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Camp Sweeney

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Madisonsmom, May 18, 2008.

  1. Madisonsmom

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    Has anyone every sent a child to Camp Sweeney?

    Madison is going this summer so was wondering if anyone had any experience with this camp.
     
  2. Julie

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    I wish, we cannot even begin to afford it.
     
  3. Madisonsmom

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    We are only sending her because our insurance will pick up most of the cost.

    I was also told that they would not turn any child away they have tons of scholarships. You should try its worth a try.
     
  4. Mindy

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    Both of my boys were going to go this summer, but the older got in lots of trouble (non d related) and they will not be going now. Some of my students with T1 have gone, one girl since she was 7 (14 now), and they absolutely love it. It made a huge difference in one boy who was not doing what he should have prior to going. The only negative I've heard about it is that it has community showers. I am sure they adjust fine, but that is a little bothersome to me. One of the endos that will be there all summer, Dr. Fernandez, is who we use, and he is awesome. They do have financial assistance available if needed. I know the kid who really needed it so badly was able to go for $100. I have really heard great things about it, and every time I look at the website it makes me want to go! Hope she has fun.
     
  5. Amy C.

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    My son attended the mini session when he was nine and the 3 week session last year when he was 13. Last year, he had a pretty good time for about 2 weeks. The last week he was pretty sick and ended up with pneumonia two days after camp.

    If your child is prone to get homesick, I would not send her to Sweeney. The counselors work very hard to keep a homesick child at camp -- a little too hard in my opinion. I had another friend whose daughter attended, but became terribly homesick.

    If you can't pay all at once, you can pay monthly. I paid about $84 a month for 10 months for last summerr -- I just paid it off.

    The communal showers aren't much of a problem. Kids get about 3 minutes to shower and get out. There is much opportunity for looking.

    The diabetes care is outstanding. They don't let the kids use their wizard on the pump to determine the bolus (they have an elaborate system to determine the ratios each time) and threaten to take away the pumps if they bolus at unauthorized times.
     
  6. Mindy

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    That's great about the showers not being an issue, and I have also heard the D care is exceptional. They really learn a lot, and for some, it is all the education they get.
     
  7. Julie

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    I just assumed we make too much to qualify for a scholarship (LOL no we aren't rich but it seems we are over the line for most things...)

    I will check with my insurance company though, I had no idea they covered camp!
     
  8. Kris60

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    Lauren went to first and 3rd session last year, and absolutely loved it. She was 9 and it was the first time she's ever been away from home for that long. This year she wanted to play softball, so she's going to 2nd and 3rd session. Our insurance helps out also and we look at is as something that is good for her and want her to experience summer camp as any kid does.
     
  9. Madisonsmom

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    So she goes for 6 weeks?

    Madison is going to the 2nd session excited and scared at the same time. I know it will help her she is having more issues with coping with diabetes lately.
     
  10. Madisonsmom

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    I was told by the people a the camp that most insurance companies will cover some if not all the medical cost. Its worth checking .

    I know with us we are at ease knowing that she will be well cared for and I am sure that helps most parents.
     
  11. Kris60

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    yes, she will be going for 6 weeks. well, a day off in between. We will be going down that Friday and picking her up then she will re-register Sunday.

    Guess I'll be doing all her laundry Saturday. lol, last year when we picked her up, her trunk was ummmmm messy to say the least.
     
  12. swimmom

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    My 9 year old, Lauren, will go for her 3rd summer this year. She loves Sweeney and looks forward to it all year. It is truly a special place for her and she feels at home there.

    We noticed a big change in her independence and attitude after her 3 week stay last year. Her teachers and the nurse at school were also impressed by how much more on the ball she was in terms of taking care of her D at school. Sweeney really works on confidence (how to manage your D in various situations from active sports to going to the movies to going to an ice cream parlor). They also build confidence by letting the kids try lots of different activities and take some risks (Lauren loved skate park and riflery - go figure).

    The showers are no big deal; there are curtains in between that separate the shower stalls. Get her a shower wrap (a towel with elastic sewn in - Target) to wear back to her bunk if she would like one.

