Hello! My name is Maggie Epperson. A lot of you reading this probably know me because I was a Camp Hendon camper for ten years, and this summer will be my second year as a Camp Hendon Counselor. I am a freshman at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island majoring in Culinary Nutrition.
I’ll start by telling you a little of what that entails: My first trimester consisted of academic classes, English, math, nutrition, etc. Now I am in Culinary Labs. This consists of going into the kitchen for six hours a day cooking, moving, and loving every second of it as I chop, blanch, shock, deglaze, and everything else.
And here’s a secret: I almost didn’t come here. Yes, I was accepted and even had a scholarship. But I almost allowed Diabetes to get in the way of my dreams. I was terrified of going a thousand miles away from everything that I’ve ever known. Scared of leaving my support group that is Camp Hendon. Yes, I know that my camp family will always have my back, but I was scared. Still am, in fact.
The reason that I am here at JWU is because of an amazing lady named Melissa Kleber. If you are a camper you probably know her as “The Pump Lady.” I was in Dr. Foster’s office last spring, still debating whether I should go to Rhode Island, or choose a safer option closer to home. Melissa comes into the room, and after giving me a big hug and telling me how proud she is of me, and says: “ You’re going there right?”
I told her I was still thinking about it, and then proceeded to tell her more about JWU, how a lot of the chefs are Italian, how there are all these different clubs and opportunities, all with a huge smile on my face.
Again, she asks, “Why aren’t you sure?” I said, “Because I’m scared.” Her next words to me were “Be quiet, stop right now with the doubt, GO. If you need anything, and I mean anything at all, call me and I have your back.” A few days later, I let the world know through social media that I was going to Johnson and Wales and I was going to follow my dreams.
I almost let diabetes stand in the way of following my dreams. Not to say that I don’t have my bad days, or that it’s easy, because it’s not. In fact, a few weeks ago, I was in labs, it was the end of the day, and we were getting our plates for family meal. My blood sugar plummeted, I was shaking insanely bad ( Y’all don’t even want to know the number, it was BAD. Yes, Leslie, I know, yell at me later), and I spilled my entire plate of pot roast all over my apron and jacket. I was mortified and mad at myself that I did that. But as soon as I explained what happened, my friends in lab checked on me, grabbed me more bread, and showed me that they too had my back.
So yes, to those reading this, diabetes sucks. I will be the first to admit it. But you are not alone! I still talk to my Camp family quite often. My message here is to not let diabetes hold you back from following your dreams. You will have your bad days, as we all do, but each day you get to start anew and make it better. You will be surrounded by people you know and love, and who love you. I’m not perfect. I’m still scared that something bad will happen when I am in labs, but I am becoming confident. I know how to treat my lows and high,s and that if something does happen, I have friends that will make sure I am okay.
To conclude, follow your dreams, no matter what they are. Reach for the stars. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can hold you back except for yourself. Even then, if you are as lucky as I am, you will having someone, maybe from camp maybe not, telling you to be quiet and just GO.
To my Camp Hendon family: I love each of you so, so much, and wish you all the best until I see you this summer!
Originally posted by The MediStar Awards
Leslie Scott, PhD received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Gardner Webb University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Kentucky. She completed her doctorate degree in nursing, also from the University of Kentucky.
Scott is an associate professor in the College of Nursing, where she serves as coordinator for both the primary care and acute care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner tracks in their BSN-DNP program. She is a board certified, primary care pediatric nurse practitioner with almost 30 years' experience as a Certified Diabetes Educator.
Her clinical practice is in the pediatric clinic at the Barnstable-Brown Diabetes Center. She has provided diabetes care and education to children throughout Kentucky for almost 25 years and has volunteered as a nurse/nurse practitioner at Kentucky’s Diabetes Camp for Children, Inc. (Camp Hendon) for more than 20 years.
Describe your philosophy on your role as a nurse and the impact you have on patient care.
