For the child with diabetes, being surrounded by counselors and other kids with diabetes may give him the chance to escape his feelings of being different and simply relish being a child at summer camp. Here are some things to consider when making your selection:
• What type of camp does your child want to attend? There are residential, day, religious, secular, same-sex, and co-ed camps. There are camps and camps that offer the chance to be mainstreamed into a regular camp setting and camps that focus on special needs. Some even mix up the needs they focus on and others truly specialize.
• How much attention will your child get? If the director or staff is too busy to return your phone calls or talk with length at you, then this should be a red flag that they may be too busy for your child.
• What is the camp like? Ask others who have attended but also interview the director/staff. Questions to ask include: What is the camp philosophy? What is the age and background of the camping staff? How is the staff trained? What is the percentage of staff members who return each year? What medical facilities does the camp use? What is the satisfaction level of previous campers? What is the food like? What is the policy on phone calls and family visits?
Reviewed by Jason C. Baker, MD. 10/11
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