This past weekend, The Boy and I were introduced to a wonderful place. Lion’s Camp Merrick, located in Nanjemoy, MD. We attended for Family Camp, but next year we’ve already discussed him attending for at least a week by himself. We both loved it, and he was excited to be off “on his own” with the counselors and other children. The kids saw the parents for about an hour total each day, and that was just fine by him. Me, I was a little sad not to have much time with him, but he’s the one we were doing it for, and he loved it!
This place is more than just Summer Camp, it’s a camp just for kids with Type I Diabetes. The counselors all know how to work with Type I issues (most of them from firsthand experience), and they were amazing!
When we checking in, they asked what our insulin regime is (NPH/Regular for the meantime), then what else we do for management. From there, the staff kind of just take over. They check blood sugars CONSTANTLY, carry “shock packs” wherever they go, with extra snacks and glucose if needed to fix lows, and they just DO whatever is needed.
We loved it. For some of the parents, it was the first time in years that they hadn’t dealt one-on-one with the management of their child’s diabetes, and it was such a relief to them (me, I get a slight break every other weekend, remember. . . ). When I wound up sick as a dog with a stomach bug the second day in, I was glad those counselors were so on-the-ball as well! I went to the infirmary and slept it off, so I missed out on some of the parent education sessions, but I still learned a lot, and got some insight into the next level of this whole thing that we are about to enter into now that we are aware of what we need to do to control blood sugars, etc. Making contacts in the diabetes world is it’s own little version of networking, and I think I made some great contacts!
Besides all that, I was amazed at how much less insulin The Boy needed while at camp. In the literature the camp gives, it was noted that many times children need less insulin while at camp because of the high level of activity. I assumed that would not be the case with us because of how much our guy is on the go, but he only got one shot per day while he was there. Too bad it can’t be like that every day!
Camp Merrick, I’m glad you’re around. See ya next year!