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Wahode Day Camps

Camp Wahode at a Glancerockclimb

Staff-to-Camper Ratio: 1:2
Medical Physical Required: No

With the health and safety of our campers, families, and staff as paramount, and due to restrictions and regulations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, both sessions of Camp Wahode are cancelled for the summer of 2020.

The unique, challenging position of day camps is the constant coming, going, and mixing of people. Each day our campers get dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon, often by different people. They go home and interact with other family members who potentially were out and about and then come back to camp the next day. This cycle repeats itself each day of the week. We wanted both sessions of Camp Wahode to go on as planned, but we also feel the numerous interactions are not conducive to our ultimate goals of health and safety for our campers, families, and staff.

The staff at AuSM have been working on preparations for Camp Wahode 2020 for more than a year. Hours have been dedicated to meetings with Camp Butwin and the St. Paul JCC, recruiting camp staff, and preparing activities tailored for the unique needs of our participants. We understand how difficult it is to see these camps your campers have been getting excited about get cancelled. The pandemic has pushed us to be patient and flexible, characteristics that can be challenging and frustrating. We, too, are disappointed and truly will miss being with our campers!

To help bridge the gap of not being able to be together in person, AuSM is working to create alternative camp-focused programming that can be done virtually with guidance from our awesome camp staff. We plan to announce more details about this new offering by June 1, 2020. The alternative virtual camp programming will be offered at a lower rate than Camp Wahode. We hope this virtual option will be a way we can keep connected and still have some enjoyable camp experiences this summer.

I am sorry to bring you this disappointing news about Camp Wahode. I hope your family is staying healthy, and I look forward to the days when we will be together again, participating in camp activities and having fun together.


Ben Urbanek, AuSM's Director of Camp Programs

Click here for a message from Todd Schwartzberg, director of Camp Wahode.

Campers may attend one or both sessions of Wahode Day Camp.

Wahode is Dakota for “explore.” Each session runs Monday through Friday and offers many ways to discover, grow, and have fun. Campers will experience activities including swimming in an outdoor pool, horseback riding, use of a ropes course and climbing tower, group games, hiking, sensory crafts, and gross motor activities led by a registered occupational therapist, music groups led by a board-certified music therapist, boating, and sports.

Program staff and camp directors have many years of experience working with individuals with autism, and counselors receive intensive training prior to camp. Campers must provide their own lunch and transportation. Campers will have four fun-filled days at Camp Butwin and will spend one day exploring the Minnesota Zoo (Thursday of the camp week). Alternative programming at Camp Butwin will NOT be available for the day at the zoo. Transportation will be provided to and from the zoo; campers should be dropped off and picked up at Camp Butwin all five days. This camp is ideal as a first step toward, or in addition to, attending one of AuSM’s residential camps.

Camp Butwin, 945 Butwin Rd., Eagan, MN 55123

Camp Wahode Director

Edward Todd Schwartzberg, M. Ed, MT-BC received his BA in Music Education; emphasis in Music Therapy from the University of Kansas and completed his Masters in Education; emphasis in Music Therapy from the University of Minnesota. During the last 19 years, Todd has worked with a variety of individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings, including long term-care centers, schools, and rehabilitation centers. His area of specialization is with children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual disabilities. As Teaching Specialist and Clinic Coordinator at the University of Minnesota, he teaches classes, conducts research related to social skill, communication skill and working memory skill of individual with ASD, and provides private and group music therapy sessions for children and adults with ASD and other neurological and physical disabilities through the On-Campus Music Therapy Clinic. Schwartzberg has published several articles on the topics of working memory, social and communication skills of children with ASD in peer-reviewed journals and has served on the founding board of directors for Lionsgate Academy and as the Government Relations Chair for the Music Therapy Association of Minnesota. Schwartzberg currently serves as a co-chair of the American Music Therapy Association’s Strategic Priority Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorder, Vice-President Elect of the Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), is a delegate to the Assembly of Delegates for the Great Lakes Region of the AMTA, and is the past president of the Board of Directors of AuSM.

Camp Wahode Related Links

Click here for directions to Camp Butwin.


Click here for more information. 

Please note:

  • Your waiver MAY cover all or part of the camp cost. Please check with your individual fiscal agent/case worker to determine coverage.
  • You are responsible for payment if your Third Party Payer does not cover the cost of camp.
  • All payments must be made by the deadline or your camper will forfeit his/her spot in camp, unless arrangements have been made with AuSM's Director of Camp Programs.
  • Though a doctor's physical is not required for day camps, health forms must be completed by April 13, 2020.