For 70 years, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has hosted summer camps for children and teens with type 1 diabetes. In 2019 nearly 7,000 campers, their siblings, and children at-risk of type 2 diabetes, ages 4-17, will attend one of 80 camp sessions nationwide and enjoy a traditional summer camp experience in a medically-safe environment. ADA Camps create opportunities for campers to build life-long friendships, overcome feelings of isolation, and become empowered to manage their diabetes. Additionally, campers participate in physical activity and receive individualized dietary instructions.
All camps are equipped with expert medical staff who have vast experience in diabetes management and treatment, as well as dedicated volunteers. “The emotional support and diabetes care skills she learns are priceless,” said a camper’s parent. “Camp will be the best part of her life forever. It is also great for the parents because we know how well cared for the kids are and can relax and enjoy the week.”
In 2018, 91% of campers performed at least one diabetes management skill independently after attending camp. Improving skills such as checking for ketones and recognizing their own blood glucose levels are critical to all individuals living with diabetes. Campers’ overall knowledge of diabetes increased by 20% after attending camp, and nearly 30% of the youngest campers became more aware of when to check their blood glucose.
“I experienced firsthand how campers became empowered to manage their diabetes, the friendships that were formed, and the comfort and relief from parents knowing that their children are getting the support they need,” said Tracey D. Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the ADA. “We’re proud to make that experience possible for thousands of children every year.”
Click here to learn more about ADA Camps for children with diabetes.
Managing and operating camps across the country requires a significant investment. In addition to the skilled medical staff available around-the-clock, campers are provided with insulin, test strips, glucose tabs, syringes, monitoring supplies and more. Our partners’ contributions help to fill the funding gap, provide financial aid to families in need, and help children build the relationships, skills and confidence they need to thrive with diabetes. Leading the way for the 2019 camp season is National Strategic 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.
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Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. Nearly 115 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).