I think the primary role of a pediatric nurse is to empower children and families to learn and master the skills needed to foster normal growth & development and optimize health. Growing up having a mother with type 1 diabetes, I witnessed the daily struggles and long-term complications associated with developing this complex, chronic disease as a child. I want to encounter a generation of children who do not have the same struggles in managing their diabetes. Through education, support, and advocacy I strive daily to change the lives of children and families who battle the day-to-day challenges of managing type 1 diabetes during childhood and adolescence. Fortunately, I learned early in my nursing career that incorporating knowledge of childhood growth & development into the individualized education needs of the child with diabetes is key to their learning the self-care, management skills needed for optimal daily diabetes control.
What steps have you taken to improve the quality of care for the patient community?
Prior to 2014, there were children in Kentucky with type 1 diabetes prohibited from attending school or participating in school-related functions, if their school nurse was not available to administer insulin on a particular school day. Unfortunately, not every school in Kentucky has a school nurse. One advocacy effort gave me an opportunity to provide information to the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC) describing the inequities in access to safe education experienced by school-age children with diabetes. The findings reported by the Kentucky LRC provided fundamental information that endorsed legislative changes in the provision of school health services. During the legislative process, I was able to advocate on behalf of school-age children through efforts such as speaking to the Practice Committee at the Kentucky Board of Nursing, addressing the Kentucky Legislature in support of HB 98/SB 30, and serving on the School Advocacy Professional Panel for the American Diabetes Association.
How will the results of this initiative impact the healthcare community?
Kentucky legislative efforts lead to the amendment of two regulatory statutes in 2014, resulting in changes to the provision of school health services for children with diabetes in Kentucky schools. These legislated changes allowed insulin administration by trained, unlicensed school personnel in the absence of a school nurse. This one endeavor has probably been the most impactful change to improve care and access to a safe education for children with diabetes in Kentucky schools. Through these changes, more school personnel are trained to care for children with diabetes rather than relying exclusively on the school nurse or parent to provide diabetes-related care at school. Having more school personnel knowledgeable about diabetes care improves support and safety in school for all children with diabetes.
What accomplishments are you most proud of and how did it impact your patient(s)?
Numerous opportunities have arisen during my nursing career. I have been fortunate to be able to expand from my role as diabetes educator to a role in developing the next generation of pediatric care providers. Because of my development of the primary care and acute care pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) tracks within our BSN-DNP program, I have been able to merge clinical practice with teaching and mentoring of future pediatric care providers. Through my service with Kentucky’s Diabetes Camp for Children Inc., I have been able to provide an immersion experience for PNP students. Having a better understanding of the complexity of diabetes management in children may develop a more competent, compassionate provider. While I enjoy observing nurses develop advanced practice skills, witnessing a child grow, develop, and learn to self-manage their diabetes is an amazing experience. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that experience.
"Kentucky Agency Owner to Receive Governor's Service Award for Work with Kids with Diabetes"
Originally posted by The Source, Southern Region Agency News for Allstate Insurance
"If you have type 1 diabetes and you're a kid, what you get out of camp is transformational. You realize that you're not alone. there are lots of club members who are all in the same bucket, and it's so profound for these children. It's amazing."
Kentucky [Allstate] Agency Owner Bryan Fallon has been selected to receive a Volunteer Service Award at the 23rd Annual Governor's Awards for his continued work and dedication to Camp Hendon, a summer camp for children with Type 1 diabetes in Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and the surrounding area. Bryan was selected to receive this honor out of 70 nominations from around the state of Kentucky. Over the years, Bryan has recruited agents to help as a part of the Helping Hands program. Last year, he and 10 other agents raised $10,000 for Camp Hendon.
The camp's mission is to "give children with diabetes life-changing experiences, empowering them to take control of their journey with diabetes" by developing, enhancing and increasing their management skills such as "carbohydrate counting, self-monitoring of blood glucose, pattern management, insulin action and self-administration of insulin."
"When diabetes is in your face, it's not fun. Nothing about dealing with dynamic blood sugars is fun. If you're a kid, you're constantly wondering: What's going on in my life? Why am I this way? None of my friends have this. My friends are going to think I'm weird because I have to do this and that at school. At camp, it's not like that. Everyone is in the same bucket. It's so profound for these children. It's amazing."
