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Author Topic: Diabetes Camps  (Read 2781 times)

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Chad

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Diabetes Camps
« on: November 17, 2014, 02:37:01 AM »
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  • Hello,

    I was curious if anyone or their children have been involved with a Diabetes Camp. I was recently told about them and wanted to hear about your personal experiences.

    Was going to a Diabetes Camp valuable? What made you sign up for a Diabetes Camp instead of some other summer camp?

    Did the relationships formed at the camp have any value? Did you stay in touch with the people you met at the camp afterwords? If so, how?

    Did your ability to deal with your diabetes improve after going to the camp? What helped and what didn't help?

    Offline oddangela

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 09:16:52 AM »
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  • My t1 daughter has attended a local t1 day camp for 3 years now and loves it.  She really values knowing and hanging out with other kids who "get it".  This past summer she also did a week at Lions camp for kids with t1.  She had a blast.  She also did a week of Girl Scout camp so for us it's not an either or.  We try to do things regularly with other t1 kids because it's important to her. 

    For US we didn't see any changes or improvements in care.  We're ahead of the education curve so what they teach is far more basic than what we're doing already.  Though after her first year at day camp she was willing to try a CGM where she hadn't been before.  :)

    Hope that helps!
    Angela- Mom to S- 8/9/04 (dx 5/4/11)  G- 6/4/08 and L- 4/3/12 and W- 3/18/15

    Offline andrea

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 09:45:57 AM »
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  • The educational aspect for us is minor, she gets that quarterly from her team and daily from us. The important aspect for us is the emotional boost it gives her.  She spends most of the year as the one who has d, a minority, surrounded by many who don't get it. For a week a year, those with working pancreas are the oddballs, she's surrounded by peers who not only get it but live it too.

    Why d camp? Because when she started going she wasn't as confident and independent in her care as she is now.  I needed to feel confident she was safe. She has since gone to non-d camp

    Mom to Annelies, 14 (Dx 18 Mar 08~Pumping MM Oct 08-May 12, Omnipod May 12-Aug 13. tSlim Aug 13+ ~Dexcom Oct 11), Katy, 18 (non-D) and Jory (non-D/US Navy)
    God created wine to keep Army Wives from taking over the world
    My blog

    Offline kcbscrapper

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 09:52:46 AM »
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  • My sons summer was too full to go to a d camp then.  But he has volunteered at the Riding on Insullin camps which are great! They are ski/snowboard camps throughout the country for kids 7-17 all ability level! It's for tyoe 1s and siblings and friends too?
    Love that it gives kids a chance to accomplish awesome things while handling type 1 safely.

    Offline Tiffany***

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 05:01:22 PM »
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  • My daughter has been to D-camp in 3 states. 

    We have been to family diabetes camp in both CA and UT.  We volunteer at the family camp here.  My oldest doesn't have diabetes and loves diabetes camp. 

    I think that camp is invaluable.  I wish that more kids had the chance to attend, but with the cost and the limited # of spaces no every child will get to attend. 

    She gets to spend at least a week every summer with other kids who are also testing, treating, and living with diabetes.  Her brother is spending 2 weeks a year watching while people other than his sister live with exactly what his sister lives with.  Being at D-Camp has helped him gain compassion for his sister when before he had resentment. 

    I get a week off where someone else is testing, treating, nagging, ect... 

    Family camp.  I can't say enough.  For some of those parents it's this huge relief society.  Where before they were swimming up-stream alone.  At camp they join other parents who are having the same struggles.  Other parents who have the same worries and concerns.  They get to see their kids interact with other kids of the same age.  There is a family who comes to family camp here who all have diabetes.  The parents met at diabetes camp and their kids have diabetes, they still come to family camp and their oldest goes to regular d-camp. 

    What made me sign her up for diabetes camp and not some other camp?  Well.  Diabetes.  Diabetes is 24 hours a day.  It is at 2am, and 7am.  It is during swimming, and during nap time.  Diabetes is at breakfast, and at snacks.  It's testing before meals, before bed.  It's testing before going skiing, and maybe testing while on the chair lift, it could be testing at the end of a run. 

    What other week long sleep away camp is going to let me drop her my 7 year old on Sunday and pick her up the following Friday and is going to manage her diabetes 24 hours a day, for that entire time without fail? 

