My Perspective of Camp: Then and Now

I grew up with two siblings with T1D. This opened up an opportunity to volunteer at a diabetes camp (Camp UTADA)  as a counselor when I was 16. I did this every summer and several winter weekends during my teens. I loved the friends, the memories, and the opportunities (skiing at all the great Utah resorts? yes please!) I also loved being more confident in assisting with my siblings' care. I know it made my mom's life easier because she could leave them with me. 


Now I'm the mom dropping off my T1D child at diabetes camp. She's going to have a great adventure! She'll make friendships with kids who understand what she goes through every day!

(BUT a nasty little voice inside me is saying I will have a week of not assigning every food a number! Sleeping through the night! No alarms! No arguments about sites!) 

No guilt. 

Yeah, right. The guilt about kills me for even thinking this!


My first thought when I dropped her off: OHMYHECK why am I leaving my baby with a bunch of teenagers?!?! It's a Peg + Cat moment: I'm totally freaking out! A lot of past camp memories surface. Calling Med-team for my co-counselor. Washing a camper's sleeping bag every morning. Girl Drama. Guy Drama. I remember some of the admin staff (from many years ago!) and they don't look any older. WHAT?!?!  What if this? What if that? 

A lot of parents trusted me. With their babies. To care for them physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. To help them grow. To keep them alive. 

The drive back to Idaho (4 hours) gives one a lot of time to think.

I'm going to go pick my baby up from camp at the end of the week. I've been praying for those teen counselors. I know a lot of parents prayed for me. I think sending my baby to camp was harder on me than it was on her. I hope she has had the adventures, the growth, and the positive experiences that I have prayed for. 

I'm going to call my mom and tell her thank you for sharing the role of caregiver with me. It taught me so much. I'm a better T1D mom because of it. I'm going to email the T1D warrior princesses that were my campers years ago. I am so thankful for my adventure. 


To read Syd's follow up from camp, click here: 

Guest blogger Jennifer Dawson is also a piano teacher, mother of 4, volunteer elementary school music teacher, and 100 other things that make her an incredible human. 


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