Children with diabetes are no different when it comes to their summer time plans. School lets out and kids are looking for a fun camp to occupy their time. Though having diabetes can throw a kink in things, there are diabetes summer camp options to allow for a fun and safe summer.
The first diabetes summer camp opened in 1925, only three years after the discovery of insulin. Today it’s reported that 200,000 children attend diabetes summer camps in North America by The Diabetes Education and Camping Association.
Some children don’t want to attend a diabetes-centered summer camp, so it’s important to talk out the options with your kids to see what they want to do. Research is key when it comes to explaining the differences in a regular camp and a diabetes camp. Make sure that your kids know that just because they attend a camp that’s called a diabetes summer camp, it does not mean that their camp experience will be any different than the usual camp activities. Diabetes summer camps also provide a safe haven for kids with type 1 where they don’t have to worry about being different, where they can make lifelong friends, and where feel empowered them to be themselves.
It’s important to find the right camp for your child! The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has a list of diabetes summer camps to choose from. Their list includes the date, location, age range, and a link to the camp website.
When considering your camp of choice, make sure it meets the following requirements for the best experience.
- The camp is on the American Camping Association list
- The camp follows the guides of the ADA
- Ask the camp how extensively blood sugar testing is done to make sure it’s the right fit for you
The ADA conducted a 3-year study that found diabetes summer camps have helped increase the overall knowledge of diabetes management by 11%. In addition, they found a 7% decrease in diabetes-related anger in campers.
If you’re having trouble making a decision on which camp to attend, you can contact the camp about making a visit. This is a good way to not only view the camp grounds, but also meet the staff.