The Circle of Life Camp
The Circle of Life Camp, Inc., a not-for-profit resident camp for children and their families with diabetes, was founded in 1996. The camp provides the fundamental, age-appropriate diabetes education and social support essential for adolescents to properly manage their diabetes. The campers experience a unique opportunity to interact in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, which fosters understanding, acceptance of their condition, and proper emotional development. They are able to share their knowledge, experience, and concerns as well as participate in educational sessions and recreational camping activities.
The Circle of Life Camp's philosophy is to promote the "normalcy" of diabetes among the campers. The camp focuses on fun: playing sports, swimming, making crafts, hiking, bonfires and canoeing, rather than diabetes. Diabetes education is informal between counselors and campers, which is the most effective way children learn. Everyone at the camp gives themselves injections, monitors their blood glucose and learns to make healthy meal choices together. The prejudicial labeling term "diabetic" is banished from the vocabulary of everyone in attendance; the campers and staff are people with diabetes, not "diabetics." The camp is a fun and relaxing vacation from parents! Additional information about the Circle of Life Camp can be found in the book entitled Growing Up With Diabetes: What Children Want Their Parents to Know, by Alicia McAuliffe.
The camp is supported and staffed by volunteer medical professionals and additional trained volunteer counseling staff. All medical procedures are supervised by medical staff certified in diabetes education and the camp menus are planned by a dietician, CDE. The camper to counselor ratio is 3:1. Financial assistance is available, allowing children from low-income families to attend. The camp relies on contributions from individuals, businesses and civic organizations to keep the cost for campers at an affordable price. Enrollment is strictly on a first come first serve basis, regardless of health status.
The camp also seeks new and updated product donations from medical supply companies, such as glucose meters and lancet devices to distribute to campers. This ensures that all campers, including those who ordinarily would not be able to afford such equipment, leave the camp having the proper equipment to manage their diabetes.
We Need Your Financial Support
The mission of the Circle of Life Camp is to improve the lives of children with diabetes. We are committed to making the Circle of Life Camp experience available to all children who will benefit regardless of financial status, race, sex, handicap, age, or national origin within staff and programming abilities.
Young people need two things to deal with diabetes: knowledge to control their chronic disease and coping with it for a happy and healthy life. Circle of LIfe Camp provides both, and gives young people the power of knowing that they are not alone.
Circle of Life Camp receives no funding from national organizations or other diabetes nonprofits. It has a small staff with a big mission and needs your help!
Donate by Mail: Donation Form
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