Camp Joy counselor Judy and 9-year-old camper Maggie developed a special friendship through Camp Korelitz, a camp for youth with Type 1 diabetes. The bond between these two is one familiar to Camp Joy campers and counselors, especially at medical camps: “I finally discovered that I was truly was never alone. I came back to Korelitz as a counselor because I want every child with diabetes to have the same amazing opportunities I had.”
Aside from fostering friendships, Camp Joy’s partnership with Camp Korelitz awarded campers the opportunity to learn more about their condition and self-sufficiency. Due to her camp experience, Judy gained self-awareness and better understood diabetes: “Camp has taught me so much about my disease and made me a better diabetic, but more importantly it has given me a second family”.
The concept of family naturally passes from counselor to camper, as Maggie echoed a similar sentiment: “I love being in a place where I feel at home and not like an outcast.” Judy can remember having a similar experience when she was Maggie’s age; both ultimately came to the realization that they were not alone. Judy remembers that her “9-year-old self realized that [she] could have a camp experience just like other kids – just with a few blood sugar checks thrown in.”