July 22nd, 2024

Special summer camps cater to children with Type 1 diabetes

By Gillian Slade on July 28, 2017.

Medicine Hat News

Summer camp can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a child’s life and because every child deserves this opportunity there are camp that cater to those with Type 1 diabetes.

The daily demands of managing their diabetes can feel overwhelming and lead to feeling isolated from their peers.

Diabetes Canada is the only provider of national camps for children and youth living with Type 1 diabetes in Canada. At Diabetes Canada Camps children are able to enjoy an authentic camp experience without feeling any stigma about their disease. At the same time all of their diabetes needs are met by a team of skilled medical professionals including endocrinologists, doctors, nurses, dietitians as well as health-care students, residents and interns. They provide peace of mind for parents who are often the primary caregiver. Diabetes management fits into the day as naturally as a jump into the lake or an evening campfire, says Diabetes Canada spokesperson Randi Gill.

“We have one camper from Medicine Hat attending this week’s Camp Jean Nelson session and then another child from Medicine Hat attending next week’s session,” said Gill.

Diabetes Canada opened its first camp in Ontario, Camp Banting, in 1953. Since then, the D-Camps program has grown extensively with 12 overnight summer camps across the country along with family and day camps and a leadership development program.

Camp Jean Nelson in Alberta was founded in 1957 by a woman named Jean Nelson, who was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of five. The camp is located in the picturesque Rocky Mountain Foothills near Water Valley. Activities encourage team-building and an appreciation of the outdoors such as swimming, hiking, extensive rope course challenges, a climbing wall, arts and crafts, and sports. Camp Jean Nelson accommodates 105 campers, ages seven to 15.

To learn more about Camp Jean Nelson and details about registering for next year, visit http://www.dcamps.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

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