Camp Sioux: North Dakota Diabetes Camp

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Hello everyone! Lauren Evans here, from the YPLC Marketing Committee. I have just returned from my fourth summer working at the American Diabetes Association’s Camp Sioux in Park River, North Dakota. I’m here to share with you a small glimpse into life at Camp Sioux.

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As you look around at Camp Sioux, you may see anything from campers singing the Boogaloo and eating smunchies for evening snack, to intense games of Gaga and cabin groups having cat parties. Camp Sioux is an amazing second home for children living with diabetes to create lifelong bonds, try new things, and most importantly, have fun in a safe environment with others dealing with similar challenges! Camp Sioux, with the support of the Grand Forks Kiwanis Club, was founded in 1952 by E.A. Haunz, M.D. This summer camp is for children ages 8 to 14 living with diabetes. Two one-week sessions are held at Park River Bible Camp in Park River, ND. Campers have the opportunity to participate in activities such as the climbing tower, canoeing, swimming, high ropes course, archery, arts and crafts, sports, evening campfires and much more. In addition to the typical camp activities, campers also participate in “Diabetes Ed” (learning the ins and outs of this disease) and they have a “Date with the Dietitian” (carb counting, cooking healthy meals, etc.).

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Round the clock medical supervision is provided by physicians, nurses, and other health care providers. Registered dietitians plan balanced meals and snacks and manage all special dietary needs. Parents know their kids are in good hands while gaining confidence, discovering new skills in their diabetes management, and having a great time!

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This summer, Camp Sioux changed the lives of more than 150 children living with diabetes. They didn’t feel alone with their disease. These kids made lifelong friends. They tried new things, whether it was related to diabetes or not. These children looked up to their counselors as role models. They gained independence and learned new things. All thanks to diabetes camp!

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On average, the cost per camper is now nearly $1,300; however, families pay under $200 per camper and there is also an opportunity for financial assistance. No camper is turned away due to the inability to pay. You can help support the American Diabetes Association’s Camp program by donating to the Association or participating in one of the local fundraising events. Visit www.diabetes.org to learn more or call 888-DIABETES to get involved locally.

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