- Phyllis Kaplan
Diabetes Camp: Not just for kids anymore!
I can't talk about why diabetes camp for adults is a great thing without first talking about what it meant to me when I attended as a kid. I consider myself lucky that my parents were able to send me to diabetes camp when I was 12 years old. It was a turning point for not just me, but for them as well. You see, I was diagnosed when I was 2 and was slow to want to manage my diabetes myself.
Things changed for me and my family that first summer I attended Camp Nejeda.
Why diabetes camp for adults?
As an adult I found myself missing that camp feeling more and more. There are so many resources and events and programs out there for newly diagnosed kids, and support for families, but not much for adults besides social media. Social media is great, I've connected with many great people through it, but there is something extra special about the in person me-toos, and everyone checking to see if it's their CGM beeping.
In 2014 I partnered with the diabetes camp Camp Nejeda to create and launch the Survive and Thrive Weekend for adults with T1d weekend at the camp. and in 2015 we launched our first program.
We had about 25 people that first year, mostly Nejeda alumni mostly from New Jersey. Our June 2019 program had over 70 attendees from as far south as Miami, and as far north as New Hampshire.
Diabetes camp for adults and their plus 1 - new this year!
Over the years many people have indicate to us that they wish their husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend could come with them and learn, and meet other plus 1s. And we listened!
This year our first Plus 1 weekend will be held the weekend of September 13th:
Who should attend Plus 1?
I think all adults with T1D and their plus 1's should come, but I mi*might* be a bit biased about that. I do know that these events aren't for everyone, but I do hope everyone will give it some thought.
We have designed this program so that there are sessions specific to plus 1s, type 1s, and sessions for everyone.
The plus 1 sessions aren't just about how to support a T1D, but also about the uniqueness and challenges that come along with being a plus 1. It's more than handing over a juice box during a low, and we get that. We'll have developmental psychologists with expertise in diabetes leading sessions on all of this. And there might just be some venting about how annoying all of the beeping is!
Highlights of the program include:
Islet cell research with Dr. Juan Dominguez-Bendala from the Diabetes Research Institute
Taboo topics with Daniele Hargenrader
Winning with Diabetes, and Juggling Pregnancy/Kids with Diabetes with Ginger Vieira
The Struggle is Real for Plus 1's with Dr. Ken Gorfinkle
Nutrition/Cooking class with Julie Harrington
Diabetes Advocacy with Doug and Trip (Della) Stoner
...and much more!
Personal note: I love connecting with other people, and talking diabetes, but I know my plus 1 doesn't necessarily feel the same. He is coming, and we will even participate on a panel together. I did tell him that it's perfectly ok if he doesn't want to go to all of the sessions. It can be a lot of information and a lot of interaction in a small amount of time -- why we call it boot camp!
Hope to see you in September!
Camp Nejeda is located in Stillwater, New Jersey
(without traffic, of course)
90 minutes from Manhattan
60 minutes from Newark Airport
2 hours from Philadelphia
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