CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For most children, feeling as though they fit in -- that they're just like everyone else -- is so important. Imagine, then, what life is like for a child with diabetes, having to carefully monitor what and when they eat, check blood-sugar levels, get insulin injections. The condition often draws unwanted attention and makes them feel different.
But at Camp Kno-Koma, a weeklong summer camp for children 7 through 15, all the campers have diabetes. So while enjoying all the usual summer camp fun, they also get to experience being around others who are just like them.
"Most first-year campers tend to be shy," wrote camp director Mona Hudson, "So along with our regular camp activities, we have educational activities that are designed to get all campers to participate and grow comfortable around each other.
"We also have a few campers who have other problems in addition to their diabetes. It's hard enough to feel normal as a kid with diabetes, but to also have learning disabilities can make a child feel like a total outsider. Not at summer camp, though. They're never the only one."
Campers learn to manage their diet, are taught what to do if their blood sugar is too high or too low, and they gain self-confidence and independence from their parents.
Camp Kno-Koma, located at Camp Virgil Tate, will hold its residential camp from July 12-18. The cost to attend is $275 per week. The camp has requested funding for eight scholarships, although they're hoping to get scholarships for all 62 campers who want to attend.
Donations (payable to the Gazette Charities Camp Fund) can be sent to Gazette Charities Send-A-Child-To-Camp Fund, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301.
Reach Karin Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org.