Reece's Time at Camp
"For me, American Diabetes Association (ADA) Camp Midicha feels like my second home. I have been attending camp for ten years and I know the place inside and out. Camp Midicha is a world of adventure, inclusion, excitement, and exploring. I look forward to going to camp every summer because I know there is an endless amount of fun in store. The beautiful part about camp is that everyone there either has T1D or knows all about it. For one week, every year, it is totally cool to have T1D.
My camp story is a little different than most others. Before I was diagnosed with T1D, I attended Camp Copneconic, the YMCA day camp for non-diabetics (located on the same property), while my little sister, Olivia, went to Camp Midicha. We were both in the day-camp section, so we were able to go home during the night. At the time, I was seven years old and Olivia was five years old. I remember doing fun activities like canoeing and zip-lining. My most memorable moment from Camp Copneconic was an egg-dropping contest. We were tasked with wrapping materials around an egg to ensure it didn’t crack, when the counselor dropped it from twenty feet in the air. I worked diligently with my members from my cabin to figure out which materials would work best to protect the egg. When it was time to test our contraption, our egg was the only one that didn’t crack. I remember going home that day with more self-esteem than I had ever had before.
When I was diagnosed with T1D two years later, I transitioned to attending overnight Camp Midicha. I was thrilled to be diagnosed because I knew I would be able to go to camp with my sister, Olivia. This would also be my first year of having nights away from home as well. To me, this meant I was going to be able to have a sleepover for six nights. Our first activity, was camp’s infamous Blob. While kids were being blasted into the air over the lake by fellow campers, I waited for the right time to jump in. I watched as kids flew through the air and popped back down into the water. When it was my turn to join in, the counselor of our brother cabin also decided to hop onto the Blob. Being only eight years old, when he jumped onto the air tube, I sky-rocketed into the clouds. I had butterflies in my stomach and laughter bubbling up when I fell back into the water. When I came up from the lake, I was so excited and ready to try it again.
Two years ago, at camp, I was able to go sailing for the first time. After learning how to navigate the sails and how to steer the boat, myself and another curly-haired girl headed out onto the lake. We managed to leave the beach and float all the way to the middle of the lake. The other girl and I learned we had much in common with each other and quickly became friends. We talked and sunbathed until it was time to head back into the beach. We moved the sail and tried to go back in, but, we, unfortunately, were floating the wrong way. After fifteen minutes, all of the sailers were putting away their boats, while my new friend and I were still stuck in the middle of the lake. The two counselors in charge of the sailing activity were forced to drive a speed boat out to us. We were escorted to the sailboat, while the second counselor took our sailboat and eased it back to the beach. My friend and I laughed about it the whole way back. Since our failed sailing attempt, we have kept in contact. We went on vacation together and I can truly call her one of my best friends. Among the memories created at camp, I have made many, lifelong friends as well.
I learn more about myself every time I visit Camp Midicha. I have learned that I am outgoing, optimistic, and compassionate. I have also made so many great friends and I enjoy keeping touch with them even after camp has ended. Camp Midicha is a highlight for me every summer. This year I hope to become a Counselor In Training, or a CIT, with the goal of becoming a counselor the following summer, so I can ensure that other kids get the opportunity to have an amazing experience at camp just like the one I was gifted."
Learn more about T1D camp, including what to expect and how to apply for financial assistance, and read our patient testimonials on what makes camp special.