ALBANY -- Children with, or at risk of developing, diabetes will be able to interact with other children they can relate to, and at the same time, learn how to better take care of themselves through an upcoming day camp opportunity.
The Kidz With Diabetes (KWD) Camp is being conducted for the second year at the Albany Area YMCA on Gillionville Road from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. June 18-22.
The camp is being catered to children ages 8-13 who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome or have been told they are at risk for developing diabetes.
The YMCA has partnered with Phoebe Diabetes Care Center to conduct KWD. As part of that partnership, nurses will be on hand to monitor the campers' blood sugar -- and there will be a dietitian on site to consult on healthy eating, said Mary Ganzel, the staff member at the YMCA in charge of the camp.
Last year was the first year the camp was conducted, which at the time catered to children ages 6-14.
"We are doing a smaller age range," Ganzel said. "With the ages closer together, they will be better able to comprehend the information.
"We want to prevent it (diabetes) if at all possible."
Activities will include sports, games, arts and crafts, creative movement, movies, a turbo workout and a field day on June 22.
As for the educational aspect, there will lectures on weight management, blood glucose testing, the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, healthy meals and snacks, what to expect from a diagnosis, building self-confidence and the importance of exercise.
In addition, coordinators say there will be two evening family education sessions focusing on many aspects of diabetes, including the emotional ups and downs that children may experience.
"This is a great opportunity for individuals with children (with diabetes) to be in an environment with like children and to learn to (care for themselves long term)," Ganzel said. "After the camp (last year), we did a verbal survey and the kids said they thought it was great and that they had gotten to learn more (about diabetes)."
There may also be a showing of the 2004 documentary film "Supersize Me" by Morgan Spurlock, Ganzel said.
The Few Motorcycle Club Poker Run held earlier this year has allowed for full and partial scholarships for children with families of limited means to be able to attend the camp, officials say.
"(One of the members himself) has diabetes," said Ganzel. "They may have their Harleys out there at the camp."
Early drop off for the camp begins at 7 a.m., and late pick up will be until 6 p.m. There is a maximum capacity of 25 children for KWD, Ganzel said.
In the future, the goal is to have separate camps for different age groups, Ganzel added.
The fee is $79 for YMCA members, and $89 for non-members. The deadline to register is Saturday. For more information about the camp or its scholarship opportunities, call Ganzel at (229) 436-0531.