Summer camp: swimming, basketball, arts and crafts, even tasty grub in the mess hall. It is a great place for kids to be kids, but there is something special about Camp Joslin. Everyone here has diabetes.
"There's no other place that a child could go, and you say 'gee, who has diabetes here?' and 135 hands go up," said Paul Madden, Camp Administrator. "Many of these kids have never even met another youngster who has diabetes."
But at Camp Joslin there are plenty, even most of the nurses, doctors, and dietitians who watch over the kids have diabetes, and many of them were also campers. "It was a great support to come here and see so many older counselors here that had diabetes as well, and was dealing with the same issues that I was dealing with," said Brad MacDougall, Camp Director.
To help kids learn about diabetes, there are nutrition lessons, and plenty of healthy snack breaks, and of course, blood sugar tests several times a day.
"We monitor the kids at midnight, 2 a.m., 4 a.m., if needed," said Kelly Dunking, Nurse Coordinator. "There's round-the-clock supervision, medical supervision, that other camps don't necessarily have."
This can be important for active diabetic kids who burn food fast. Ask anyone who has been there and they will tell you: this is a special place where kids get to be kids.
Scholarships are available to those who qualify. For more information, click on the links below.