Camp Needlepoint Recap!

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Who misses Camp Needlepoint already?! I DO, I DO!

 

Hey everyone! My name is Lauren Evans. Camp Needlepoint 2015 wrapped up just this past weekend. This was my sixth summer at CNP, or as I like to refer to it as, “The Greatest Place I Know!” I am in charge of social media at Camp Needlepoint. Did you happen to follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? It is so much fun to be able to share camp memories with families and friends back home!

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As you walk onto camp property, you can see so many different activities going on. You enter the A-field and see games of Ninja breaking out. You pass the volleyball court and stop to watch campers playing Nukem. You head to the arts and crafts building to put your creative side to use. As you walk over to flagpole, you break out into the Boogaloo. You continue down the beach path to kayak and swim. Later you will head out to horses to take a trail ride through the woods. There is never a dull moment at Camp Needlepoint!

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My favorite part of camp is seeing the campers trying new things and having personal successes. Whether it is diabetes-related or not, it is wonderful to see the smile creep across their faces as they accomplish something new. The best part of seeing these accomplishments is that it is different for every camper. For example, one camper’s success could be making it to the top of the climbing tower blindfolded and using one leg. At the same time, another camper’s success could be putting on the harness and putting one foot on the climbing tower. The coolest part at Camp Needlepoint about this?! Both of those campers will be celebrated, high-fived, hugged, and be given a standing OOOOOvation!!

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If you ask me what my favorite part about after Camp Needlepoint is… It would be the Step Out Walk! The Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes is one of my favorite American Diabetes Association events throughout the year. It is the best place to reunite with camp friends! This year, I am the Camp Needlepoint team captain! There will be an after party complete with food and fun! Out goal is to raise $20,000! Go to http://main.diabetes.org/goto/CNP to join the CNP team and start your fundraising! Raise $75+ and get this year’s awesome t-shirt! See you there!

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Medifast MN’s Guide to Eating Healthy at the MN State Fair

PrintThe Great Minnesota Get-Together can be an extremely fun outing for the family, but also a nightmare for those trying to stay healthy. Don’t let the unhealthy food get to you by following Medifast MN’s guide to healthy eating!

Filled with a map and other tips, it is a great way to make sure your family stays healthy while having fun.

Also, check out  this WCCO radio interview with registered dietitian, Ali Gludt, talking with WCCO’s Esme Murphy!

A Word From Camp Needlepoint’s Assistant Director

I’ve been coming to camp for twelve years. After all of these years and experiences I have encountered, I still get a strong feeling of excitement every time I turn off of County Road F into camp. Camp has opened countless doors in my life. I first came to camp for the summer of 2004, where I was a frontier canoer. Since then, I have been a camper in many different programs at camp, counselor-in-training, counselor, and now assistant director of camp. Outside of camp, I am a student at SCSU where I study special education. This is a passion I do not believe I would have ever pursued, had I not been a counselor for Camp Needlepoint, along with other camps. Camp allowed me to see the value in diabetes management, and that I was not the only person working to make diabetes conform to my lifestyle. Seeing the kids run around camp and smiling is what keeps me coming back. I love seeing them have a great time and getting a chance to be surrounded by a community that will become their family by the end of the week.

– Mick Schuller

Ahh the sweet smell of nature, or is that sweaty kids and insulin?? Either way it’s basically the same. It’s my favorite time of the year. Being surrounded by friends who “get it”, having the support of our amazing medical staff and nutritionists, and seeing the kids make lifelong friendships.

The ADA changed my life, being diagnosed at age 3 in 1999 and living in a small town, we didn’t know any other kids with diabetes.  A couple years later I went to Camp Daypoint, and for the first time I met other people my age who had to check their blood sugar and take shots.  I learned how to give my own shots.  As I got older and went to Camp Needlepoint, I made lifelong friends who have helped me in every way possible.  From dealing with depression to helping me find a place to live in the cities to helping me with pump and testing supplies when I don’t have insurance, my “camp family” has always been there.  Now I get to go to camp every summer as a counselor and see kids who in one week go from being embarrassed and ashamed of diabetes, to talking about it to anyone who will listen.  We see the kids realise that they can do anything with diabetes, that it can never hold them back.

