|Top: Steven, Isla, Miguel, Andy, Kirsty, Lorna, Rory, Becky, Me|
Bottom: Amy, Claire and Magic
I got accepted as a volunteer at the 8-10 year old camp in Scotland, which was held in Ardentinny, Dunoon. I have never done anything with young people of this age before, and I had never met any of the other volunteers before arriving, so I was very nervous to start, but also really excited! At the camp I attended, which was for 16-18 year old, the young people were left to independently control our own diabetes, however I knew that on this camp the volunteers would have a lot more involvement in diabetes control.
|Me, Andy (volunteer) and Becky (student nurse)|
|Me and Becky (student nurse)|
The volunteers are filled with a mix of Health Care Professionals, including Diabetes Specialist Nurses, Doctors, a dietician and a student nurse, as well as volunteers living with diabetes. This camp also had a special guest: Claire (one of the organisers) had a diabetes alert dog, which all the young people (and volunteers) loved!
|Magic Alerting Claire|
|Isla and Magic in our room!|
|Me and Kirsty before going Rock Hopping|
|Kirsty bringing the energy to our group|
I have 4 words to describe the week: Loud, colourful, exhausting and priceless. Kirsty made team "Bob" so energetic, constantly singing, dancing and rallying the young people and me and Rory to participate in everything. We did so many amazing and challenging activities, such as Gorge walking, rock climbing, rock hopping and dragon boating, I was exhausted, let alone the young people! However Kirsty made sure there was never a lull and made sure we made the most of every moment!
|Team Bob's Trophy after we won the dragon boating competition!|
It was amazing to see how much the young people got out of the week, not being the only one having hypos, having to count carbs and give insulin. They were the majority for once, and it is priceless to see how none of them were ashamed about anything, just testing, taking insulin and never letting having type 1 hold them back, things which they may have hidden at home!
|Andy, Becky and I|
Volunteering on these camps was just as amazing as attending them. You still get a feeling of belonging from both the other volunteers and the young people, but you also get to see the young people grow in confidence throughout the week.
|Me and Kirsty posing as Rose and Jack|
If your thinking of volunteering on a camp, I would highly recommend it! Especially at Ardentinny, the team are amazing, as are the centre who accomodated us I am hoping to go back to Ardentinny as a volunteer again next year. I definitely have the camp blues after coming home!
If your thinking of sending your child to a camp, definitely consider Ardentinny. The young people are taken such good care of, and the food is scrumptious!
Until next time,