    There is one question you posed that really rubs me the wrong way.

     :o :o Did the relationships formed at the camp have any value?       ???????? :o

    I feel like this doesn't even deserve an answer.  Do the relationships you form at church have value?  Did the relationships you formed at school have value?  Do the relationships form at work have value?   Does your marriage have any value? 

    WTF.  Of course the relationships have value.  I guess your teachers were wrong, there really are stupid questions. 
    « Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 05:03:55 PM by Tiffany*** »
    Tiffany mom to 4.  T. 9-00 non-d  V. 12-02 dx 12-08  H. 3-07  E. 9-10

    Offline mymomtime

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 05:26:11 PM »
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  • My daughter lives all year to go to camp in the summer.  She LOVES it.  It is totally worth it for her. 

    Educationally, it has given her the confidence to give herself a shot (1st time at camp), insert a pump site on her own (1st time at camp), and has shown her how others live with diabetes.  She doesn't like the dietitian portion of camp-It's boring. 

    I love the week off.  I love how I can focus on my other two children and not have diabetes interrupt their lives for a week.  I love how when she comes back, she is so full of stories and life.  I feel refreshed when she comes back and ready to take diabetes on for the next few months, and she does as well.

    What made me choose diabetes camp instead of another camp?  SHE WANTED IT.  I suggested it and she jumped on board with a little hesitation of being away from home for a week.  At 8 years old, she knew she wanted to meet and spend time with others who dealt with diabetes just like her. 

    Relationships have formed and now that she is older, she keeps in contact with a few over the school year, via email, texting, phone calls.  She requests to be with the same girls every year.

    Jessica
    Mom to Kristen (age 14) d/x 7/25/07 and Nathan (age 12) non-D, and Joseph (age 5)
    Pumping with Animas Ping since 2/12
    Pumped with MM 2/08-2/12

    Offline Chad

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #6 on: November 17, 2014, 06:08:10 PM »
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  • Everyone,

    Thank you SOOO much for your replies. They have been very valuable to me.

    Tiffany- Of course I didn't literally mean "do the relationships formed have value." I was wanting to know how children felt about meeting and becoming friends with others that have diabetes. Do they WANT to have diabetic friends or is it not necessary for them?Do they keep in touch with their diabetic friends after camp (text, email, Facebook, etc.)? Sorry for the miscommunication :)

    Offline oddangela

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 06:31:08 PM »
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  • My daughter absolutely wants to have other friends with type 1.  She is still on the young side to keep track of her friends on her own, but we do see friends from camp at other activities through the year.
    Angela- Mom to S- 8/9/04 (dx 5/4/11)  G- 6/4/08 and L- 4/3/12 and W- 3/18/15

    Offline andrea

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #8 on: November 17, 2014, 06:42:47 PM »
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  • I think that depends on the kid. I know a few who have no desire to go to d camp.

    Mom to Annelies, 14 (Dx 18 Mar 08~Pumping MM Oct 08-May 12, Omnipod May 12-Aug 13. tSlim Aug 13+ ~Dexcom Oct 11), Katy, 18 (non-D) and Jory (non-D/US Navy)
    God created wine to keep Army Wives from taking over the world
    My blog

    Offline gsmama

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #9 on: November 18, 2014, 05:44:29 AM »
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  • We did family camp a few years early on after dx. He was only 4 and I LOVED it. He enjoyed it but was really just a baby. He went at 7 by himself and he was too young, he should have never gone alone that young. He didn't want to go back. He finally went back this year at 11 and he didn't love it again. He's a mama's boy  ;) and one week is just too long from my awesomeness. LOL.

    For me, I love it. I'd send him every year and will send him whenever he wants. He gains so much (more than he realizes) and always comes back a little stronger (if that's possible), a little funnier and a little more independent.
    Leslie in New Jersey: mom to ava 11 (non-d) and giovanni 13 (dx'd T1D 7/25/07 and Celiac 1/14)

    Offline Tiffany***

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #10 on: November 18, 2014, 08:15:49 AM »
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  • Everyone,
     I was wanting to know how children felt about meeting and becoming friends with others that have diabetes.

    Do they WANT to have diabetic friends or is it not necessary for them?

