December 9, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Campers in the New Year

Delaney loves Setebaid. Setebaid, diabetes spelled backwards, is her diabetes camp. There is no longer Abby Normal. She is loud, crazy, loud happy, loud, one of the crowd, loud, normal.
Held in the farm country of central Pennsylvania it is about a two hour drive from home. On the way out she is excited and has been know to make “are we there yet?” comments.  On the trip home the first thirty minutes is crazy excited and happily recounts camp adventures, typically involving much riotous and loud carrying ons. She then falls asleep, exhausted from the week of being a normal kid with other normal kids, all of whom just happen to also be type 1.
Part of camp stays with her year around. More than just texting other campers, it pop up in conversations as a touch stone. "At camp my friends and I ...." Some of those conversations now are about wanting to be a counselor in the not too distant future when she is old enough to be one. Because their influence lasts, diabetes camps matters.
Camp has been a Christmas present from the grandparents some years. If you know a grandparent of type 1 who is looking for an outside the box holiday gift maybe a week at camp fits the bill. If not and money is tight many camps also have financial assistance. 
Camps fill up. Now is the time to think about next summer. 
If diabetes camp isn’t right for the type 1 child in your life, maybe Children With Diabetes Friends for Life convention is. Either way, or both, finding a place to be the normal one is a wonderful experiance for a kid with diabetes. 
I would love to hear about your diabetes camp and why it matters. Post a comment here, link your camp blog post or share the URL of your camp. Diabetes camps are wonderful. Now as the air gets cold, it is a great time start thinking about camp next summer and to share their glory.
Need some help finding a camp near you? Here’s a few links. I welcome more such links as comments. 

The Diabetes Education and Camping Association
Or on Facebook at 
Children With Diabetes Camp Page


  1. Tony goes to Camp Nejeda in northern Jersey, and loves it. We lucked into finding out about it when he was first dx'd, and it helped him tremendously since his first session coincided with his diaversary. He came back from camp planning his life around going there forever - When I'm in high school and to old to go, I can be a jr counselor, then a counselor during the summer when I'm in college, and if I'm a teacher, I can work there summers cause I won't be teaching.

  2. Thanks Michele.

    That "planning his life around going there forever" enthusiasm is wonderful.

    Camp Nejeda looks great and for anyone else interested in having a look, here is their web site:

  3. Thanks for bringing this up Bennet - the work that camps do is an important thing for people touched by diabetes.

    This summer I did a short post about DTreat, which is a program affiliated with DECA (Diabetes Education and Camping Association). They are an incredible group doing incredible things, and worth whatever support we can offer them.

    There is Camp Needlepoint near the Twin Cities, MN area.

    I also recently bumped into my childhood endo, and he has started a new camping program in Southern Minnesota called Camp SweetLife. I posted about it last week.

    Thanks again - this is important stuff!

  4. Q is looking forward to attending diabetes camp for the first time this coming summer. She had a blast when we visited and had lunch with the campers last summer.

  5. I mean I don't REALLY wish I was diagnosed when I was younger, but I kinda wish I was so I could have experienced diabetes camp. I spend time every summer at church camp, so I can imagine how awesome diabetes camp would have been.

    The closest I've been is Friends for Life. It's like camp because I've roomed with other people with diabetes each year. Awesome to be around people who just "get" it.

  6. Great post. Grace talks about Setebaid all year too. She has two DBFFs - that's Diabetic Best Friends Forever - who she penpals with and calls regularly. It has changed her, camp. She comes home revived, refreshed and feeling that she can do this. It sure is something to be part of such a community, to feel like you belong. It warms my heart and soul that both Grace and Delaney have it in their lives.