This past Saturday, I spent a wonderful day with the Phoenix ADA. It was “Departure Day” for the kids that were taking the buses to Prescott for Camp AZDA. I was delighted to be a part of the send off. I got to see so many children and their families.
Being there brought back a flood of emotions. I could see the same expression on many of the parents’ faces, that my mother used to wear when dropping me off for camp. I saw the familiar look of a child that was starting their first year at camp. They might be a little nervous. I also saw the smiles, hugs and happiness that came when old friends saw each other again. These were the kids that were so excited about camp!
I was impressed with the efficiency of the ADA during the check in and loading process. The staff and volunteers were great. They all wore smiles and began bonding with the families immediately. They were welcoming and comforting to these families.The counselors were fantastic. They were full of energy and took the younger kids under their wings immediately. I loved having good role models living with diabetes when I was younger. It wasn’t something that I could learn from my doctor or my lab results. It was so important to know someone that was going through the same thing.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not attended Diabetes Camp. It helped me grow, learn more than I ever thought I would about diabetes and share with those just like me. Today I still keep in touch with my friends that I made at diabetes camp. Although it was hard for my parents to drop me off each year, I knew that they realized how great it was for me to attend. If you are a parent of a child with diabetes, the worrying doesn’t stop. Even if you know your child is confident, competent and is in good control, the worry is still there. Things like this help in the long run. Parents have given up a little control and that does wonders for their child. The kids get a break and come home refreshed with good attitudes.
It makes me sad that there are so many newly diagnosed children with diabetes. I am also so proud that organizations like the ADA are offering the camp experience for these kids. I am proud that The Diabetes Coach and jumpstreet raised funds to send more children with diabetes to summer camp. I was proud and would love to hear back about the various experiences that you or your campers have had! Happy Summer.