Camp Jean Nelson, D-Camps Summer Program in Alberta
Camp Jean Nelson provides children living with type 1 diabetes the opportunity to enjoy an authentic camp experience in a medically accommodating environment.
A summer camp experience impacts those who attend in many ways. Children and youth have the opportunity to become a part of a community outside of their family unit, feel an increase in independence, exercise choice in regards to their activities and learn to develop, or be introduced to, lifelong recreation skills and opportunities.
Many children with type 1 diabetes do not have the opportunity to interact with other people living with diabetes. This can create a sense of isolation that no one wants for any child. At Camp Jean Nelson every child who attends lives with type 1 diabetes. Campers have the opportunity to see that they are not alone. In fact they are a part of a strong, dynamic community of people with the same chronic illness. We believe that this creates a sense of belonging, community and empowerment that cannot be achieved in the same way in other programs.
At Camp Jean Nelson the benefits of an overnight camp experience also affect the family of the camper. Type 1 diabetes requires vigilant attention and support by a child or youths primary care-giver.
Camp Jean Nelson has been serving children in Alberta for over 63 years. Currently, the camp takes place at Camp Kindle in Water Valley, AB and offers a variety of activities to those who attend including –high ropes course, orienteering, arts and crafts, running games and nature activities.
Who Will it Benefit?
Camp Jean Nelson welcome more than 200 children/youth, living with Type 1 Diabetes, every year to our Summer Camp (ages 7-15) and Leadership Development Program (ages 16-17). For many families the week their child is at Camp Jean Nelson is the only respite they have from midnight blood testing, measuring/ weighing food and generally worrying about the safety of their child with type 1 diabetes. Respite is an integral part of maintaining the long-term quality relationship of a family affected by type 1 diabetes. Everyone deserves a chance to ‘re-charge batteries’ and for many families in the Alberta type 1 community Camp Jean Nelson is the only opportunity to do so.
*** Please feel free to request last years report and it would be my pleasure to provide you with it.