Question for you: When did you experience your first diabetes camp or start attending diabetes camp regularly?
For me, I have been participating in a diabetes camp for children since I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 10 years in 1996. I have since progressed from a camper to an adult volunteer.
Camp theme: Grow. Future. Together.
Children’s diabetes camps in Singapore are organised by healthcare professionals from the children diabetes clinic in coordination with a sports medicine team and adult volunteers (like myself). Together, we plan camp programmes. The sports medicine team takes care of fun and games while the adult volunteers look after Family Night and provide peer support to campers and their families.
Diabetes camps used to be full of long periods of sitting down and listening to lectures, but it has since evolved into activity-based learning. Now, through fun and games, campers and their accompanying family members have opportunities to learn about diabetes management in a casual setting with their peers.
The theme for this year’s camp was: “Grow. Future. Together.” Our goal was to share how families and individuals can work toward a better understanding of diabetes and ways to manage diabetes. We covered topics like hypoglycaemia awareness, food choices and carbohydrate counting, environments that affect our diabetes management, and sick day management plans.
The sports medicine team kept us moving throughout camp as we ran around searching for gachapon balls containing individual charms, playing games in the shallow pool, acting out a funny scene or lip syncing to music videos. Families worked together to win the most points.
Learning about meal planning with images of actual plate size and portion. Amount of carbohydrates are indicated behind each item.
One of the few charts we discussed in a session on diabetes and the environment.
A completed charm collection.
For Family Night, the adult volunteers decided to plan a skit with a twist: Campers acted out perspectives of healthcare professionals, parents, and friends with respect to diabetes while the parents acted out perspectives of a child with diabetes and the healthcare professionals acted out a scenario of a patient at a clinic session.
Skit by healthcare professionals.
SugarRush: a team of adult volunteers who grew up with children diabetes camps.
A three-day (two-night) camp always goes by so quickly when everyone is having fun. For us, the adult volunteers, it’s something we look forward to every year and we love the role we play in making the camp happen.