This is my third year attending Diabetes Camp with the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana. The camp is located up in Noblesville, IN and each year for a week I spend my time preparing foods for campers with food allergies. Lots of Type 1 diabetic patients also have food allergies or other autoimmune related diseases (such as Celiac disease). For their week at camp I work to help prepare "safe" foods for them to eat. My week at camp was crazy busy. We had 10 campers that had celiac and had to be gluten free. Then we had several vegetarians and one dairy free camper. With each meal I had to make sure that they had substitutes for the food items that were being served. I had to heat up and prepare 11 gluten free mac n' cheese diseases one meal and then make a pasta with red sauce dish for my dairy free camper. That basically summed up my week. It was great though, because I get to do something different for a week and I love being able to give of my time in that way.
What I love about DYFI Camp? I think it is so great that these campers (all of which are Type 1 diabetic) can come to a place for the summer and get to feel "normal." Everyone else there as diabetes and checking your blood sugar/giving insulin is the norm. I also love that we support them with food that they can eat as well. We make sure that their food allergies are accommodated for and they are able to eat family style at meals. That is wonderful because they can choose what they want to eat and then their insulin bolus is given accordingly. Having a place where these campers can be just kids having fun is something that is so special.
Another exciting moment for this year was that we were able to donate the extra food to a food pantry/shelter in Noblesville. I was so excited to take the extra dry goods and fresh foods over to Third Phase Christian Center. These food items wouldn't have kept in the freezer until fall camp and so if we didn't take them somewhere they would have to be thrown out. I was so happy that they were able to be given to a group that could use the leftovers. They were very excited to receive the fresh food as a donation. They even were able to take opened food items that they used in their kitchen on site and whatever was unopened they could give away in the food pantry.
It was a great week at camp. Everyone had a wonderful time. The weather was great. The kids got fed and I would call it a success!