Camp FAQs

To help you feel prepared for camp, answers to some of our most frequently asked questions are below. If you don’t see your question or want to discuss a topic further, please call or email us ahead of time.

What activities will my child be doing at camp?

We offer lots of fun activities at all of our programs! Details vary slightly depending on the camp's location, focus, and age range. You can learn more about each program here.  

Who are the staff and volunteers? Are they trained to work with my child and manage diabetes?

Staff and volunteers come to us from all over the country. They include teachers, college students, recent high school graduates, psychologists, pediatric endocrinologists, residents, interns, and nurses. About 70% of the staff and volunteers have diabetes while the other 30% has experience in diabetes through friends and/or family. All counseling and program staff at summer programs undergo an intensive training that focuses on everything from child development to conflict resolution to program leadership to diabetes “tricks of the trade.” Our staff and volunteers are highly dedicated to our participants, with many of them being past campers and having grown up coming to DYF programs. They will make every effort to ensure that your child has an incredible, exciting, and memorable experience.

Are DYF programs accredited?

Yes! Bearskin Meadow Camp undergoes a rigorous accreditation process of over 300 standards set by the American Camp Association to ensure that we are complying with health, safety, and program standards.

While our other programs are not officially accredited by American Camp Association we utilize the same safe methods and policies across all of our programs.

DYF is also a founding member of the Diabetes Education & Camping Association which brings diabetes camps from around the United States together to share best practices and learn from one another.

What is your staff to camper ratio?

Our average staff to camper ratio is 1:3

What diabetes supplies should I bring?

Camp provides a majority of diabetes supplies. Please consult your packing list for specific information and feel free to give us a call if you have specific questions.

Do you allow cell phones at camp?

Currently we do not allow cell phones at independent camps (where kids and teens come without their parents) Please review our Cell Phone Policy from 2021 for more detailed information and note that this policy may be updated for the 2022 season.

Please note that there is no cell service and very limited internet access at Bearskin Meadow Camp.

Can my child pack their own food and drinks?

We ask that you please do not bring any of your own food or drinks unless you have already spoken with the Camp Director and made a special arrangement. Due to a wide variety of food allergies we must be careful about what food products are on camp. We also have lots of friendly critters in our forested environment and additional food attracts them onto living areas. We will have lots of food served at camp, and our kitchen is always happy to provide snacks (carb-free or carb-full based on time of day and request).

My child is going to camp on their own for the first time; can they call me if they get homesick?

Missing home is a normal part of summer camp whether a camper is new or returning. Children who call their parents when they are severely missing home tend to exhibit increased upset and anxiety and therefore under most circumstances, we do not allow children to call home during camp. Counselors are trained to deal with missing home by engaging children in favorite activities, writing letters home, and talking about their feelings. If your child continues to exhibit signs missing of home, a call will be placed to you by a staff member and appropriate steps will be taken in partnership with you, the parent.

I am concerned about the blood sugar checking, meal times, and insulin times being so different at camp than our routine at home. How will this affect my child’s diabetes?

While your child is at camp they will be introduced to new routines and experiences. We will work with your child to make them feel comfortable with the new routine. We believe that change in routine is a great skill for campers with diabetes to learn as they go from school, to summer, back to school and in all of life’s adventures. You may find that your child’s blood sugars may run lower or higher at camp than they do at home due to many variables including change in altitude, exercise, wake-up and bed-times, and generally being in a new environment with new people. We will be closely monitoring your child throughout the week. Your child is free to check their blood sugar at additional times whenever they feel the need or would like to.

How are you handling new diabetes technology? Will my child be able to use their current systems at camp?

We are excited to welcome the new changes and advancements in diabetes tech! Please read our Diabetes Technology Guidelines from 2021 so that you and your child know what to expect at camp. This document will be updated for the 2022 season to reflect the most current technologies. 

Will my child’s blood sugar be checked during the night?

At Independent Camps, counselors will check every camper’s blood sugar every night between midnight and 1am. They will dose or feed as appropriate to ensure campers are at a safe range overnight.

Can I see pictures while my child is at camp?

We do our very best to post regular updates and photos to our Facebook and Instagram accounts, but please be patient with us as the internet capabilities in the mountains are poor and it takes a lot of time to upload a single image.