When Diabetes And Fun Go Hand In Hand!
For your children, it’s not always easy living with diabetes and the strictness it imposes… and it’s easy to understand why: they want to have fun with their friends and not worry about bolus doses and blood sugar levels. Never mind that! You can offer them the best of both worlds by signing them up for diabetes camp.
What is it?
These camps welcome children with diabetes for one-to-two-week stays in a safe and fun setting, where activities are organized around care and treatments. In short, campers get to have an authentic outdoor camp experience adapted to their needs, all while learning how to take care of themselves.
Is it safe?
Your child will be in good hands. Often diabetic themselves, camp counsellors fully understand the challenges of the disease, but they are also supported day and night by a team of professionals (doctors, nurses, nutritionists, etc.). From treatments to diet, everything is taken care of without a hitch.
Why send your child?
At camp, diabetes is no longer a difference: it’s part of everyone’s daily life. Your children will have the chance to interact with children and adults like them, and to see that diabetes does not control their lives. What’s more, they’ll gain independence in managing their disease, for example by learning how to count carbohydrates or perform insulin injections. Finally, they’ll have a ton of fun and develop a taste for movement with physical activities like hiking and canoeing.
How much, and where can I find one?
Prices vary from one camp to another, and some diabetes associations can provide financial assistance to parents—contact yours directly to learn more. The Canadian Diabetes Association organizes camps for diabetic children in most provinces; if you live in Quebec, three camps are recommended here.
It’s normal to feel a twinge of sadness when your children are far away from you, especially if you handle all aspects of their treatment. But, by allowing them to spread their wings, you’ll also be giving them the greatest gift there is: the independence and confidence needed to control their diabetes for the rest of their lives. The ball is in your court!
American Diabetes Association, “Camps Make a Difference”: http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/diabetes-camp/camps-make-difference.html. Accessed January 26, 2016.
Canadian Diabetes Association, “D-Camps”: https://www.diabetes.ca/in-your-community/d-camps-youth-programs/d-camps. Accessed January 26, 2016.
Diabetes Québec, “Holiday Camps for Children with Diabetes”: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/understand-diabetes/practice/school-and-daycare/holiday-camps-for-children-with-diabetes. Accessed January 26, 2016.
Roche, “Getting Kids Ready For Summer Camp”: https://www.accu-chek.com/life-with-diabetes/diabetes-basics?utm_campaign=Diabetes_Link&utm_medium=Inactive_URL&utm_content=accu-chekdiabeteslink.com&utm_source=Inactive_URL. Accessed January 26, 2016.