Bearskin Meadow Camp

Bearskin Meadow Camp
Kids have fun at campCamper? Staff? Press here.

a summer camp for people with insulin dependent diabetes
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Who? What? Where? When? Why?

  • It's primarily for children with diabetes, but there are some programs for adults with IDDM as well. Sessions for kids, teens, Counselors-in-Training, family camp, adult camp and backpacking.
  • Camping: sleeping outdoors on a deck under the stars and surrounded by trees, rocks and wild animals. Day hikes, backpacking, arts and crafts, games, ropes course, swimming, etc. etc...
  • Near Kings Canyon National Park, south of Yosemite, east of Fresno, at 5800' above sea level. It's on the south edge of Kings Canyon (near the spot that's deeper than the Grand Canyon!) at the junction of 10 Mile Creek and Bearskin Creek.
  • Every summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sessions are happening all summer.
  • Because most people don't know other people with diabetes and don't have an opportunity to learn and practice the latest techniques for caring for themselves and this disease. BSM offers a supportive environment for people to "get control of their diabetes" and gain confidence to lead healthy lives.

For more information, contact:

Diabetic Youth Foundation
5167 Clayton Rd., Suite F
Concord, CA 94521
Phone: 925-680-4994
Fax: 925-680-4863

The Offcial BSM web site ( http://www.dyf.org/ ).

More information about children with diabetes.

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Are you part of the BSM family?
Did you attend camp? Were you part of staff in any way? Sign the BSM memory book!.

You can see messages from other BSM family members too. View the memory book.

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My Connection?

I was a counselor at Bearskin Meadow Camp from 1993-1996. That was preceeded by four summers at Camp IDEAL, the ADA camp that merged with BSM in 1993. I spent a total of about 25 weeks at camp over those eight summers. I worked as a deck counselor most of the time. I also built a low ropes course at BSM and lead campers, staff and families through that expreience.

I cannot fully express the satisifaction I found working at camp. It was both the most fun and, at the same time, the most challenging work I have ever done.

My time at camp also taught me more than I expected about my own diabetes. I was diagnosed during Labor Day weekend 1982. Those that know me now might be surprised to discover that during those early years I hid my disease from most people I knew. I frequently didn't request it when I needed help with hypoglycemia. When eating out, I would search for a public restroom for my test and injection (if I tested at all). Frequently these rooms were filthy and completely inappropriate for performing a clean and safe blood test and insulin injection. Funny to think about now, but I really did think I was well informed and that I took pretty care of myself.

The first year at camp, I learned how little I actually knew and how much my hiding hurt my own self-esteem and wasted hours of my life. Thanks to my experience at camp, I learned to be open about myself, my illness and its treatment. I started taking muliple injections that first year at camp. I eventually made the bigger commitment to my good health and bought a pump in 1996.

There are so many people in the world that don't understand diabetes, especially insulin depedent diabates that most often afflicts children. Treating myself in the open has given me uncountable opportunities to teach people who are just curious or misinformed. I'm better off because of it and so are all the diabetic people of the world.

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