Designed for campers ages 13-17
Big Shots is designed specifically for T1D campers aged 13-17, combining traditional summer camp activities with fun and interactive diabetes education. Age-appropriate programming gives campers the ability to bond and relate to one another in a traditional camping environment. They will meet other kids their age going through the same struggles as them and form a bond you can only find at diabetes camp. Big Shots Resident Camp provides an inclusive community for campers to have fun while parents relax knowing their child is surrounded by professionals. Each year's theme brings a new set of activities, so whether it is your first year or not, there is always something new to try!
Our staff is comprised of medical professionals in the endocrinology field. Nurses, pharmacists, Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs), registered dieticians, and nurse practitioners all come together to make camp a success. We have people living with Type 1 diabetes on our medical staff, and nearly all our young adult counselors live with T1D themselves and are role models for proper diabetes management at camp. Several members of our staff were campers themselves, and over time created strong connections that last past camp!
We pack each day of Big Shots with age-appropriate activities; core programming includes crafts, swimming, and camp-wide assemblies like Talent Show or Dutch Auction. Each year brings a new theme with new programs and activities to keep campers coming back for more year after year! In 2024, we are excited to allow campers to engage in guided discovery by selecting which programs to attend each day.
Included in the schedule for the week is diabetes education. We conduct hands-on activities and watch for real-life education opportunities to teach diabetes skills such as practicing carb counting, trying new injection sites, cooking classes, and opportunities to ask about growing up with Type 1 diabetes. We combined fun games and group discussions to make sure that the campers leave camp with extra tools to manage their disease. We have also hosted people living with T1D who professional athletes are, firefighters, top-charting musicians, and more to speak to our campers and inspire them to reach for the stars.
A typical day at camp looks like:
9:00 am- Breakfast/ Dosing
10:00 am- Open Programming: Crafts, Archery, Open Gym, Fishing
12:30 pm: Lunch/ Dosing
2:00 pm: Swimming
3:00 pm: Snack/ Change
3:30 pm: Open Programming: Alpine Tower, Softball, Tye Dye, Free Time
5:45 pm: Break
6:30 pm: Dinner/ Dosing
7:30 pm: Camp-wide Assembly- Talent Show!
9:00 pm: Snack
10:00 pm: Cabin Time/ Showers
11:00 pm: Lights Out!
Diabetes Youth Services works hard to ensure every child living with diabetes has the opportunity to attend camp. Thanks to our donors, we can reserve charter buses to transport campers from Toledo, Ohio to camp and back. This service comes at no extra charge to our families and saves about 4 hours of driving. We understand securing camp supplies can be expensive, so we offer a Duffel Bag voucher with camp essentials to families who need it. Simply submit a referral note from your child’s doctor and we will take it from there!
NEW 2024: We have implemented a $10 registration fee to secure a camper's spot in our program. This is significantly lower than any other registration cost for other local diabetes camps.
In our nearly 40 years of operation, we have never turned away a child for financial reasons. Please visit our Camp Financial Support Page to learn more about scholarships, payment plans, and other opportunities for financial assistance.