Ernest Groenewald, the camp co-ordinator gives us feedback on Camp Diabetable Port Elizabeth.
Camp Diabetable took place at Leaders in Life from the 18 to 20 March, with eleven children attending. It was such a big learning experience. We had numerous activities for the children, starting with an ice-breaker where each person had to introduce themselves to build a tent for themselves before nightfall. They were split into two teams.
The attendees received personalised gifts from Diabetic Accessories. Diabetic Accessories also sponsored diabetic-friendly campfire marshmallows and beautiful bags for each child.
On the Saturday, the children had so much fun as they had to navigate obstacle courses as a team. Afterwards, they had sessions with me (Ernest Groenewald) on how to take care of themselves and some diet tips as well as the differences between what are good carbs to have for low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia).
Afterwards, they had a session with Samantha, a diabetes educator from NovoNordisk. This was a brilliant session with the children as well as with the parents who attended the camp.
Focus of the camp
The focus of this camp was on the children taking care of themselves during activities and learning more about their bodies when it came to symptoms of their blood glucose. It was also to see how other children with the same comorbidity deal with their blood glucose and how they get affected.
The camp was an enormous success as not only did the children enjoy themselves but they also experienced freedom and showed them how they could manage their glucose levels even when they are active. Children with diabetes mustn’t feel alone as we forget how easy children isolate themselves.
My dream is to do more camps for the Eastern Cape region and hopefully grow, with Diabetes South Africa, a strong youth base for future generations of newly diagnosed people with diabetes.