Camp Needlepoint & Daypoint: Memories From Becky Barnett

Hello blog readers!
I want to thank and commend the YPLC group for coming up with the idea of a camp blog series!  I am honored that they have asked me to contribute.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to talk! And even more so about ADA CAMP NEEDLEPOINT & DAYPOINT!  This summer will mark my 27th summer at ADA Camp Needlepoint in one form or another.  The following poem I wrote is dedicated to my family, each and every camper and staff person that makes the camp experience what it is and of course my dear friend, ADA CAMP NEEDLEPOINT & DAYPOINT!

Happy Trails!

Becky Barnett

Camper 1988-1993
Counselor 1994-1998
Counselor-In-Training Director 1999
Camp Director 2000 and beyond!

I Remember

– I remember the day I was diagnosed
– I remember how sick I looked, how much weight I had lost, how I had dark circles under my eyes, how sad I was
– I remember the finger pokes I so greatly despised, how I’d throw my finger poker on the floor with such anger and how I’d refuse to test my blood sugar
– I remember screaming, blood curdling screams that filled the house, as my dad held me down and my mom did my shot
– I remember the bright blue and purple bruises the shots would sometimes leave on my body
– I remember how I hid my diabetes from my friends
– I remembering walking down the street to the local gas station and scarfing down two candy bars before I got home so my parents wouldn’t know
– I remember how I’d cry at night wishing it would go away
– I remember thinking I wanted to die

And then I remember Camp Needlepoint

– I remember that first year I went and my parents said I came back a different kid, a happier kid
– I remember I could poke my own finger and I didn’t seem so mad
– I remember showing my mom and dad how now I could do my own shot
– I remember taking so many pictures of my new friends, the campfires, the horses, being on trail and so much more
– I remember learning that I could have a candy bar as long as I took insulin for it
– I remember how after camp I told anyone and everyone that I had diabetes and about my wonderful camp
– I remember whispering to my sister at night telling her about my camp adventures
– I remember how camp made me feel strong, camp made me feel normal and camp made me feel confident
– I remember how I couldn’t wait to be a counselor one day

And then later

– I remember as my heart seemed to stop when my family told me my little brother Tim had diabetes
– I remember being in shock and disbelief
– I remember how despite the sadness in my heart I said, “You’ll be ok.  We’ll be ok”
– I remember when my brother attended camp for the first time
– I remember it was my first time as the camp director

And then even later

– I remember the phone call from my sister
– I remember how she could barely speak
– I remember how she said “It’s Cece…”
– I remember thinking “NO! She’s not even two years old!”
but saying “What was her number?”

And I remember how we cried

And then I remember Camp Needlepoint
Where those of us who live with diabetes,
learn to be proud,
get to feel “normal”
and most of all, for at least a little while

… we get to forget.

Comments: 3

  1. Anne Moore July 26, 2014 at 11:17 am Reply

    Got tears in my eyes, but Wow! Becky!! This is why Needlpoint and Daypoint loves YOU!! Thanks for sharing this poem, and again, Thank You for all you do!! I appreciate it all. Looking forward to August 10!! Annie in the kitchen!!

  2. Sue Brown July 28, 2014 at 10:09 pm Reply

    I remember taking our daughter to Camp Needlepoint for the first time. Before we left the parking lot after getting her situated, my husband and I looked at each and told each other that she would be OK, that they would take care of her, that they knew what to do, that we could leave. Since we hadn’t left her with anyone for more than 8 hours at a time when we were in the same town, how would we leave her for a week and be three hours away?!
    We were able to leave because we thought about the staff knowing more than we did, so of course she would be OK! When we picked her up, she cried because she didn’t want to leave her new friends! Wow! We looked forward to a week “off” every summer until she was in 9th grade and had a hard time not going to camp because of the fall sports season.
    She is still friends with her best friend from that first time at camp! In fact, they used to coordinate what week they would go to camp so that they could be together!
    We are so appreciative of the experiences that she had at Camp Needlepoint and the excellent care that she had there! every kid with diabetes should get to go to Camp Needlepoint/Daypoint! And getting to hang out with Becky was one of her favorite parts!

  3. Russell August 31, 2014 at 9:52 am Reply

    Becky Lots of Happy Times at Camp watching you grow from Camper to CIT Director to Camp Director! You do so much for camp and it’s great to see you doing what you do everyday for Diabetics out there! Glad our Doctor got us both involved at Camp Needlepoint as well!

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