    They keep the kids so busy that there isn't a lot of time to be homesick. As for strong encouragement to stay, that is true for all summer camps. My son goes to a non-D camp and they also work very hard to keep kids from giving up and going home if they are homesick.

    The only complaint I have about Sweeney is that the food is just so-so. Lauren is fine with it, however.

    They have a family weekend every April if you ever want to check it out yourself (parents stay in the cabins with the same-gender child).
     
  13. ADHDiabetic Mom

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    My son went to Camp Sweeney last summer just a couple of months after his dx. It was a wonderful experience for him, and insurance paid all the medical portion of the camp. It was a one-time thing, though -- they won't pay for it again. But our endo told us to call the camp and explain our financial situation. We did get financial aid, so SD gets to go again this year. They do provide many, many scholarships -- you should call and ask.

    Before we let him go last year, our whole family drove up to the camp and got a personal tour from the head counselor. We were VERY impressed with the level of care they provide for those kids. It was clear that our son is even safer at camp than he is at home! There are testing stations all over the camp -- no camper is ever more than a few steps away from medical help. They even have two counselors whose only job is to sleep during the day, then test every single one of the 250 D children twice every night -- once around midnight and again around four.

    SD says that the best thing about Camp Sweeney is that he feels like he is getting a vacation from his diabetes. He does not have to carry a kit because the camp is so well geared to diabetic campers. He doesn't have to count carbs -- the meals are pre-planned to each camper's carb plan, so all he has to do is eat it and take his shot. If there's something on the plate he doesn't like, he can even swap it for something with an equivalent carb count. He doesn't have to worry about nighttime lows -- he is checked twice every night and doesn't even have to wake up for it. He can run, get sweaty, swim for hours, play paintball, learn computers and website design, and never have to wonder, "Is this going to mess with my BG?" If it does, they simply take care of it; and a minute or two later, he's right back in the pool or the paintball game.

    They kept him so busy and active during his three weeks, that by the time he got home, SD had lost seven pounds in spite of his 3300-calorie/day meal plan, and was down to half his previous insulin dose. He was tan, fit, happy, and had the most stable BG he had had since dx. He had a lot of new friends, a new confidence in caring for himself, and a great deal of new knowledge about his D. I highly recommend Camp Sweeney.
     
  14. ADHDiabetic Mom

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    That may be true, but SD says that they keep them so busy that everything tastes GREAT! :D I imagine that after an afternoon in the pool in the blazing Texas heat, it could have no taste at all and they would all still eat it!
     
  15. ADHDiabetic Mom

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    They may not cover camp, but the medical portion is billed the same as doctors' visits and lab work. They have an actual medical facility on-site, so it is no different than your child seeing his endo at Children's or the endo's office. They probably won't cover the "camping" portion, but you can pay it out over the year.
     
  16. Caydens_Mommy

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    I can't wait for the day that my child will be able to go.. I've heard alot of wonderful things about this place.. Although I hope that I am willing to let him go, when he can.. I would really like to try the family weekend thing sometime, we found out about it to late this year.. And then i was thinking of the cost, but was told they offer finacial aid.. I hope that your kids have a wonderful summer there,,
     
  17. ADHDiabetic Mom

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    SD is going for two sessions as well. He'll be at 1 and 2. They have a super deal if you send the child for two sessions. The second session is only $400 for the entire three weeks. I don't know how they do that, but they do.
     
  18. Madisonsmom

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    wow I am even more excited for her now then before. Madison does not know any other children with D so this will be so great for her. I cant wait for herto feel "normal" again.

    So any other great tips of what to bring?

    And do we pack three weeks worth of clothes or do they wash?
     
  19. Amy C.

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    Yhey have suggestions on what to bring and the kid's laundry is done once a week. It seemed like enough clothes for a week.

    Blankets are needed for the cabin, as it is cold all the time.
     
  20. ADHDiabetic Mom

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    SD LOVES the feeling of being "normal" he gets while at Sweeney. And yes, they do wash once a week, but.... You can see a lot of what your kid is doing via the Camp Sweeney podcasts, and we could tell that SD wore the same shirt the entire first week he was there. :eek: I think by the time they did laundry, that shirt probably walked over to the washing machine itself. ;)
     

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