Camping for Children Who Have Type-1 Diabetes
Texas Lions Camp for Children with Diabetes is specifically designed for children between the ages of eight and fifteen who have type-1 diabetes and are insulin dependent. This camp has two main components. First is a medical education program that focuses on teaching campers to care for their special health needs. The second component is a recreation program that teaches a ‘Can Do’ attitude, encouraging our diabetic campers that they can achieve their goals, any goal they set, by managing their diabetes.
The education program is accomplished by our medical team of physicians, nurses, and dietitians who join the camp staff during Diabetes Camp. The medical team helps children learn to control their diabetes by eating properly, monitoring their own blood sugar, and giving their own insulin injections. Campers are monitored throughout the camp session in this process. Additionally, the medical staff instructs educational classes each day in order to help campers learn about their unique medical needs.
In the recreation portion of the program, campers participate in many exciting summer activities; boating, archery, arts & crafts, horses, radio, climbing wall, swimming and more, while they learn about their condition. The activities serve many purposes. Some activities will be new experiences, opening up new possibilities and interests. Other activities will challenge the camper to overcome fear or failure, to encourage the message that they ‘Can Do’ whatever challenge lies before them. Campers are also forced to view their participation in activities through the filter of diabetes – how does it affect my blood sugar, my overall health? What do I need to manage in order to enjoy this activity? Can I really do this?
Texas Lions Camp for Children with Diabetes provides an ideal opportunity for children to learn new self-care skills or reshape their attitudes about diabetes. The experience can act as a catalyst for the child to take his/her first insulin shot, try a new injection site, learn how to better use an insulin pump, or just to show renewed interest in diabetes self-care. At camp learning can take on many forms. For some campers, meeting other children or staff members with diabetes provides a sense of security and confidence.