As an adult with Type 1, do you think your days of diabetes summer camp are over? Not if you volunteer there.
My love of diabetes summer camp is so well-documented that I even have a tattoo commemorating my years there. After aging out of being a camper or a counselor in training, I decided to volunteer. I was doing it for the kids at camp, but I was also doing it for me. I find that I still get just as much out of the experience now as I did then, maybe even more.
There are the pure “camp” aspects, to be sure. I still enjoy the singing and dancing after meals and leaving the tie-dye activity center with colorful hands. I love getting to act goofy and pausing “adult behavior.” I may not be getting end-of-camp awards, but I live vicariously through the campers as I watch them try new things.
Summer camp is fun, but diabetes summer camp is rejuvenating for everyone, including the volunteers. I enjoy hearing and learning from all of the diabetes stories peers and campers share. I can look back and be grateful for the support I gained over the years there, and the camaraderie of being surrounded by others who truly understand Type 1 never fails to move me. I love to see other campers bask in that glow for the first time.
When I volunteer at camp, I feel rejuvenated and want to do more for my diabetes care, myself, and my community.
Here are some links for diabetes summer camp volunteer opportunities. Feel free to send us more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading this Insulin Nation article. Want more Type 1 news? Subscribe here.
Have Type 2 diabetes or know someone who does? Try Type 2 Nation, our sister publication.