DENVER (CBS4) – For the first time in Denver, the American Diabetes Association put on a summer day camp. For many of the campers it’s their first day camp experience.

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Field games are a right of passage during the hot summer months. From new games like Noodle Ninja Tag to the traditional three-legged race, summer camp is the place to go to make friends and learn new skills.

“Once I got diabetes, I started like getting like blocked out of camps because I have Type 1,” said Annika Reeder-Holman, a 13-year-old counselor in training at the ADA’s Camp DX.

Many day camps will turn down children with medical diagnoses because of the level of medical care they need and the legal liability the camp faces if something were to go wrong.

“That made me feel really sad. I mean not being allowed to go to a summer camp which is something you should be able to do,” Reeder-Holman told CBS4.

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At the ADA’s Camp DX, insulin pumps are part of the wardrobe, testing blood sugar is a regular activity, and the emergency medical kits are stocked with sugar snacks.

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“They’re giving us so much more than just their child. They’re giving us this responsibility that weighs on them 24-hours-a-day, 7-day-a-week,“ said Emily Fay, the director at Camp DX.

Most of the counselors have diabetes. There are doctors and nurses on staff. And the campers show off their healthcare hardware like prize possessions.

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Seventy-seven children, ages 5 to 11, got the full camp experience, except the songs, the snacks, and even the activities have diabetes built into them. The ADA hosted week-long day camps in Denver, Loveland, and Colorado Springs this summer. They hope to expand the program next year.

LINK: Register for Tour de Cure

You can support the American Diabetes Association by signing up and raising money for Tour de Cure. The run, walk, bike event is coming up Saturday, Sept. 9.


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