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Day Camps as our kiddos get older

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by heamwdevine, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. heamwdevine

    heamwdevine Approved members

    Feb 18, 2009
    I'm looking for advice on how to handle camps with Anna as she gets older. I generally don't do them, except for type 1 camp, but she is starting field hockey this fall at school and it was suggested they try to do a camp over the summer.

    Anna will not check herself, might not bolus, if an adult doesn't go to her and say it's time to check and help her out/remind her. She doesn't want to do it alone(I think) and of course doesn't want to feel different. It's very frustrating to me as a parent and stressful. We let her go to an all day thing with her friend with swimming, games, etc and she came home at HI glucose and I saw her drinking a sprite in the back without her pump on. I just don't know how to get through to her. My husband and I both realized we made a mistake by letting her go and in the future we can't until she shows a little more responsibility.

    So she's 11 and for everything I still need to train someone to help take care of her. She starting to be mortified when I tell people so I have to be discreet. For a week long full day camp, obviously we have to train someone and she needs to be there with me.

    I'm thinking the best way to go about it is to have one person trained that will always be there help Anna get done what needs done, so she can feel good and enjoy camp. I left a message with the manager to see if he was willing to do this(obviously they have to right or it would be discrimination).

    Thanks for any advice on this age!
  2. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    I would do this ^^^. You just need to figure out what form that takes. It could be ...

    - You go to camp and check on her.
    - You hire someone to hang out at camp to check on her.
    - The camp dedicates a counselor or two to help you manage her using cell phones.
    - Or another option that you and the camp come up with.

    But I think you are on the right track. Given her brief history that you provided, she clearly needs to be watched, but this doesn't mean she can't have lots of fun.
  3. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

    Jan 8, 2010
    It may be the that easiest thing for you would be to have one person trained who is always there to assist your DD, and it makes sense to talk to the manager about this, but I do not beleive that they are required to handle things that particular way.

    But the pp had a lot of good ideas and approaches that seem like they could work.

    Have you talked this over with your DD? Every child is different in terms of the level of responsibility that can be handled, how effective they are at recognizing and communicating issues, and how much privacy they need.

    Have you considered giving your DD a cell phone and managing with her by means of phone calls or text messages? It seems like getting and responding to texts from you could work very well. Then you'd just need to make sure that the instructors could assist in the case of low BG.

    My DD is at a camp this week, she is taking a couple of courses with different instructors. Like your DD, she does not like too much attention regarding D. However, she understands that the instructors need some information. We made a one-page sheet (has her picture, says she has D, uses a pump, knows how to operate it but will need adult assistance/supervision if she is low or eating, has treatment advice (i.e., BG below ##, two large glucose tabs), her schedule, our contact phone numbers, mentions that she has a phone she can use to call us). She gave it to her instructors the first days (not all the first day as she apparently has some kind of temporary amnesia;)).

    My DD also expresses concerns about "interrupting" instructors and as a result will sometimes try to handle things herself. We've reiterated that she needs to either tell the teacher or call us. Of course, this camp is on a junior college campus and there is a nurse available who actually handles pre-lunch check and bolusing for lunch.

    But we've used the same approach for other camps, both very "buttoned-down camps" (e.g., Brookfield Zoo) and less organized camps (e.g., not-for-profit theatre camp operating out of a school basement) last year. In each case, DD was eating lunch and a snack there. I'd provide a lunch worksheet with instructions that included: DD must check BG before lunch. With the zoo camp, DD had the same college-age counselor every day. Though he always called me, I was comfortable that he would follow our instructions. The other camp was looser, so I just talked DD through what needed to be done each day while one of the counselors supervised.

    Hope you are able to work out a plan that you and your DD are comfortable with.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  4. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    Maybe I'm out of line in saying this, but I would start expecting your daughter to do part of her own care when away from you. Yes, have someone check to make sure she does it, but even little tykes know how to test their blood. Not having her do age appropriate skills when necessary isn't doing her any favors and you'll be hitting the teens very soon and wanting to know she's capable of doing most on her own.

    I test my daughter's blood frequently and also bolus her sometimes, so it's not that I'm saying you should be hands-off, but if she's not doing at least some of her own care at 11, I'm seeing red-flags of concern.
  5. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    My daughter is being allowed to a non-d camp because she showed us she was willing to step up to the plate when we needed her to. Meaning she will check her bg, follow our carb sheet for dosing, text us with questions and bolus amounts.
    She is 12 now and has more and more activities where she doesn't want me to be at, nor do I want to go to. She knows it's a PIA to do D care, but she also knows it's non-negotiable, and if she doesn't she doesn't have the priveledge of going. So, we work with her to make it as easy as possible. Alarms on phone, texts etc. We aren't hands off at home, in fact we still do most of her care. But, when we ask she will check and bolus (sometimes she even does it all without even being told), and when she is away from us she does it all, even at school (she won't leave class to test because she misses too much time).

    I would talk to the camp about what you can expect in the area of trained medical people, but I wouldn't expect a person to shadow your child and do her care. In the past I have worked at Camps or checked in throughout the day.
  6. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    My son started to step up and take responsibility for his care at about this age when away from home. You will be surprised what your child can do if you ask her.
  7. Momontherun

    Momontherun Approved members

    Nov 25, 2012
    I understand your problems first hand. My 12 y/o needs reminders for all care. He has ADD and a learning disability so needs this for school and all activities of daily living. My 2 year old is easier to keep on task. For now he needs a crutch of others managing his diabetes until he is ready.

    I would do what works with having a point person be in charge for reminders and supervising. Keeping trying to find motivates for her to Be independent. Set alarms send texts as reminders to promote her being more independent with her cares. Good luck.

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