Friday, June 19, 2015

Preparing for a Non-Diabetes Camp

Our Naturally Sweet Sisters Day Camp Preparedness Bags

Not even a night back from ADA Camp Midicha and our girls have packed once more for a second set of summer adventures.   Our oldest daughter and I will be heading off to Washington, D.C. - more on that to come - and our youngest daughter is spending an exciting week at an engineering camp designed for middle school through high school aged kids.  It's a great way for her to sharpen some of her newly discovered STEM skills and also, a wonderful way to have an experience that is completely her own.

This camp also poses a few T1D challenges.  First, it is strictly a day camp which is run by a local community college - not a dedicated medical staff.  Secondly, it will be about 1.5 hours from the Naturally Sweet Dad while he is at work.  Third, for the third time in less than six months, I will be out of the state and unable to help with carpool arrangements, T1d needs and all other parenting tasks.

With so many issues stacked against us, it would seem prudent to throw in the towel before even considering registering.  However, that's not how we like to respond to T1d.  Engineering camp was important to our youngest daughter.  She was asked to attend with her like-interested girlfriend from school and viewed it as a highlight of summer.  Saying no due to a few T1d challenges would have set the stage for creating the mindset that T1d negatively trumps all good things.  As a family, we firmly believe in kids first, diabetes second.  To underscore that line of thinking, we determined that keeping youngest daughter on her path of engineering discovery far outweighed the issues.  We knew that we could work around our barriers.  

Here is our plan to succeed - and mind you, she hasn't gone.  I am writing this on the eve of leaving and wanted to make sure I put the thoughts down.  If it doesn't or if we have hiccups, I will calmly be referring to #3.

1.)  Establish a Team:  Our first goal was to determine how we would get our daughter to and from the camp each day.  We knew the other family and the Naturally Sweet Dad agreed to arrange a carpool schedule and trim a few of his hours on the job.  The other mom understood our one parent predicament and volunteered to help out as much as she could.  I also happen to have an aunt that lives nearby and she also volunteered to step in as an emergency contact should the need arise.

2.)  Make a Plan:  The next goal was to ensure that our youngest was ready to take on the responsibility of her own T1d care for the week.  During the school year, she did a fantastic job of managing her blood sugars.  I also knew that I could help prepare her by creating a series of daily snack/low blood sugar bags to bring along.

Prepare Snack/Low Bags for Day Camp by using gallon size storage bags - label with day of the week.

Assemble the items that your child needs.  We chose juice boxes, glucose tabs, fruit snacks and beef jerky.

For morning and afternoon snacks, our daughter requested these items.  
We also added Smarties to help in case of a low blood sugar.  After so many years, Smarties are just medicine to the girls. 

3.)  Be Flexible:  Knowing that there will undoubtedly be a few things that go awry along the way, I prepared youngest daughter with secondary plans.  She will bring extra money to purchase items from the vending machine if needed and will also have her own personal bag of snacks to enjoy in case the lunch menu changes.  She can text her dad, myself or even our aunt at anytime during the day.  Not for one second will she be alone - she has a team!

We requested a copy of the weekly menu and discovered it was provided daily by local restaurants.  To help our youngest, we added carb counts - AND reminded her that things might change at the last minute.  We also added a bit of extra money and a few more snacks for the days where she wasn't sure if she liked the item.

4.)  Have Fun!:  By preparing for T1d, we hopefully are eliminating the possible overshadowing of T1d.  Above all, this is a camp that our youngest daughter wanted to attend.  We want her to have the best possible outcome - which certainly is a desire to continue to love learning!


No comments: