I am thinking about volunteering for a diabetes camp this summer but I am not sure what I have to offer. I was diagnosed with type 1 in September 2010 (at almost 30 years old) so I didn’t not have it as a child. I have my blood sugar pretty much under control now and I would like to interact with other diabetics. I think it would be a fun experience but I am a little nervous because I don’t know exactly what the kids are going through since I was diagnosed as an adult. I am also not sure what age the other volunteers generally are.
Has anyone had any experience with diabetes camps (either as a child, volunteer, or parent)? Do you think this would be a good experience for me? Lastly, anyone know of diabetes camps in the Ohio area or surrounding states. Thanks in advance for all the help!
HEY! So I volunteer at The Harrisburg Diabetes Youth Camp, its in PA. This will be my ~9th yr doing it. I think its well worth you helping out. Its good for the kids to see adults with it and that we are still normal with D. And it’s also encouraging seeing the lil ones taking care of themselves, it helps me keep going. If they can do it, so can i…
I went to diabetes camp in Ohio as a kid! The camp I went to (and the best, in my opinion) is called Camp Ho Mita Koda, in Newbury Ohio. It’s east of Cleveland a little bit. I also know there is one down near Cincinnati called Camp Korelitz I think? And I also think the Columbus Ohio Diabetes Association runs one too, I don’t know what it’s called, but they have a web-site.
As to volunteering, it depends on the camp. At Camp Ho Mita Koda, I think most of their staff is paid, but they might need volunteers to help out with stuff before camp starts. I don’t think you need to have been a kid with diabetes to be a good camp counselor or volunteer or whatever. And, you don’t necessarily need a specific skill like “life guard” or “archery instructor” or anything like that. Some of my best camp counselors didn’t even have diabetes. I think what made counselors so great was that they were good examples of being responsible adults, who were still really cool and encouraged campers to try new things and have confidence in themselves, etc.
If you’re trying to just interact with diabetics, I’ve heard that there are some groups for adults wiith Type 1 who get together and go camping or on trips and stuff like that, but I don’t know of any specifically.
Anyway, those are my two cents, diabetes camps are the best, and I know it would be very rewarding if you were able to volunteer at one. Good luck!
I think you have a tremendous amount to offer. We went to D camp as a family at the Clara Barton Center last August and it was great. Many of the counselors live with diabetes, but not all of them. The director of Camp Joslin (boys camp) was nonD (I think his girlfriend has diabetes, but I could be wrong) and he was amazing. It is nice to hear stories of the counselors and what they went through as kids with D, but just because you don’t have that, doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer. You have your own story about living with D and you can relate to many, many things the kids go through. Most importantly though, you care and understand, and that will come across and mean a great deal to the kids.