An open letter to first-year T1D camp Parents.
Many of you around the state know me from Type One Diabetes Facebook groups, the Juicebox Podcast, or other Type 1 Diabetes events around Montana. I just wanted to reach out to those of you still struggling with the question of “Should I really be sending my kid to camp”?
I struggled with this question during our first year. How could I send my newly diagnosed 9-year-old off with a bunch of people that I don’t know? I remember driving up to camp full of anxiety. But once I pulled up, got out of the car, and saw all the medical staff and volunteers in a sea of red shirts I knew my son was in the right spot. I stuck around after getting him to his cabin and he looked at me and said “Dad, are you going to leave? I’m fine. I’m with my people.” I got into my car, drove home, and had a nice vacation. Every year he comes back with awesome stories, full of life, and ready for camp next year.
Now, as a Montana Youth Diabetes Alliance board member, I see all the planning, I see all the training, and the total dedication the entire team has to make sure that camp is safe, memorable, and fun for each and every T1D there. The vast majority of our board members, staff, volunteers & medical staff either have T1D themselves or a direct connection with T1D. Last year when I volunteered to take pictures, I was one of 3 people there without T1D.
So in closing, I know it is hard. But I’ve personally seen what these kids get from camp. I have seen them work as a team. I’ve seen them grow, I have seen them give more than they take, I have seen them make lifelong friends, and I’ve seen them show compassion when life has given them none. My son has found his people… He found them at camp.
Hope to see you all soon.
We have an amazing camp right up here in Montana called Camp MYDA held every summer in mid-August at the amazing Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp located on the beautiful Flathead Lake.
It is a 5 day overnight camp where there’s no need to explain blood sugar testing, finger pricks, insulin injections, ketones, “lows,” boluses, or carb counting. Everyone here understands!
If you would like to learn more about Camp MYDA please CLICK HERE!
T1D Dad, MYDA Board Member & Registration Expert