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Campers With Diabetes Gain Confidence, Community at Texas Lions Camp


Photo courtesy of Texas Lions Camp

Joseph Schmidt, known to his friends as Joe, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was three years old. Joe does not know life without it.

On his first day at Texas Lions Camp, Joe met other kids his age with diabetes – some who had only been recently diagnosed and others who had lived with diabetes, like Joe, for most of their young lives. Everyone attending the camp, even some of his counselors and members of the medical staff, had diabetes just like him.

Something changed in Joe. The quiet camper who had arrived on the first day at Texas Lions Camp had become an outgoing, young leader. Joe realized that he was not alone. At Texas Lions Camp, Joe learned that he was not the only one going through something that he had struggled to explain to his peers at home for so long.

Having learned more about his condition at Texas Lions Camp, Joe was equipped to begin to discover who he was. Joseph was challenged to take on new activities and experiences.

When he returned home, Joe’s parents noticed his new found understanding of his condition, and his taking charge of caring for himself. Joe is already talking of next summer, and has mentioned being a counselor at Texas Lions Camp in the future.

At Texas Lions Camp, Joe, as well as thousands of others like him, not only gained a confidence in his diabetic care, but he became a positive influence in the lives of other young campers.

Every summer, more than 400 campers between the ages of 8 to 15, with Type 1 Diabetes come at no cost to their families to Texas Lions Camp in the
Texas Hill Country.

Texas Lions Camp is one of more than 100 camps across the country to which Direct Relief facilitated the shipment of supplies donated by BD as part of the health care company’s long-standing diabetes support program. The BD diabetes support program is an initiative to serve children with diabetes by ensuring campers receive the tools they need to manage their condition.

BD’s donation of insulin syringes, pen needles, and other items needed by the summer camps serving children with Type 1 Diabetes helps camps like Texas Lions Camp to reduce costs, enabling more children to have the opportunity to attend.

From horseback-riding to swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, sports, music, drama, pedal boating and more, campers are able to enjoy activities without fear of failing, Texas Lions Camp works to change campers’ perspective from one of inability and limitation to one of empowerment and self-value.

Campers from all over the state of Texas enjoy a week of summer fun, but more importantly learn more about their condition and are armed with the skills to manage their diabetes long-term.

Staffed with over 60 healthcare professionals, including endocrinologists, diabetes educators, medical staff and dietitians, campers are provided the best in medical care and education. Many of the medical staff, and 170 counselors on staff, have Type 1 Diabetes—some even attended Texas Lions Camp over the camp’s 65-year history.

*Photos courtesy of Texas Lions Camp.

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