(Dixie at Camp looking for squirrels)
Saturday was the 50-year anniversary celebration for Camp Needlepoint.
Camp Needlepoint is the ADA- Minnesota camp for kids with diabetes. (don’t laugh at the name. Apparently the other name that was almost selected fifty years ago was Camp Dipstick!) It’s held every summer at Camp St. Croix, in Hudson, Wisconsin the last two weeks in August.
I started going to camp in 1977, and was a camper every summer until 1985. In 1986, I was a counselor in training. In 1987 I became a counselor. In 1993, I became part of the administration staff. Camp was a huge part of my life. I loved it there.
Dixie and I were there for the reunion. My mom came too. We wouldn’t have missed it.
We had a great time catching up with old camp friends, medical personnel, etc. that I hadn’t seen for years.
My mom cried looking at old pictures of my friends and me. She took pictures of us. I shared memories and stories with her. We watched a video of pictures from the last 50 years. She cried during the video—especially when she saw pictures of little me. She would lean over to me and say, “camp changed your life.”
It did. I grew up there.
I gave my first insulin injection in Cabin 7 when I was eight years old. I met other people with diabetes, some who are lifelong friends. I canoed, I camped, I rode a horse (BUT only once because I am afraid of horses. Always have been. I rode the horse once, but had to get off early because my blood sugar was low from being so scared!) and I learned from other kids with diabetes. I wrote letters to friends after camp was over every summer saying “only 380 days until camp!” It was the one-week of the entire year that I was in the majority.
It was an amazing place, and it was special to have been able to be there to celebrate camp and all that it gave to me.
Dixie was a little confused at camp.
She alerted me many times during the day. Not because I was low, but because someone around me was low.
When we got home, she crashed. I’m sure that, even though the camp part was fun, she was exhausted from keeping tabs on everyone with diabetes. :-)