After more than 60 years of operation, Camp Sweeney is regarded as one of the largest and most effective diabetes educational facilities in the world. It offers the only 3-week residential diabetic life skills training program in the United States.
When a child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, his or her life is changed forever. Insulin injections, pump site changes, blood-sugar tests, and a diet plan become a part of the daily routine for a child with diabetes. Unfortunately, while many children know what is necessary to stay in good control of their condition, they find it hard to live the kind of regimented lifestyle which will allow them to live long and healthy lives.
Camp Sweeney believes that simply teaching children about diabetes is just not enough. Their goal is that every child who attends camp will not only learn about his or her condition, but will find the inner strength each day to do what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.
Campers learn to recognize and treat the early warning signs of dangerously high and low blood sugar levels. By coaching the skills necessary to maintain tight control of their diabetes, Camp Sweeney is equipping this generation to minimize the complications of diabetes in hopes that they will be good candidates once the cure for diabetes is available.
Every four campers have their own counselor, supported by a staff of medical students, resident physicians, attending physicians, dietitians, and a plethora of camp staff. A fully equipped hospital is located on the camp grounds to meet the daily medical needs of the children and to handle medical emergencies should they arise. There are also complete blood testing stations and the necessary medical supplies to provide immediate care at each camp activity site. These stations are connected directly to an onsite hospital and medical team who provide a 2 minute response time to any location at camp.
The only requirement to attend Camp Sweeney is that a camper has diabetes or is at risk of developing diabetes. No camper has ever been turned away because of race, religion, color, nationality or financial need. Camp Sweeney has served more than 30,000 campers since 1950.