    Do they keep in touch with their diabetic friends after camp (text, email, Facebook, etc.)? Sorry for the miscommunication :)

    Now these are different questions.  My daughter doesn't really care if her friends have or don't have diabetes.  KWIM?  But she does like to connect with other people her age who have diabetes.  It's like a secret club.  She likes being affirmed that she isn't different and that she isn't alone. 

    The teens do form relationships at camp :-* >:D   I'm sure that's true regardless of the type of camp, put a bunch of raging hormone teens together and you are going to have relationships. 
    Tiffany mom to 4.  T. 9-00 non-d  V. 12-02 dx 12-08  H. 3-07  E. 9-10

    Offline Mich*09

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #11 on: November 18, 2014, 10:29:33 AM »
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  • No experience with camp, my son was 15 by his first opportunity to go to camp and he wasn't interested.  Anyway, I just want to throw in, that he could care less if he has friends with d.  He does have a couple of acquaintances that have d, but he doesn't feel any special connection because of sharing a disease.  He did enjoy the time he got to explain to a guy all about the pump and why he likes it.  And he gets very frustrated with a woman who refuses to take better care of herself.  He is 19 now and would prefer to just blend in and is happy none of his close friends have d too. 

    BUT - I NEED friends who have children with d, or who have d.  I have found a home here at this website with other parents (and d adults) who truly get the struggle, they are here for me when I have questions, need another opinion, need a lift, or when I need to blow off steam.  Most people mean well, but if  someone hasn't walked in the shoes, they really cannot understand.  These people here taught me to let my son be a kid first and to make diabetes fit into his life, not make his life fit diabetes.  They have taught me more about diabetes than any book or Dr.  The people here are an extremely valuable part of my life.  My son now does all of his care on his own, but I still come back here because these people are now family.
    Michelle
    Mom to - Jordan 22, Grant (19 dx 9/17/09 MM Revel 6/1/10), Brett 16

    Offline meke1997

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #12 on: November 18, 2014, 12:10:49 PM »
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  • My daughter went to D camp the first time when she was 12.  It's not for every kid, but she loved it.   She has gone every summer and just graduated from it this past summer.  Lots of tears when it ended.  She plan to volunteer when she is 18.
    For her, she needed to be with other kids that got it.  She went every year with a friend and they knew most of the girls in the cabin.  They still keep in touch through texting and Facebook groups. 

    I saw her emotionally grow through the experience.  I loved hearing the stories that happened, it was really the first time we could laugh about D.   Many of the medical staff/volunteers were young adults with  D and  they could push her out of her comfort zone, in a way I couldn't.  As a parent, it was a welcomed break for me knowing that the she was being taken care of.   
    Mary Jo Mom to Abby 16 (dxed 9-2-2008, pumping 3-1-2009, Dexcom 11-2012)

    Offline mljones

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #13 on: June 01, 2015, 10:32:01 AM »
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  • Thanks all for posting these opinions on diabetes camp.  I have wondered about it myself.  So far, my 15 year old son has expressed that he has no desire to go to diabetes camp or to any meetings for kids with diabetes.  He just wants to go on with life and not be different.  I have wondered if my husband and I should push him to go to camp hoping that in the end it would help our son feel less lonely and less different.  So far, we have not pushed.  We probably won't.   Good to hear that some kids have not needed the diabetes support groups and really are doing fine. 


    Offline PattyC

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    Re: Diabetes Camps
    « Reply #14 on: June 01, 2015, 11:06:07 AM »
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  • My son is one who has no desire to go to D camp.  There is one in our state that our daughter's friend went to and he really loved it, and he did talk to Matthew about it, but Matthew wasn't interested.  He is a Boy Scout and did go to summer camps, but I went along as an adult volunteer.  He does weekend outings without me along though.  A couple summers ago he went on a vacation with a friend's family, which was his first extended trip away from home without either me or my husband, and he did great.

    As for support groups, he hasn't felt the need to connect with other kids with D, although lately he's been hanging out in the diabetes sub-forum on the Reddit website.  JDRF has a teen online group but I haven't looked into that.

    As long as your son is happy and getting the support he needs from family and friends, it's good to let him make the call as to reaching out for D connections.
    Patty, mom to Matthew 18, dx 12/05, pumping with MM Revel 723. (St. Louis, MO area)



     


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