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Camp helps children with diabetes (6-20-00)

Through July 1, parents have the opportunity to register their children for "Camp Independence of San Antonio," a unique five-day camping experience for children with diabetes. The camp will be offered from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 24-28 on the campus of St. Mary’s Hall School. The director is Mark M. Danney, MD, and the medical director is Daniel E. Hale, MD, both from the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Children with diabetes mellitus may find themselves excluded from summer camps because of their special health requirements. Overnight camps for these children have been established, but the number of spaces for campers is limited. Camp Independence was established in 1987 to broaden the camping experience for these children.

Health professionals, educators and parents of children with diabetes provide staff supervision throughout the program. Activities include recreational swimming, physical education, arts and crafts, and diabetes education. Special events include guest speakers and environmental demonstrations.

"While providing an enjoyable camping experience and safe environment away from home, the camp also provides a respite for parents and helps children to achieve independence and self-discipline in their approach to life with diabetes," Dr. Hale said.

Diabetic children ages 4 and older and siblings ages 7 and older are eligible to attend. Teenagers who will enter the ninth grade this fall are eligible to serve as counselors-in-training. The camper registration fee is $75.

Sponsors include the University Health System Foundation and Howl at the Moon, which is raising funds for the camp through a golf tournament.

For a camp application, call the director at 830-981-8297 or send e-mail to <danney@pol.net>. Applications and registration fees must be received by July 1.

Contact: Will Sansom