Not only does Camp Hendon aim to foster camaraderie among campers, but also to offer parents a break from the daily concerns of raising a child with diabetes.
"Every night of a child's life that has type 1, the parent has to check their blood sugar or the child may not survive. It's very possible that the child could die if they don't make sure Jimmy is all right. When a parent sends their child to camp, we do rounds. Everyone gets checked. Their kids are safe, they're having a blast, and mom and dad get a break. If you know a kid that has type 1, demand their parents take them to camp. The more people know about getting kids with diabetes to a diabetes camp, the quicker these precious kids can take the chains of type 1 off themselves."
The Governor's Service Awards will take place the week of March 26 at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
If you are interested in participating in a service event with Bryan, you can email him for more information. You can also visit the Camp Hendon website, or contact camp staff Lori or Megan to learn about their various volunteer opportunities. With the Helping Hands grant, participating in an event with Camp Hendon for four hours is $1,000 for the organization to help transform a young child's life.
"It's in her blood: Prince follows in parents' footsteps, climbing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ranks"
Originally Posted by the Carrollton News Democrat | By: Tim Hendrick
Cartmell Elementary fifth-grader Brooklyn Prince is not your normal 10-year-old. First, she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when she was two years old. She has been wearing an insulin pump since she was three. But she hasn’t let that slow her down. She also is recognized nationally as an up-and-coming Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor with plans to compete in the national tournament in November.
Brooklyn is the daughter of Emily and Randall Prince. The family moved to Carroll County four years ago from West Virginia when Brooklyn’s dad came here to work for the now Dow Chemical site. Emily said there were a lot of reasons they moved to Carrollton from West Virginia. She said better schools, access to more diverse medical resources, family in the area and better Jiu Jitsu gyms were among the reasons.
A good gym is important when you are literally born into the sport. Randall was a wrestler during his scholastic career and he became interested in Jiu Jitsu when Emily was pregnant with Brooklyn, so Brooklyn has been around the sport her entire life.
Randall is working towards his black belt, which Emily said could take 10 or more years. Emily said there are not many belts to achieve, so getting to the highest-ranking belts is literally called a journey.
“My dad started teaching me the basics when I was little,” Brooklyn said. “He would be training and show me what he was doing.”
Brooklyn currently holds a grey belt and trains at Oldham County Martial Arts Academy with Aaron Burgin. Emily said they could not say enough nice things about Burgin. “He has been great to Brooklyn.”
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is derived from Japanese disciplines. Emily said in the grand scheme of martial arts BJJ is relatively new, having existed for less than 100 years.
BJJ is ground fighting and is derived from judo because it uses throws to take someone to the ground and then uses Jiu Jitsu to take the opponent to submission.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the basis for Mixed Martial Arts fighting. It promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves or another against a bigger, stronger, heavier assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint locks and chokeholds to defeat the opponent.
While Brooklyn has been around the sport all her life she has just begun to compete. She has been going to tournaments for a little over a year, Emily said. She had advanced very quickly and surprised many with how quickly she has progressed.
The Prince family has traveled to tournaments in West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana and plans to compete in the national tournament in California in the late fall. There is a national tournament coming up this month, but Brooklyn is not ready for it just yet, Emily said.
Tournament matches for youth are set up when the competitors have weighed in. The classes are divided up by weight and age. Emily said there is never any pressure to make weight like there is in wrestling.The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation has unified the scoring system.
Emily said the matches in a tournament could last as long as 5-6 minutes depending on the format. Competitors earn points or end the matches upon submission.
“I like the longer matches because it is more difficult to get submission in the shorter matches,” Brooklyn said. “Winning a points match is not as much fun. I want my opponent to tap out [submit].”
Emily said the scoring is similar to a wrestling match. Competitors get points for technique, but submission is the same as a pin, it cancels the points.
Brooklyn has won six silver medals in her last six tournaments over the last six months. Emily said she will earn a gold medal in the near future.
Brooklyn is not training as much right now to give her body a chance to grow and prevent burnout. She is training three hours a week right now, but she will go back to six to eight hours a week before long.
