Since 1949, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has hosted summer camps for children and teens ages 4-17 with type 1 diabetes and their families, allowing children to simultaneously build friendships and participate in summertime activities, while they develop the critical skills to manage their diabetes. This year, more than 5,000 children living with type 1 diabetes will attend one of the ADA’s 79 sessions of day and residential camp sessions held annually across the U.S.
More than 2,000 health care professionals volunteer to serve as medical staff at the ADA’s camps each year, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, certified diabetes educators, and students. On-site medical volunteers teach campers how to check blood glucose, count carbohydrates, independently administer insulin, and develop a better understanding of diabetes care. Many children celebrate “diabetes firsts” at camp when they first count carbohydrates at a meal, give their own insulin shot and embrace the rapidly advancing technology available to manage diabetes.
Today, 75 percent of the youth attending ADA’s camps across the country are using an insulin pump and/or continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. To help ensure the camp programs are ready to support the many different types of diabetes technology at camp, the ADA convened forty-one experts to build tools, tip sheets and training resources that keep the camp experience ready to embrace the state-of-the-art diabetes management technology, insulins and tools—closed-loop insulin pumps, blood glucose sensors, fast-acting insulins and CGMs.
“Our commitment to summer camps continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s children and teens, and we are especially proud that we remain current in our knowledge and use of today’s technologies, which, with appropriate training and support, can improve health outcomes and quality of life,” said the ADA’s Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “We are grateful for the support of our partners to ensure the ADA’s summer camps help kids forge lifelong relationships and gain skills that instill self-confidence and independence in the 24/7 management of living with type 1 diabetes.”
Thousands of medical volunteers across the country provide the necessary care for each camper learning to thrive with diabetes. The ADA Camp programs, including Project Power for children at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, are generously supported by these volunteers and many corporate and foundation partners who provide medication, supplies, educational materials and financial assistance. Leading the way is Trail Blazer Premier National Sponsor Novo Nordisk. The Camps program is also supported by grants from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and Lilly Diabetes.
About the American Diabetes Association
Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).
SOURCE American Diabetes Association
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.