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[IP] About Camp

christine wrote:
>  The next year I went to Girl Scout Camp.  I hated 
>  it.  I couldn't eat half the food, pre-pump, over 20 years 
> ago, the activities weren't nearly as fun....I went to diabetic 
>camp every year after that, I was finally the normal one!  

well since this is America, I just have to voice my OPPOSITE opinion.  I went 
to GS camp every year, and LOVED it.  I NEVER felt abnormal.  I even went 
back to be a counselor when I was old enough.  It was thanks to gs camp that 
I was dxed with diabetes, since I had to have a physical that first year to 
go...Every subsequent year my mom asked if i wanted to go to D camp instead, 
and every year I said NOPE.  I want to live a "normal" life always...ride 
horses, hike mountains, do arts and crafts, hike mountains, smell pine trees, 
sleep out under the stars, raid the storage shed, sing girl scout songs by 
the campfire, eat s'mores, make friends...Sure I had to pop down to the 
nurses cabin once or twice a day for a poke, but all that meant was that I 
missed the pledge of allegance by the flag pole in the morning, and didn't 
have to stand in line as long at the door at dinner.  It was great!  Mom sent 
pb, graham crackers and raisins to the counselors, and they let me have it 
whenever I asked...They always had snacks if i needed them on hikes.  The 
diabetes camp near Denver was in the foothills, barely out of the smog, and 
they didn't have horses!!!  I didn't want to learn about nutrition and why 
peeing on a stick was so important.

Most importantly, I learned alot about independance at girl scout camp.  Girl 
Scouts is (or was) GREAT at teaching that.  I may have been the "only" one, 
but I was not singled out as such.  I HAD to learn how to take care of 
myself, and how to ask for help when I needed it.   For the first year of my 
life as a diabetic, I had mom, or the camp nurse, do my shot...It was at the 
urging of a non-diabetic counselor named Sunny that I finally did my own 
shot, so I could go on the overnight.  I wasn't pressured into doing it cuz 
everyone ELSE at camp was capable of doing their own shots.  I was offered 
the choice of taking care of myself and getting on with my life....or 
not...and spending the night in the nurse's cabin...ughhhh...no thanks.  I 
was just shown I had the power to take control of the situation - a lesson I 
have NEVER forgotten, and it wasn't forced down my throat at some "diabetic" 
camp, where I was NOT an individual with diabetes, but a "diabetic, like all 
the rest.  I am NOT slamming diabetic camp - this is just my opinion,,,,if it 
was great for you, then WONDERFUL - please no flames about how WRONG I am 
about diabetic camp!

I say let the kid go to the camp he WANTS to go to...don't decide for him 
-just cuz YOU think it would be BETTER for him.  In this day and age of 
modern technology and information, AND with the fear that all camps have of 
liability issues, you can rest assured that, even if your kid decides to go 
to space camp, there will be someone around to help.  Isn't the whole point 
of a pump to have some independance?  If they are old enough to go to camp, 
then SURELY they are old enough to do their own blood tests?  Surely they 
know what is "high" and what is "low"  If not, perhaps they aren't ready for 
camp at all.  They may not be able to calculate a bolus, but with a CELL 
phone (oops off topic sorry), or a camp nurse, or a slightly educated 
counselor, or even a written out chart of "what to do", they CAN handle it.  

If we can't teach our kids independance and personal responsibility, and if 
we can't let go of them enough to let them try their wings, and possibly 
fail, then how can we ever expect them to live long and prosper?  A week of 
blood sugars that bounce around a little will NOT kill him, and the trade off 
for a fabulous week of independance is worth it.

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