome to come.
  • Where: Gooches Beach (AKA Kennebunk Beach). We will be set up at the center lifeguard stand (across the street from Crescent Ave) in Kennebunk, Maine
  • When: Special Surfer events are held on the third Tuesday of each month in June, July, and August at 5:30pm.
  • Cost: Zero!
  • Contact: Must register online. With registration issues, contact

Camps offered through Epilepsy Foundation of New England

Camp Courage--Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut

  • Who: Children and teens ages 8-21, at the time of camp; Primary diagnosis of epilepsy and on anticonvulsant medication, receiving other treatment for seizures or are under follow up care are eligible; Campers will be considered for admission by the Camp Advisory Committee after completion of application and receipt of application fee; Prior attendance does not guarantee acceptance this year; Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received; The first 30 applications will be presented to the Camp Courage Committee for review and approval; If a camper is not accepted or someone drops out the first camper on the wait list will be given the space.
  • Where: Channel 3 Kids Camp in Andover and Coventry, CT
  • When: July 15-20, 2018
  • Cost: $25 non-refundable application fee, $295 per camper; limited scholarships available
  • Contact:

Camp Matty: Therapeutic Horseback Riding (registration coming soon)

Session 1:

  • Who: Ages 7-13
  • When: April 16–19 from 9am-12:30pm
  • Where: Rehoboth, MA

Session 2:

  • Who: Ages 7-18
  • When: July 9–13 from 9am-1pm
  • Where: Andover, MA

Sailing Camp (registration coming soon)

  • Who: Ages 7-70
  • When: July 30 – August 2 from 1pm-5pm
  • Where: Newport, RI

Sleepaway Camps

Camp Frank a Day (registration coming soon)

  • Family Camp: August 11-13 or August 17–19
  • Kids Camp: August 13–17 (ages 8-20)
  • Taste of Camp: August 13–14 (ages 8-20)
  • Where: Brookfield, MA

Adventure Day Camps (registration coming soon):

  • Providence, RI—July 17-18
  • Southern/Central NH—July 24-25
  • Portland, ME—August 21-22

Event Calendar


Thrive is continually creating webinars to provide information about epilepsy, the cognitive, learning and psychosocial issues often associated with the disorder, educational challenges and solutions. All webinars are available for viewing on our Thrive website.

Understanding Epilepsy

THRIVE - The Galler Family Story

Watch the Video

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