There is an amazing camp in Georgia called Camp Kudzu that is specifically for type 1 diabetics. We have heard such wonderful things about it from the moment MJ was diagnosed last April. There weren’t any spots left last summer by the time we tried to sign up so I was on top of it this year. Since he is only 6 he will be going to their day camp in July (in a couple of years he will be old enough for the overnight camp). However, they also offer two family camps every year- one in the fall and one in the spring.
I was praying that we would get in for the spring session- MJ doesn’t really know anyone his age who has type 1 and I wanted him to see that there are plenty of kids out there just like him. Also I was hoping that going for the first time with his entire immediate family would put his mind at ease… well, mission accomplished! We had a wonderful time this past weekend and MJ LOVED it.
We arrived Friday evening and got settled into our cabin – we weren’t exactly “roughing it” since each cabin has heating and air and hot water but we did have to bring our own sheets and towels. . MJ and Ty of course wanted to be in the bunk beds on the top bunk (but as usual they ended up sleeping together on the top bunk) while Catelin was just as happy as she could be on the bottom bunk.
We had a few minutes to explore the campgrounds before our first meeting and MJ, Ty and Catelin were thrilled to find a playground!
The kids were split up into groups based on their ages – Catelin had some separation anxiety the first night but she did much better on Saturday and Sunday (and yes I resorted to giving her the pacifier- don’t judge!). MJ and Ty had no problem joining their groups and were thrilled to make new friends. Not only did most of the kids there have type 1 but over 75% of the camp counselors had type 1 as well- MJ was amazed at everyone checking their blood sugars and getting shots (or bolus infusions on their pumps) before meals.
The weekend schedule primarily revolved around seminars for the parents and camp activities for the kids. We had plenty of family time (each session was only an hour and then we were reunited with the kids for snack or break, etc). It was nice (for lack of a better word) to hear other parents voice the same thoughts and concerns that run through my mind every day. Just like I will never know what it is like for MJ to have this condition- what he feels on a daily basis- no one knows how it feels to be the parent of a type 1 unless they have a child with it. I know there are far worse things he could have and I am thankful that he has a condition that is manageable even though it is not curable (at this time). I have to admit I was pretty emotional during the seminars – being 8 months pregnant I guess I have an excuse!
We did arts and crafts as a family and made a stepping stone for the yard along with some other knick knacks.
We had a lot of free time on Saturday afternoon- it was a beautiful day (even though it was chilly)! Ty fell asleep for a little while in daddy’s arms.
MJ, Catelin and I decided to go to the rock climbing wall and the tree house while they were resting. Can you believe my little Spiderman climbed all the way to the top and rang the bell (TWICE)?!
The tree house was awesome – it had swings, a trap door, slides, a staircase up to the “bird’s nest”, etc. Don’t worry- Ty spent an hour there with his group earlier in the day so he didn’t miss out!
We went back to wake up Ty so we could go fishing on the pier. MJ caught a catfish (unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture).
After dinner that night we had a Lego building activity – MJ got to pick out which one he wanted (which of course was a 7-12 year old box with teensy tiny little parts)!
We got back to our cabin late that night and everyone was exhausted! The kids slept well (I wish I could say the same for Steve and me – I even brought my enormous maternity pillow)! The kids woke up in great spirits on Sunday morning and we had a few more activities before we got on the road to head home. The boys told me they want to go back there every day and that it was the “funnest place ever!” We really had a wonderful time. I am so glad MJ got to experience it and get to know plenty of others who have type 1 just like him!!! They all (of course) fell asleep on the way home.