Parenting: Dealing with Diabetes at Camp

July 30, 2012 7:21:09 AM PDT
My daughter just finished her camp at Gloucester County College and I got teary eyed when I met her counselor.

I was nervous about enrolling her in a mainstream camp because of some special needs. It was the first time that she was out of the house all day without someone trained to deal with her Type 1 Diabetes.

The first day of camp, we went over all of my daughter's needs and the contents of her medical bag. We also briefed the counselors on how to handle an emergency. They were attentive and asked excellent questions, which lead us to feel comfortable leaving her.

I also sent a chart that would be easily followed by people unfamiliar with diabetes. It gives simple instructions for low, regular, and high blood glucose levels. My fifth grader is also very knowledgeable and mostly able to treat herself.

To my delight and surprise, the counselors were not only caring professionals, they treated her as if she were their daughter.

We had a few medical challenges that week and amazingly, the counselors seemed to handle all the disruptions in schedule and with ease. They kept me informed at every step, and helped my daughter get the most out of the camp experience.

I was overwhelmed with pride when I saw her confident, happy smile at the final camp show.

If you're interested in sending your T1D child to a mainstream camp, click here for some helpful tips. I think it really depends on the quality of the camp counselors and the level of independence your child has already achieved in caring for themselves.

I'm happy to say, for us, this was a huge success. It allowed my daughter to feel comfortable pursuing a camp that peaked her interest and I'm glad diabetes didn't stand in her way.

Of course, it only happened because of the heroes at Gloucester County College who seemed willing to deal with any challenge necessary.

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