As a parent of a child with diabetes (my daughter was diagnosed at 6 years of age), I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Bruce Morton, who founded the diabetes camps in Nova Scotia. As a former camp director of non-specialized camps, I understood the "family nature" of summer camps. However the world of diabetes was new to me, and I really didn't know how it all fit together.
After living with diabetes and attending camp for 22 years, I think that I now understand why diabetes camp is such an intensely wonderful experience.
It boils down to a few key issues:
1) safe haven
2) a place for new challenges
3) a place for allowing youth to take charge
4) a place for sharing
5) a time for parents to recharge
6) a time for children to take charge of their diabetes
7) a place to feel normal
8) a place to feel accepted
9) a place to form a diabetes support network
10) a place to learn how to live well with diabetes
11) a place to be motivated and develop high self-esteem
As the "Camp Guy," I would love to hear from you and your children on any issues involving diabetes camps. I would love to especially hear about your experiences involving how camp changed individuals and families. Please write to me and let me know how diabetes camp has changed your life!
Executive Director, Diabetes Education and Camping Association
Published On: July 26, 2007