Brooklyn also suffered a concussion six months ago. She was picked up in an illegal move and slammed to the mat. Emily said just like any sporting event, some of the tournaments are run better than others.
Brooklyn currently weighs 98 pounds and said she weighed between 85 and 95 in the tournaments over the last six months. Her mom said she is going through a growth spurt right now.
At 10 years old Brooklyn has sponsors: Breakpoint and CK Fightlife. They pay for training, entry fees, gear and travel to the tournaments.
Both of Brooklyn’s parents are coaching in the new Carroll County Parks and Recreation wrestling program. Emily said they are so excited to have this program here. Brooklyn wrestled in the Oldham County Youth Colonels program. Randi Miller was her coach and she was a women’s wrestling bronze medalist in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Emily said there are new women’s college wrestling programs and there are lots of college scholarships available. Emily described Brooklyn as quiet and artistic. She likes creating art and playing the drums. Her mom said she is a good student and is good at math and science.
Brooklyn said she also was becoming interested in animation. Brooklyn is in Samantha Abercrombie’s fifth-grade class.
“Brooklyn is so strongly determined in everything she does,” Abercrombie said. “When she develops an idea of how she thinks something should be, she works to make it happen.”
When asked if Jiu Jitsu training has helped with her focus and work ethic, Abercrombie said, no doubt.
“Brooklyn takes the time to see the fine details and reasoning behind things,” she said. “I absolutely believe her Jiu Jitsu training has helped her refine those skills.”
The Princes have four children. “The plan was to space them out every four years,” Emily said. “The second oldest is a daughter, Tristen, 7, a son Harper who will be three in about a week and the youngest son, Logan, who is one year old and was a slight surprise. All the children train with us.”
Emily summed up Brooklyn’s Jiu Jitsu training saying it is nice to know that your child is bully proof.
Local nonprofit brings summer camp to kids with Type 1 Diabetes in eastern Kentucky
(LOUISVILLE, Ky., February 5, 2018) The Anthem Foundation is teaming up with Camp Hendon, the Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, to bring a life-changing summer camp program for children with Type 1 diabetes to the eastern region of Kentucky. The Foundation’s contribution of $25,000 will support Camp Hendon’s growth and expansion from their current weeklong program at Camp Loucon in Leitchfield, KY to an additional week of programming at Aldersgate Camp in Ravenna, KY.
“Camp Hendon would cease to exist without the support of organizations like the Anthem Foundation. As a nonprofit, we rely entirely on donors and volunteers to keep our doors open and to provide kids with Type 1 diabetes the opportunity to learn how to manage their diabetes with more independence,” says Executive Director Megan Cooper.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic auto-immune disorder where the pancreas fails to produce insulin that is vital to processing sugar in the body. Improper management of Type 1 diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications. The “Diabetes Camp Matters” study by Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell at the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago shows that attending three or more week-long diabetes camping programs can significantly improve outcomes for children battling the disease.
“What happens at Camp Hendon is more than just a fun week of summer camp,” explains Cooper. “We are connecting our campers with other kids going through the exact same struggle. At camp, they aren’t seen as ‘the diabetic’ because here they are just like everyone else. Not to mention the relief provided to parents for that one week out of the year.”
Anthem Foundation Program Manager Morgan Coleman says supporting Camp Hendon is a part of the Foundation’s Healthy Generations program. “The Anthem Foundation teams up with nonprofit organizations across the state of Kentucky that share our commitment to creating a healthier generation of Americans. Over the years, Camp Hendon has shown true dedication to their campers and families and the Foundation is proud to be a part of their growth.”