First year campers are generally extremely shy, and holding onto their parents when they first get to camp. Newly diagnosed campers might still be afraid of blood sugar checks and insulin injections.  Before the end of the week we get to see our whole cabin group working as a team, building gnome homes or trying to climb across the lava pit.  Seeing the kids excited about doing their injections/pump changes alone or in a new spot for the first time is my favorite part about camp.  Seeing them excited about taking control of their diabetes is inspiring.  These kids are warriors.

-Kiya Schroeder

A Parent’s Perspective On Type 1 Diabetes

I want to let you know as a parent how I feel about diabetes camp and what’s it’s like taking care of a child with type 1 diabetes.

 

My daughter was 17 months old when she was diagnosed with this terrible disease. She was an innocent little girl who was very thin, crabby, drinking a lot, and, urinating a lot. I took her in to get her checked after seeing a commercial on TV about diabetes (I swear I had a guardian angel by my side), and the bad news came that she was a type 1 diabetic. How does one learn to help a little fragile girl with a disease that will change her life forever? Shots every day and carbohydrate counting continuously, oh boy, I didn’t think I could do this.  I had to learn and do the best I could to keep her alive and prayed I could keep her heart beating, and the more I found out about diabetes, it made it harder for me to accept it and wonder if I could do it.

 

My daughter Mikala is now 15 1/2 and doing good. She has her ups and downs as diabetes and always will! There is NEVER keeping diabetes at a perfect number! We deal with high blood sugars, low blood sugars, good blood sugars, yikes! it’s a very hard disease to control!

 

I found out about diabetes camp at Camp Needlepoint. I was told how good this camp was with helping kids dealing with diabetes and how it helps the kids be themselves and be with other kids just like them.

 

I have to say as a parent, sending her to camp is the best thing I’ve ever done! Since Mikala was 9 years old, she’s been attending Camp Needlepoint and she absolutely loves it! She is going again this year because of her love for camp. Mikala has met so many new friends that she, to this day, still keeps in touch with. The staff is marvelous! Between counselors and doctors, they all deserve an A+++!

 

Mikala wants to now become a camp counselor herself in a couple years. She is always happy going to camp and meeting new people. I have to say, when I go to pick her up, she actually gets sad, she has so much fun she doesn’t want to come home.

 

There is funding that is donated  from the Lions Club and Lioness’s along with others (You would have to ask about) that donate to help send kids to camp if they apply for financial aid. My daughter has been helped with this and I can’t thank enough all the people who donate to these camps! It’s been a blessing having such great people that care about a disease so much that they give much of their time so our kids can go and experience what I believe is something  they will never forget for the rest of their lives. Being with so many others just like you, helps take away the “feel sorry for me” stress each of these kids go through every day.

 

At camp, kids also learn how to take care of themselves better. If there is anything you want your child to learn about their diabetes, they help them out. You would be surprised what they learn in one week at camp!

 

So, please know the people behind the scenes that work so hard to help kids with a disease that won’t end without a cure, care deeply about our kids and want to see them do well with themselves in life as well as see they can have fun and do whatever they want to do. I tell my daughter when she gets down, don’t let diabetes defeat you, defeat the diabetes! It can happen!
– Melanie and Mikala Pronschinske

Why Go To Diabetes Camp Without Diabetes?!

Hello, my name is Teddy and I do not have diabetes. I do, however, care very much for someone that does, my fiancé Lauren. I became involved with Camp Needlepoint after we met and she asked if I would like to be a counselor. I immediately said yes as I cared for her and loved her very much…and that is what camp is about, caring and loving!

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As a 6th grade teacher, I care for children very much. I try to ensure that all students in my classroom are involved and that no one is being singled out in any manner. These are the types of things that I witnessed as a counselor at camp. Of course as a counselor, it was part of my job to ensure that all children were being treated fairly; but most of the time I didn’t have to. The campers are all so great to each other and always make sure their peers are comfortable and encourage each other to participate.
I believe that camp is important in that it allows children with Type I diabetes to come out of their shell. It teaches them not only how to manage their diabetes but also that it is okay to be a little bit different from other people and how to care for people who are different from them. Being a counselor at Camp Needlepoint was an amazing experience! I will always go back and think of my time there and smile.

Five Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Active!

