Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Diabetes Camp Letter

In the summer of 1990, when I was 9  years old, I attended the now defunct Camp Liwidia. I remember a lot of things about camp. Very few of them pertaining to diabetes. I remember on camper in my cabin having a low in the middle of the night. I remember that all of the camp counselors had fanny packs full of test kits and glucose tabs. I remember group testing and injecting before meals.

The envelope the letter was mailed home in.

Other than that I remember normal things about camp. I remember making beaded bracelets and giving mine to my counselor because I liked her so much. I remember learning to kayak on the lake. I remember the campfire songs and the talent contest in which my group lip-synced to New Kids on the Block. 

Sealed with a Mario sticker!

I do remember thinking that I had never met another kid with diabetes and how wonderful it was to be surrounded by other kids with diabetes. It was special. And even in my little kid mind, I knew that.  

Written in pink hi-liter

The best part about camp was running across this letter I wrote home to my parents. This is what it reads:
"8-12-90 Dear Mom and Dad,
Its gerat at camp. wear going canoeing tomrow. I can't wait. I love you both.

Roughly translated: Dear Mom and Dad, It's great at camp. We're going canoeing tomorrow. I can't wait. I love you both. Love, Cara.
I still kind of stink at spelling. :)

As a child, my parents were only able to send me to camp twice. It's expensive, as most of us know, and after my parents divorced it was too much for them to budget, I'm sure. As this year is slipping into summer quickly, I suggest finding a child to help send to camp. You can find a camp near you and donate to their scholarship fund. Help a child with diabetes not only fit in, but feel completely normal, for at least a week.


Keith said...

This post made me smile Cara. I went to Camp Sweeney in North Texas 2 years in a row and it too was a great experience. I never felt particularly isolated as a diabetic child, but I admit it was nice to be around others that 'got' it and not have to answer those annoying questions. Camp sessions were 3 weeks long and I remember I got a letter from my mother every day. I even got a couple of special packages containing sugar-free candy (barely palatable in the day) which I shared around the cabin.

BTW, what a great call to action, thanks for a wonderful post.


Colleen said...

Donating for d-camp scholarships is a great idea.

Scott S said...

When I was a kid, camp for kids with diabetes was only a thought in some people's minds. But the notion is a good one and I wrote about it at . Thanks for reminding everyone what a wonderful experience it can be, and how they can help make it a reality for some children today.

Meri said...

WHat a sweet sweet letter! The Mario sticker rocks! I'm glad you got to experience camp!

Mike Hoskins said...

Great letter, Cara. It's amazing the cap experience memories we have or how camp can touch our lives as adults whether we did or didn't attend when we were younger. I did, but didn't have that great of an experience. But now, decades later, I'm a board member of my local D-Camp and it's amazing to see the experiences that the youth have - and I really wish I would've given it more of a chance when I was a kid. But, at least I'm a part of it now.