Sunday, August 10, 2014

Camp Empowerment

If you know me you know I am definitely a helicopter mom at times. 

So whenever I was asked if I would send Justice away to diabetes camp. my automatic answer was always no.

To be honest and in all fairness he wasn't ready either, he never showed interest until this past year.

In April 2014 J got a JDRF YouthAmbassador  scholarship to attend his first ever diabetes camp, camp Vegas. 

This camp is only about an hour and a half away from my home and what people would consider a good starter camp for a first timer.

Nonetheless I was a nervous Nellie and cried the second we pulled away from the campus.

When he returned, he was a stinky, sweaty, sticky mess,  but he was also unbelievably happy,  joyful,  independent and had a newfound maturity about him.

When he came home he mentioned that he wanted to try Camp Buck next, that it was "waaaay cooler!" And out in California - insert nervous mom!!

We had already used our JDRF scholarship (it allows full tuition to 1 camp of choice), so I made some calls and was able to get J a scholarship through the Nevada Diabetes Association! Talk about double blessings! J was going to be able to go to camp AGAIN! 

Now came the hard part... How would mom survive being 8 hours away from her baby boy? 

I didn't know the answer to that, and I still don't, but we did it, and survived!

Justice came back so happy, that it brought me to tears (even with a fractured growth plate in his arm, from football!). The first thing he said when he got off the plane was "mom I missed you!! I had the best time ever!".

The smile, and sense of pride in his eyes, reassured me that I made the right choice, no matter how hard it was for ME.

This isn't about me, this is about him and HIS disease.

Yes, I do a lot of the management and worrying, but it will never compare to what it's like to live with it.

He is already making plans to go next year, so come hell or high water, we will make it happen.

I want to thank JDRF for making the dream of attending his first camp a reality,  there is nothing I can say to show my true appreciation.

I want to thank the Nevada Diabetes Assocation and especially one of their staff members Tara for not only helping J get a scholarship for the second camp experience, but for making my son feel so at home. I can't even tell you how many times he said he loved her, and how thankful he is to know her.

Parents. I urge you, if your child wants to go to camp, LET THEM. It will empower them ( and you) in a way you never could have imagined.

I promise.
-Camp Vegas April 2014 - photo credit: NDA

-Camp Buck August 2014 - photo credit Justice 

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