The DNA Of Camp

I imagined myself in her place — an overwhelmed mom with a teenager diagnosed with a chronic, life-altering disease, now in the process of sending away that daughter to a virtual group of strangers for an entire week. I figured I’d made things worse, not better. I figured I’d screwed up with my information overload and that she was mentally plotting how to politely request refund of her deposit.

I figured wrong. Everything I’d explained made sense, put her at ease. Where she’d been nervous about camp, she felt knowledgeable enough to support her daughter — who had been the one to initiate her trip to camp after talking with a diabetic friend at school who’s been with us for years.

She finally felt ready to embrace the opportunity of camp the way her daughter had. Before we ended our conversation, she asked two final favors: could I make sure that her daughter had such a great time at camp she’d want to do this every summer? And could I guarantee her daughter’s week at camp would change her life for the better?

I think she asked the right person.

Beth Morrow is a freelance author, educator and member of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association’s Youth Committee and Camp Leadership teams. She has served for 16 years as Senior Week program director for Camp Hamwi, a residential, age-based, week-long residential camp for diabetic youth. Reach her via e-mail at:

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