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Ages: 5-7 Year Olds
Dates: June 28 - July 1, 2017
Children in kindergarten and first grade can enjoy their first experience at diabetes camp by participating in a half week session at Camp Hertko Hollow. The Camp Hertko Hollow staff provide a caring and safe environment as the campers enjoy activities and make new friends.
Camp Hertko Hollow provides camp programs on the scenic grounds of the Y Camp located north of Boone, Iowa and consists of modern facilities with access to 400 acres of forest in the picturesque Boone River Valley. This beautiful atmosphere offers a variety of recreational activities like archery, swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, and rock climbing (just to name a few). These activities allow campers to try things outside of their normal routine, gain new hobbies, and discuss what they learn about character and personal growth. Days at camp are a mix of cabin-group based activities and free-choice periods which are supervised at all times. Structured times are designated for education programs as well as diabetes management, meals, and rest. Activity and fun play is just the beginning.
Campers report that while they enjoy the activities, they particularly value the chance to get to know other kids with diabetes. Interacting with other campers while they check their blood sugars, take their insulin, deal with high and low blood sugars and talking about how they handle their diabetes are some of the most powerful learning opportunities that occur at camp. Our goal is for kids to have fun by meeting others with diabetes and enjoy a normal summer camp adventure in an environment away from home. That is what Camp Hertko Hollow is all about – this shared journey will make sure children have a camp experience of significance and leave with memories that will last a lifetime.
Leaving your child in the care of others can be difficult. Camper safety is our number one priority at Camp Hertko Hollow. In addition to the counseling staff (comprised of people 18-yrs and older, many of which have diabetes themselves), each cabin is assigned a dedicated medical staff member. Our medical staff is comprised of top-notch medical professionals including physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and residents who specialize and understand the complexity of managing Type 1 diabetes. The staff to camper ratio is less than 1 to 4, ensuring lots of responsible adults, looking out for your camper, with the knowledge and experience to make sure your child has a fun and SAFE week away from home!
Diabetes education happens both formally and informally at camp. We believe the greatest education is the informal learning that children receive when sharing their experiences about living with diabetes. Campers learn they are not alone in dealing with the many responsibilities of diabetes, and are able to share experiences and educate each other. A special bond is formed when campers share their experiences, and their feelings that go along with them. An ongoing support network is formed at camp, and many lifelong friendships have been established through the years.
In addition to the informal education, the daily camper's schedule includes a formal time for D.I.G. (Diabetes Information and Guidance). Campers may be found playing "the cup stacking game", "Positive Pathways" and other fun learning activities that enforce positive diabetes management. It is also common for there to be many types of recognition awards at the end of the week for campers who achieve milestones in obtaining independence with their diabetes.