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|More on the origin of Camp Angels.
The idea for Camp Angels was born soon after Don and Diane Rung’s son Steve was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. While attending a weekend diabetic camp they had the opportunity to talk with many of the parents of the diabetic campers who have come to these types of camps in the past. They soon learned that these special camps which are a blessing for diabetic children who can’t attend main stream camps because of their medical needs can also be a hardship for many of the families who are already strapped because of the high cost of diabetes. In 2002 Camp Angels became a 501(c)(3) non profit organization with the mission to enable Type 1 diabetic children from financially challenged families live well with diabetes through an enjoyable camp experience.
Since then every summer throughout the U.S. and Canada numerous children with diabetes gather together in camps to climb mountains, swim, play sports, enjoy outdoor barbeques, attend campfire chats, and learn more about self-regulation of their diabetic condition.
The combinations of these activities support children in their knowledge of diabetes, how to give themselves proper injections of insulin, what foods are best for them and how to manage a good balance of sports and diet.
While much of the education at diabetic camp is formal much of the learning that happens at camp is during the down times of the day and the informal moments at camp like at meal times, rest hour, by the campfire or on the camp swings. At any moment, you can hear the campers talking about the ups and downs of daily living with diabetes. By being together at camp in a supportive and unique environment, our participants gain the knowledge that they are not alone with diabetes.
Probably the best part of these camps is what happens afterwards. Many kids will make friends that they want to stay in contact with after camp. When they leave they will become email pals and join common interest social sites. These friends are important in that they create a support system out side the home.
Through your support we will be able to provide a life altering experience to a diabetic child who might never have been given this chance because of their families financial situation. We hope you will become Angel to one of the many children with insulin-dependent diabetes by supporting the Camp Angels Program. Your donation is tax-deductible and will certainly make a difference in the life of a child living with diabetes!
I remember turning 10, being diagnosed with something called diabetes and then being shipped off to some weird summer camp, I thought things couldn’t get worse!
It was the summer after 5th grade. My parents suggested that I go to a camp for kids with diabetes (that means they told me I was going) to learn more about my disease, how to control it and meet new friends. Yeah, right!
I had never heard of such a place, and the last thing on my summer wish list was to go to a camp in the middle of nowhere, full of kids I didn’t know, who all had this weird disease. But, no matter how much I begged, my parents were intent on making me go. Turns out that this was the beginning of the best time of my life.
Spending time with other kids who also have diabetes made me feel normal. It was amazing how many others shared my insecurities about being diabetic and who were also having the same control problems. I learned so much about how to manage my diabetes with diet, exercise and insulin. The tricks I learned at camp continue to help me to this day (almost 14 years later).
If you are a diabetic and are considering going to camp or are going and nervous about it, I encourage you to GO! You will learn a lot and have a great time! Who knows, you might even want to go back next year.
- By Dustin M.
|© Camp Angels • P.O. Box 89, Waterford ME 04088 • (207) 583-6963|