Camp K: Youth living with diabetes

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 23:00

One of the many passions of Lions District 49A is Camp K, which is a diabetes camp for youth ages 7-17 located in Cooper Landing. Lions clubs throughout Alaska are asked to provide a scholarship and “adopt” one youth to send to camp each year. We have also encouraged our Leos to participate in the program and support one of their peers living with diabetes. Each year Lions and Leos step up to the challenge to provide scholarships in the amount of $400 per youth.

Camp K was held July 27-August 1. It is the policy of Camp K that no child will be denied camp because they can’t afford to attend. Lions have been very generous in the past to help make this possible. The $400 fee is just a portion of what it costs to send a child to camp. There are the expenses to bring children from around the state to this remote camp for a week of fun and learning. Donations and fundraisers make this valuable experience possible, especially for those in remote areas who may not have a chance to interact with other children with diabetes.

Camp K, nestled along the shores of Kenai Lake near Cooper Landing, is a residential camp where campers and staff live on-site during their stay. While camp sessions do vary, the majority of camps are one-week in duration, with campers arriving on Sunday and departing on Friday afternoon. The bunkhouses overlook the spruce forests along Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing. The camp provides the perfect environment for youth to explore, engage in challenging activities and form friendships that can last a lifetime. With the supportive guidance of camp counselors, campers build their own unique community while experiencing a sense of belonging, connectedness, safety, acceptance and appreciation.

Each day is full of creative and challenging outdoor activities, while evenings are spent gathered around the campfire sharing songs, stories and good times. Medical professionals and camp personnel work as a team to provide informal diabetes management tips. Campers learn how to manage their disease while gaining experience in a fun, positive learning environment. The activities programs at camp are designed for a variety of personalities and ability levels, but all campers enjoy the natural beauty of Camp K and have a great time.

For clubs who have a child in their community whom they wish to help, “adoption” or scholarship works very well. It puts a face to the project and the camper knows the club that has made it possible for them to attend the camp. The past two years the Bear Mountain Leos have sent the brother of a member for a week of fun and learning. To accomplish, the Leos held fundraisers at Cold Stone Creamery in Eagle River to assist with their project.


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