All my friends – JUST LIKE ME
This week my kids (and me) spend our days at a day camp for kids with diabetes and their siblings. This is our 4th and hopefully not our last year attending CBB (my kids and I all hope we will return form CA each year to hang with all the kids and staff of CBB).
Each day camp starts out with a gathering on the hill. The kids, group leaders and medics listen to announcements, learn which team (blue and white) is in the lead for the camp cup, and of course dance and sing. Below is the camp song – I don’t know who originally wrote it as it was before our time at CBB but creative they are. It is sung to the Tune of “My Darling Clementine”
Camp Bluebonnet Camp Bluebonnet
In the hot summer sun
We are playing we are working
We are having lots of fun.
Basal, Bolus, glucose tablets
Finger Pricks and ketone strips
Everyone knows of highs and lows
And our goal is good control.
Carbohydrates are the key
To preventing low blood sugars
Carbohydrates are what you need.
15 grams of carbohydrates
Read your labels carefully
If you don’t treat your lows
You’ll spend camp in the infirmary!
We spend a week here, make good friends here,
Have great fun with CITs
At Camp Bluebonnet, we laugh and learn
All my friends – just like me.
Each year I walk, jog and sometimes run between the different age groups snapping hundreds (yes hundreds) of pictures each day. The camp board does have an official photographer but taking pictures of 200+ campers in 10 groups at different ends of camp (acres of camp) requires a lot of running around. Thus – I volunteer to take pictures too and share them with the camp board. It makes me feel useful and allows me to see my own kids having fun as well as all their friends.
Here are some pictures of Sweetstuff, Middles and Sugarboy from the last few days –
Camp Bluebonnet is more than just a fun camp. It is a week of our lives each year where we are surrounded by other kids, camp staff and parents that understand. It is a week of feeling normal. No one asks if the kids pumps are Mp3 players, no one stares when the kids check their blood sugars. No one glares at me or other camp staff if we ask a child if they feel “High”.
Diabetes camps are an essential part of our mental well being. The kids count down the months, weeks and days till the next camp. They don’t whine about the extremely hot weather, all the walking, checking blood sugars, or waiting turns. My kids and I are so grateful to the volunteers (all camp staff are volunteers – no one is paid for their time, energy or dedication). We so dearly hope we will be able to return to Texas each year to participate in this camp. My kids have each been with many of their peers for 4 years in a row now. They have built relationships and bonds that distance and time will not be able to erase.
If you are a parent of a child with diabetes and you have not yet attended a camp near you. I recommend contacting your local JDRF or ADA office to locate camps in your area. Some camps are offered at no cost, some are minimal cost and others may require you to mortgage your home (hopefully not) but all camps are priceless. Good luck in your searches – may you find the love, laughter, joy, and normalness like we have.