By: Shelley Yeager
There are more than 200 diabetes camps in North America, offering more than 400 programs to more than 30,000 youths and young adults with diabetes and their families. One in 400 children has type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes in children, once rare, is increasingly common due to obesity. Education and motivation are vital to healthy management of the disease. Diabetes camps empower children and their families to meet the rigorous demands of diabetes, allowing them to be healthy, active, and motivated to reach their dreams.
The Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) promotes communication, provides education, and shares resources. It serves as a worldwide voice to advance diabetes education and camping associations that meet the diverse needs of individuals and families. For resources and information on diabetes camping, visit the DECA website at www.diabetescamps.org.
You can also reach DECA at the following:
PO Box 385
Huntsville, AL 35804
Kids Love Summer Camp, and Kids With Diabetes Are No Exception
Kids love summer camp, and kids with diabetes are no exception. As one camper said, “I hope they find a cure for diabetes, but if they do, I’ll still come to camp. It will just be a camp for kids who used to have diabetes. That would be great, because camp is totally awesome.”
The experience of diabetes camp in a child’s life is second in importance only to medical management and family involvement. There is no other place where a child with diabetes feels completely “normal,” a part of the group, accepted, understood, and supported. At camp, the children are cared for by a diabetes team comprising a physician, nurse educator, nutritionist and, if necessary, mental health professional, and they are motivated by young adult mentors (camp counselors) who also have diabetes.
Diabetes camp provides a safe haven that combines diabetes education with good, active fun. Add a dose of peers who share similar experiences, and an amazing result occurs: Diabetes becomes secondary to having a roaring good time. To learn about diabetes camp, how to find one near you, and what it can do for your child, visit the Diabetes Education and Camping Association website’s parent page at www.diabetescamps.org/parents.