Sports, games, arts and crafts, and the powerful experience of connecting with other kids just like themselves… diabetes camp can be a life-changing experience for kids with type 1 diabetes. But for many families, paying for summer camp can sometimes be a stretch.

Fortunately, the American Diabetes Association is committed to keeping camp fees as low as possible at all of its diabetes camp programs. Thanks to year-round fundraising efforts, tuition fees represent only 50 percent of the true cost of providing camp for a child. To help offset the remainder of tuition, families can apply for financial assistance called “camperships,” based on financial need. Camperships may cover full or partial tuition.

Since 2008, Lilly Diabetes has been a sponsor of the American Diabetes Association’s campership program, making it possible for thousands of young campers to pack their bags for a summer’s worth of fun. The rewards can last long after the summer is over: Kids who’ve attended diabetes camp are better able to independently manage their diabetes and experience less diabetes-related stress, according to recent research.

To apply for a campership, first register your child for an American Diabetes Association camp program. Then request a campership application from your local American Diabetes Association chapter. Once your completed application is processed, notification is sent with the amount of assistance you will receive.

The American Diabetes Association hosts 58 day and overnight camp sessions in 25 states throughout the summer, serving nearly 6,000 children every year. While type 1 is what brings these campers together, diabetes camp is like any other camp — a place where kids play, have fun, try new things, and make memories and friends that can last a lifetime.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.

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