Camping is awesome. I love it. But what's even cooler and more AWEsome is when those summertime camping adventures are all in the name of good causes.
Charity. Advocacy. Support. = Good Causes, indeed. Especially when you're talking about Diabetes, or other conditions that need to be cured and can use all of the help we may be able to offer.
Breast Cancer and Camping: Our recent weeklong adventure to Michigan was not only a time for relaxing and escaping from everyday stresses, but also a time to contribute to the Breast Cancer Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, which is an event featured on a page of its own - Causes to Care About. This is our camping cause because the trip organizer is one of several of my fraternity brothers and friends participating in the event on Aug. 13-15, 2010. Dubbing themselves Team Sisters, Misters, and Blisters, the group has pledged to walk more than 60 miles each to raise a combined total of $10,000. They're 53% in, and have a ways to go in the few weeks left before the event. So, not only did we have the regular camping adventures this year, but we also had the trip organizer and Walk Participant wearing t-shirts advocating for the upcoming event. He also mentioned his need to really start walking more to be ready, but it's to be determined on whether that goal will be met. Can't help with the exercise prep, but I do want to do what I can to help on the financial front. We pay some money for the camp site reservations and overall expenses, but any extra goes toward this great cause. I'd encourage anyone else to do whatever is possible - as this is something that not only touches those involved in the Michigan walk, but also nationally as it goes toward the greater good to combat breast cancer.
D-Camp Calendars: You may recall that I've blogged before about the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana's Camp Until A Cure, which is based in Noblesville on the northside of the city. I spoke there a few months ago from the perspective of an Adult Type 1, and recently was asked to return to participate in a cool fundraising idea that one D-Mom came up with. Her plan is to create the first-ever calendar about the camp for 2011, featuring a photo of a PWD or D-Family on each month's page in order to raise money for the camp. The photo shoot was July 17, that Saturday just before we left the state for our annual camping adventure. The mom has a photography passion and got some great shots around the site, and we had participants of all ages there to take part! Met some really cool people for the first time, and touched base with other familiar faces. A flyer I received says that 100% of the proceeds will go to provide scholarships to underprivileged children so they can attend what's the only locally-owned camp for Type 1 kids. Ads and sponsorships are possible, and any questions or followups can be directed to calendar designer Felicia Tindal (who's daughter was diagnosed in July 2009.) The calendars will be on sale at the DYFI's 9th annual dinner and silent auction on Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 and also on the organization's website.
"Sex, Drugs, & Rock N Roll": Not only is there a cool calendar coming out, but there's also word that the DYFI executive director wants to put together a Teen D-Camp Weekend in October. Some of us Adult Type 1s may go to camp to talk to the teens about various issues about getting into those early adulthood years while Living With Diabetes. More to come on that down the road...
Cynthia Kahn Memorial Scholarship for Extreme Weekend: The Diabetes Community lost a passionate advocate and leader earlier this year, when Cynthia Kahn died from her family suspects was a diabetic Low. I wrote a tribute about her here. On Thursday, Cynthia's family is assembling in Orlando for a memorial by the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine - where she had worked since March as head of public services for the Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library. But to the point of D-Camp, we reflect on Cynthia's passion for the Extreme Weekend for Children With Diabetes, a twice-a-year camp in northeast Maryland that is run by the non-profit group Adventures For The Cure and gives kids a chance to do intense sports while keeping up on D-Management. She'd twice volunteered as a camp counselor there for diabetic kids between 8 and 17, and leaders say she was instrumental in making the Extreme Weekend camp what it is today. Most recently in April, she had attended the camp and loved the experience, and she'd even wanted to start a similiar local camp like that in Orlando where she'd moved earlier this year. In her honor, the AFC has created a Cynthia Kahn Memorial Scholarship Fund to help children who cannot afford to attend the camp on their own without some financial assistance - the group webpage reports that about $2,300 has been raised so far. Another worthy D-Camp Cause.
Adult D-Camp: Finally, we have one that isn't focused on money. But rather, a concept pitched recently by beloved DOC member Sarah Jane (@sajabla), who runs Sarahndipity.She mentioned at a recent D-Summit that it would be SO COOL to have a D-Camp focused on Adult Type 1s, kind of like what many of us experienced as children. The concept was very much welcomed, and last I heard she was exploring the southern Missouri area and guaging response. We'll see what exciting things come from this, but it may be destined to be another great Camping For a Cause idea that gets many diabetics together for a fun time!
With so many great causes and other diabetes or condition-focused charities and organizations out there, it's refreshing to see some like this that can also embrace camping adventure. Hopefully, you can find some place to get both of those worlds, too!