Introduction: Diabetes is a major public health problem which needs to be addressed with outmost planning in resource poor settings. One of the most valuable lessons was how important it was for youth to have a place they felt they belonged, a place where they could find support in managing diabetes. The meeting is being held as a Kindred Event of the American Camping Association’s National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. That seems crazy, right? Access to a community of diabetes camping leaders. The Canadian Diabetes Association’s mission is to lead the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. We deliver our mission by providing people with diabetes and healthcare professionals with education and services; advocating on behalf of people with diabetes; supporting research and translating research into practical applications.
My favorite of all though is diabetes camps. With a wealth of experience in Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and exercise/sports management, Corcoran brings a unique perspective to the medical management of diabetes and exercise. The camp environment promotes a sense of team spirit and good sportsmanship in individual and group activities, and competitive and non-competitive challenges. While he was there to talk to the kids about how important it is for them to advocate for people with diabetes and encourage them to get out and make a difference, he learned a lot about diabetes camps, so much so, that he decided he too wanted to attend a diabetes camp. The program offers an exciting week of outdoor activities while learning valuable lessons on positive diabetes management. Participants not only keep active and make friends, but they also learn about their disease and their bodies. Camp Sweeney in Texas offers longer than typical sessions of nearly three weeks (http://www.campsweeney.org/).
I learned so much about how to manage my diabetes with diet, exercise and insulin. “I have a lot of kids who say, ‘seeing my best friend,’ ” says Kara Duwe, who volunteers with the medical staff at Camp Colorado in Woodland Park. For basic tips for kids about venturing off to camp, including questions they might not even want to ask, PBS Kids offers a great website called “Take Chances, Make Memories” (http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/friends/summercamp). With a little preparation, your child can enjoy summer camp even with diabetes.