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Day camp for T1 5 yr old?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Snowflake, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Snowflake

    Snowflake Approved members

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    Does anyone have any experience sending a T1 5 year old to a non-D day camp?

    Our situation: Grandma has offered to host my 5 yr old T1 for a week this summer, and to send her to The World's Best Day Camp that all of her cousins attended and that dd has always wanted to go to. My husband and I have a lot of experience training multiple preschools on T1, but I'm trying to imagine how this would go with a summer camp that has a mix of teenage and adult counselors. I'm also not sure it's even reasonable to ask a day camp to commit to the necessary training for a camper who will only attend for a week? (I've looked at the DOJ's summer camp resolution agreements, but I'm not eager to pull out the law in a child care setting -- I'm saving my powder for dealing with the public schools!)

    As an aside: the ADA does host a 1-week diabetes day camp somewhat close to grandma's house, but the timing of that session is tricky with other family obligations.
     
  2. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

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    The summer following dx, just before she turned six, we sent DD to a couple of half-day camps. One was a theater camp run by a not-for-profit theater group, which was comparatively unsophisticated. The other was a park district camp that was much more savvy. In both cases, we contacted them before the one-week camps started to advise that DD had Type 1 and would need some accommodations. The first day, I also personally gave her counselor a one-page instruction sheet saying that DD might need assistance if she had low blood sugar and would need assistance if any food was provided with her picture, our phone numbers, and some other information (a list with number of grams of carb for various low BG levels). As I recall, DD had not yet started pumping, so we probably treated her snacks (I think the theater camp gave the kids a Dixie cup full of Goldfish crackers) as "free". She attended full-day ADA camp as well that summer.

    The following summer, whe she was 6, almost 7, she attended a full-day camp at the zoo. There, the camp director was quite comfortable with my earlier communications requesting some accommodations, provided carb information for the food that the camp was going to provide, and was very responsive, volunteered some information about emergency procedures, etc. The camp counselors--the ones with whom DD most directly interacted--were college-age and seemed intelligent and very comfortable overseeing her checking BG and treating low BG as well as checking before lunch, pre-bolusing for a set amount of carbs before and bolusing for the remaining carbs after she finished eating. I had provided DD with a kids' pay-as-you-go cell phone which she could use to contact me, but the counselors mostly used their own phones to contact me. After the first day and the first low, they seemed to "get" what was required pretty quickly and were comfortable handling it and calling me when necessary. The zoo camp was accredited by the American Camp Association, and I have noticed a difference in camps with that accreditation -- they seem more buttoned down with clear procedures for providing care for the campers.

    DD always seemed aware of her lows, which might make a difference, but it looks like your child is using the Dexcom, so even that might not be an issue.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  3. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

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    My daughter did a half day camp. They weren't equipped to help her so I volunteered. The next year I hung nearby and checked in twice.
     
  4. Snowflake

    Snowflake Approved members

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    Thanks to you both! I like the suggestion to check out the accreditation, I'll track that down.

    Her grandma would be the responsible adult for on- the-spot assistance if the camp needed it, so that plays into the calculus too. I'm glad we have a ton of time to figure this out! It's a lot to think about after being in our cocoon of a preschool, which has been so wonderful with t1 in every way...
     

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