The dog days of summer are now here, and that means the last few weeks of outdoor activities and fun are now upon us. Unfortunately, this also marks the point during the year where Minnesota reaches it’s highest annual average temperature, which hovers somewhere around the mid-80’s. If you’re like me, and considering the sticky humid air that comes with those higher temps, the last thing you really feel like enjoying is any sort of long lasting physical exercise outside. It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s not that fun… But that doesn’t mean there’s a complete lack of activities to help you stay fit for the rest of the summer. Here’s five easy fitness ideas to help you stay cool!

Early Morning Walks

The coolest part of every day is the time right before the sun rises. If you’re an early to bed and early to rise type, pop in some ear buds take a 30 minute to a hour walk around your neighborhood or place of interest. It’s clinically shown that even just 30 minutes of walking can improve heart health and combined with a healthy diet, help shave calories in the process.

Swimming laps or across the lake

Everyone’s first solution to beat the heat is to jump in the water, and you can stay fit and improve your swimming skills in the process! Swimming is one of the few activities that you can do that involves muscle stimulation throughout your entire body, and not only helps improve muscle tone, but also improves your aerobic endurance.

Yoga and/or Pilates 

You can avoid the outdoors altogether and stay fit by participating in a local Yoga or Pilates course. Both disciplines are meant to stimulate growth and control in the mind and body through a series of relaxing excercises. Attending weekly courses can help improve flexibility, core strength, and your overall state of mind and focus.

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Spinning

For those not into yoga or pilates, you can always give spinning a shot! Spinning is an exercise that involves using a bicycle like contraption that varies in resistance with an instructor who coaches and varies the tempo. Spinning is a great way to burn fat and build leg and core strength, and local and most chain gyms hold spinning classes that are indoors and out of the heat.

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Water Skiing or Wakeboarding

It may be a bit more expensive or harder to find depending on who you know, but there’s no better way to have fun and still get a workout in the process. Like swimming, skiing and wake boarding utilize almost every muscle in the body both to keep balance, keep in tow, and stay afloat.

Remember that in all activities, you should remember to stay safe and stay hydrated. All the fun is lost when one is laid up with an injury. With that in mind, get out there and enjoy the rest of your summer!

– Brad Masson

Delta Dental of MN: Diabetes & Oral Health

Check out this great video provided by our sponsor Delta Dental of Minnesota.

At Delta Dental of Minnesota, they support initiatives that promote oral health education and, in turn, improve the overall health and vitality of our community. Go to Delta Dental’s website for more great information regarding health and dental care.

A Simple, Gluten Free Summer Recipe!

Hi everyone! Lauren here from the YPLC. Are you loving summer as much as I am? The sun, the fresh air, being with family and friends, and the delicious summer food… Today, I’m bringing you a fresh summer recipe for chicken salad. It’s also gluten free! Try this recipe out, make some chicken salad sandwiches and bring them to the beach! YUM! :)

Moderation, Balance, and Variety

As a Registered Dietitian I often get asked the infamous question, “Which diet should I follow to help me lose weight?” The questions may be phrased differently depending on the season, such as “how do I get a beach bod” or “how do I lose those extra holiday pounds.” I find that generally everyone is focused around one simple yet ever so complicated question; “Is there a correct way to eat so I can look and feel my best?”

The answer, however, is not so simple. Many factors play into dietary needs such as: gender, age, metabolism, activity, and stress, just to name a few. Eating right is different for everyone and in the age of fad diets and conflicting information, I have a little saying I like to stand by.

Written by a Registered Dietitian, Ellyn Satter lays out normal eating in a way that I think is most appropriate. Straying from percentages, calories, or macronutrients, the focus is more around the three words I like best: moderation, balance and variety.

Here is a little food for thought (pun intended) on what normal eating means to me.

“Normal eating is being able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it- not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to use some moderate constraint in your food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is three meals a day, most of the time, but it can also be choosing to munch along. It is leaving some cookies on your plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful when they are fresh. Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. It is also under-eating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your emotions, schedule hunger, and your proximity to food. – Ellen Satter RD

Although often sought after, there is no perfect or scientific way to eat. So whether you find yourself trying to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain a healthy lifestyle, remember that all foods can serve a purpose and can fit into your everyday eating habits.

Lauren Carlson