Summer camp can be a transformative experience for any child, but it's especially powerful for a kid growing up with type 1 diabetes. Not only do they get the all-important typical benefits of summer camp—like greater independence, relationship building skills, and a love for the outdoors—Gales Creek Campers meet peers, mentors, and role models who are all facing the very same challenges they are. That can have a significant impact on how they see themselves and their own potential.
Gales Creek Camp is not a "diabetes boot camp." Far from it. Campers may learn something about managing their diabetes, but that's just part of being exposed to a diversity of medical providers and seeing how their peers might do it differently. It's far more about peer-to-peer learning than it is about formal instruction, although our medical team is always there to teach campers the mechanics if needed.
Our regular resident camps are one week long, starting Sunday afternoon and going through Friday morning. Campers are eligible for resident camps in the summer following 2nd grade. We have weekend family camps for kids coming out of kindergarten and first grade.
To understand the challenges Gales Creek Camp is addressing, read through our Mission, Values, Vision, and Goals.
To read the science behind summer camp for kids with diabetes, read the study, "Diabetes Camp Still Matters," below.
To learn more about the benefits of summer camp in general, check out this American Camp Association article from Andy Pritikin (February 2020) and watch the videos from the ACA below.