Monday, June 22, 2009

Diabetes Boot Camp

There has always been a joke about creating a diabetes boot camp...well actually it is half serious. A camp where kids/adults would be sent and forced to learn about diabetes. They would have to realize how important it was to test and inject. We would show them reality and help them to face it.

Today I began thinking a little more. What about something much more serious and encompassing? What about family camps? I know that family camps exist but what about family camps targeted to families who have trouble dealing with diabetes? Who have children who are in DKA a set number of time? What about a camp for families who just are not getting it?

I know that no such thing exists in my province. I also realize that this would be a very costly venture. There is the camp itself, food, and the cost of experts.

You would need doctors willing to talk on basic care as well as the realities of complications. Someone to discuss therapy options and the importance of testing. You would need a nurse and dietician to discuss diet, exercise, etc. You would also need people to lead discussion groups--ones for parents, for children of different age groups, and for families as a whole.

You would need to organize fun as well. Things that would bring families together and create bonds with new friends. I know that groups have done this in the past. I also realize that money is tight for all organizations currently. I still wonder if this could work. How it would work? Who would you approach?

Any ideas? Please let me know. I think this might be something I want to seriously look into. A camp for...2010?? Hey let's start dreaming!!


  1. Hi Barb, I just googled more information on this subject matter and was lead here. I am a trainer and have a client who has been diagnosed with per-diabetic symptoms. He's 15 and I thought about starting a camp for kids like him (along with parents) to participate in a camp of some sort. Keeping the fun theme as well as the importance of diabetes and how this epidemic can have a major impact on his life, if he continued to progress.

    I run a fitness program in Columbia, MD now. HARDBODY OUTDOOR FITNESS ( I am potentially receiving some funds from a private donor and organization to start such a program (eg. 4-5 kids and parents) with the help of a nurse, etc.

    Any information you could provide on this subject would be appreciated. You can reach me via email at , and I would love to talk to you about your experience(s), thus far.

    Take care,
    Shawn Chevalier

  2. I ma having a miserable time with my 18 yr old type 1 daughter She is in complete denial and projects all her anger etc onto me. I would like to see a teen film made like 'scared straight' to try and get her attention At 18 nothing can happen to you OH for the days. Let me hear from you Please Martha

  3. Martha have you looked into therapy, online or local support groups? There are a variety of places out there that offer help or have been where you are. I can only imagine how scary this must be for you!

  4. Personally I think a boot camp makes lots of sense and it should include participants having to plan and prepare all of their own meals, though partners could work together for mutual support and diversity.

    Perhaps we could even tie it to one of the chef shows as a special feature with their participant-chef contestants having to devise and document a dish geared toward exquisite diabetic friendly eating.

    I don't think it is at all out of the question. I have been involved with business start up and product launches for most of my life and, properly managed this could be a great franchise.

  5. As a 65 y old type II diabetic, a heart patient, single after 45 years of having a wife that could cook from scratch, a reader and caregiver, I am lost!
    How about a six week boot camp to teach basics of food selection, preparation and healthy cooking. Include nutrician and encouragement for daily group outdoor exercise.

  6. speaking from my own personnal perspective. after living with diabetes for 37 years now (my own), if i had it to do over again, i would definately go to one of the camps offered to children. whether or not that be a "boot camp" i think all newly diagnosed children need it. they need to see that they are not alone, and there are many, many others out there with the same thing going on. parents need one too. i think if my parents and i had attended, then i wouldn't have needed one at the age of 47 to make me finally "get it"!! kids need to see older diabetics, to realize that they too can live long, healthy lives. parents need to see that their kids can do this! and then there are the "oldies" like me. i needed to see that i was not alone. i have never met another diabetic in real life. i have been blogging now for 9mths, and have "met" so many people. i have gained so much in such a short time. i believe it is imperative that these camps exist, and i would love to be involved in creating one here in Ontario. i have to health education, i am just a PWD but i have a need to help others at this point in my life.

  7. Yes please! Let's do this for real!

  8. I cannot express how excited I am to read this. I read a very interesting article a few years back when my daughter was around 10 she is now 15. It was written by a Doctor who felt any child diagnosed at a younger age required a new diagnoses where there level of understanding would allow them to see diabetes for what it is. Teens dealing with this disease need all of these ideas and more. I have felt the same as you, I feel the Dare program used in Ontario schools at the preteen age would be a great platform we could grab ideas from. I have had some say what I feel needs to happen for some is harsh. I think a day with a dibetic who has to endure dialysis, or an amputation. I feel there is a proper age for this for it to be effective. Would love to work on something along these lines