The need for Diabetes Camp’s health education and recreational programs has never been greater. During 2020 & 2021 we saw an increased need for the social and emotional relief our programs provided. Therefore, we created a new innovative experience that focuses on connecting those with type 1 diabetes 12 months long providing educational opportunities for managing type 1 diabetes. In 2022, we will continue to provide interactive and educational sessions aimed at meeting the needs of the type 1 community, providing emotional & social supports support to vulnerable children and youth affected by diabetes.
After seeing the overwhelming positive response to our year-round virtual Diabetes Programs and Camps, we are bringing Diabetes Camp into more than 151 communities across Canada through our hybrid program of traditional in-person camp and year-round on-line programming. Camp offers young people and their families affected by type 1 diabetes a sense of community, and a place together and share their experiences, hope and knowledge with one another. Particularly, families diagnosed in the past 20months have experienced greater feelings of isolation than ever before with the pivot to virtual clinic visits and schooling, many usual supports have been significantly different. Traditionally, Diabetes Programs has provided this at camp, through leadership programs, family camps, day events, and other in-person events. With this, it was important for Diabetes Programs and Camps to dynamically continue to deliver on the program goals and mission in this new, virtual reality, built on the success from 2020 and 2021, and offer more opportunities than ever before for the Diabetes community to connect.
We hope to continue our virtual ‘Dose of D-Camps’ which began as a stand-in for the traditional Diabetes Camp during the pandemic. These online sessions help children connect year-round, providing sessions which build a support network beyond the summer. These have proven to be incredibly effective at a time when children are feeling increasingly isolated and have been highly successful in reaching families in remote communities. While we have strong evidence to show the effectiveness of this program, it is an additional cost in a year when our finances are already stretched to breaking point.
The Diabetes Programs experience changes kids’ lives by connecting them with other kids who understand the daily complexities of living with this disease. At Camp, kids with type 1 diabetes have more than just fun, they make lasting friendships, gain self-confidence, develop emotional and social skills, assert their independence, and learn to manage their diabetes under around the clock medical supervision. Activities include swimming, canoeing, sailing, archery, ropes courses and creative arts. Camp helps kids living with type 1 diabetes to realize their potential as they transition to adulthood. This program also empowers children to self-manage their diabetes by providing them with information, tools and resources in an adventurous, diabetes-friendly environment.