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Camps (was Re: [IPp] Teen troubles)

In a message dated 9/19/2002 9:21:44 AM Mountain Daylight Time, 
email @ redacted writes:

> Also, the camps reinforce and introduce new learnings.  When the kids 
> come home, they own the information, so the management model can be more 
> cooperative, less top down authority.  Also, they model how to manage 
> diabetes during sports - they play soccer, check bg before, during after, 
> do 
> the necessary corrections, refrain from playing if high or ketones are 
> present, have someone present who can sit out a low with the child, assist 
> if 
> necessary.  The kids see how it is done, and repeat it over and over and 
> over, in a nice peer group context.  

I agree about the camps, but would like to see some new models tried because 
the traditional models (outdoorsy hike, swim, archery type of camps) just 
don't fit all kids personalities and interests.  That's the kind of camp 
Katie went to last summer (2001), her first since dx.  Although it was nice 
for her to meet some other girls with diabetes and know she was not alone out 
there, she didn't have much fun with the camp activities and didn't really 
learn a lot about diabetes mgmt (she was already pumping by then -- and only 
a very small % of the kids at the campe were pumpers).

This summer, she went to the Chris Dudley Basketball Camp for kids with 
diabetes up in Oregon.  This is a top notch camp that does a great job of 
teaching kids of all levels about basketball skills and about what they as 
athletes can do to effectively manage their diabetes. About half the kids are 
pumpers.  The coaches are awesome and the counselors (many of whom have 
diabetes) wonderful.  (For those that don't know, Chris Dudley has had type 1 
since his teens and has played in the NBA for quite a number of years).  
There were two drawbacks for this camp *for katie*:  there were very few 
girls (about 15 out of 70 campers) and she's just not as serious about 
basketball as most of the kids there.

I have a vision of diabetes camps that offer a greater variety of focuses so 
as to draw in different types of kids . . . just those who enjoy a 
traditional summer camp, or even a specific sport.  What about the computer 
nerds, the artistic types, etc. etc.  ???? I certainly don't have any answers 
on how to do it but I do see a need to look at different models . . .

For my daughter, one model that I've considered is based on the idea that 
much of her compliance when she's away from us comes from the fact that she 
has a couple of close friends who not only know she has diabetes, but 
understand a bit about how it works and have even learned how to help her if 
she has a low.  My vision for a camp for teen girls (say 11 or 12 to 17) 
would be one that ran over a long weekend or something and that asked them to 
bring along one friend (with or without diabetes).  The idea for the "camp" 
would be to integrate diabetes information directly into activities like 
make-up and skin care workshops, a fashion show, dance class/volleyball/etc., 
arts and crafts, cooking etc. (i.e. stuff *my* daughter likes a lot more than 
sleeping in a tent or hiking in the mountains). . . . What I'd like to see is 
a program that SHOWS how you can integrate diabetes management into a fun and 
satisfying day-to-day life (would love to have a lot of cool young women in 
their 20s to early 30s be a part of the program as role models!) .  . . Every 
teen with diabetes already knows what they're SUPPOSED to do, so what I 
envision is a fun but practical "how to" program that shows how they can 
really put what they know into practice, while also helping them strengthen 
their peer support system at the same time . . .  What do some of you moms of 
teen girls think????

Pumpmama to Katie
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