Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Camp for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes - it's magical!

There is something magical about spending time with people who understand from personal experience what it's like to live with type 1 diabetes.  They don't ask you if you should be eating that cookie ~ you might confer over how many carbs though.  They won't freak out when your blood sugar is low - they'll either ask what they can get you or put some juice (or other glucose) in front of you if you seem like you need it, though, in reality, they are keeping an eye on you from the distance.

For those of us who attended Camp Nejeda as campers, bootcamp was great opportunity to be back at camp, learning, sharing, and even taking a walk down memory lane of diabetes "back in the day" or just remembering the pranks and jokes and fun of being away at summer camp.  From the comments I heard throughout the weekend, those that didn't attend Nejeda as a camper felt "it" too.

This year's bootcamp was bigger, by design than 2015's program.  I was a bit worried (ok, a lot) that we'd have a lot of empty spaces.  But the spaces filled, and it was awesome.   It was phenomenal to see and hear people connecting with each other and sharing, to *almost* be a kid again and have fun.  It  truly filled my heart to see it all come together and for so many people to  feel the magic

Diabetes isn't fun. It's hard. It's frustrating. It's annoying.  But, in a room filled with others going through the same thing, it becomes less frustrating, less annoying and even a little less hard.

I am thankful to the folks at Camp Nejeda for trusting me to build this program, even if they didn't initially see my vision.  I am grateful to the fabulous session facilitators that helped provide insight education, and power to change, to the group.  And last but not least - to everyone who attended -- each person added their own story, their own views, shared, and supported one another in a safe and supportive space which helped make it all come together.

For this experience, I am eternally grateful.

My role in this year's bootcamp was (volunteer) program coordinator.