About the Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, Inc. dba Camp Hendon
Camp Hendon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, tax ID 27-3619275. Our mission is to give children with diabetes life-changing experiences, empowering them to take control of their journey. 2018 summer sessions will take place from July 1 – July 6 at Camp Loucon in Leitchfield, Kentucky and from July 15 – 20 at Aldersgate Camp in Ravenna, Kentucky. Children ages 8 to 17 with diabetes are welcome and financial aid is available. Visit us online for more information at www.CampHendon.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
"Volunteer Experience Surveys: How Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children Uses Surveys to Improve and Understand the Volunteer Experience"
Originally Posted on QuestionPro.com | By: Vivek Bhaskaran, Founder of QuestionPro & Instigator in Chief for startups like IdeaScale, TryMyUI and Lander
About Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, aka Camp Hendon:
Based out of Louisville, KY, the Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, aka Camp Hendon, operates life-changing summer camp programs for children with diabetes. Apart from two paid, year-round employees, Camp Hendon is run exclusively by volunteers in their spare time. In 2017 they welcomed a record high of 136 campers – which required 97 volunteers to stay with them for a whole week of the diabetes camp. Not only did these volunteers give up a week of their summer, but they also spent 4th of July at the camp. Camp Hendon exists because of the unconditional support of the volunteers who devote their time and energy to helping the children.
Why did Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children require volunteer experience surveys platform and how did they implement it?
Considering the fact that they survive on volunteer support, implementing volunteer experience surveys are key. These surveys are integral in knowing whether the volunteers are keen on coming back year after year, collecting suggestions to improve the volunteering experience by asking effective volunteer experience questions, and they’re essentially a source of encouragement from the volunteers who would like Kentucky Diabetes Camp to strive and achieve greater heights.
After their week of summer camp concluded, they started the search for a comprehensive volunteer experience survey tool that they could offer beneficial volunteer experience survey examples to get feedback from their volunteers.
Megan Cooper, Executive Director of Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children shared with us how relieved they were to stumble upon QuestionPro, as it allowed them to collect feedback from their volunteers by asking them detailed volunteer experience questions in a customizable format. Kentucky Diabetes Camp can now incentivize and reward them for their participation with a gift card, which is a huge bonus! In addition to surveying their staff, they started sending out surveys to their camp families; as feedback from parents is equally valuable to them. Families were able to talk to their children, and campers, about their experience which in turn helped Camp Hendon to make improvements every year.
Megan said, “Next summer, Kentucky Diabetes Camp is thrilled to be expanding the camp to a second week in a new location. With the long hours and seemingly infinite number of details to consider with this expansion, it is so nice to know that we have a robust, customizable, reliable tool to send out volunteer experience surveys and also to collect the responses from the parents. Thank you QuestionPro for taking the stress out of at least one item on my to-do list!”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, Inc. - Camp Hendon - has been designated as a BBB Accredited Charity by the Better Business Bureau serving Louisville, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky.
Achieving BBB Charity Accreditation means that an organization has met BBB’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. The rigorous review process examines a charity’s governance, finances, solicitation practices and more to see if the organization meets these 20 holistic standards. The result is an online BBB report that donors can view to help them in their charitable giving decisions.
Only charities that meet all 20 standards are designated as a BBB Accredited Charity.
"Working with the Better Business Bureau to achieve accreditation was a huge milestone for Camp Hendon," said Executive Director Megan Cooper. "With our current expansion and growth, it is vital to show potential funders that Camp Hendon is a reputable non-profit worthy of their support. The BBB accreditation does just that."
Camp Hendon's full charity report can be found online at bbb.org or give.org.
(Louisville, KY) Camp Hendon, the Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, Inc. is pleased to announce Megan Cooper as its new executive director. Cooper will be responsible for guiding and expanding the organization, which empowers and changes the lives of children with diabetes in the Kentucky region.
Cooper comes to the organization with a range of experience from marketing and advertising, to early childhood education. She received a nationally ranked Entrepreneurship MBA from the University of Louisville, and was named a Forcht Entrepreneurship Fellow for outstanding creation and presentation of a new venture business plan. Most recently Cooper worked as an Account Manager with Louisville-based marketing and advertising agency, Cultivate Advertising. With a passion for social enterprise and a love of children, Cooper felt the opportunity with Camp Hendon was a perfect fit.
“I am thrilled to begin this new adventure with Camp Hendon. Being part of an organization that fosters such an important and empowering learning environment for these kids is incredibly humbling,” says Cooper. “Camp Hendon is experiencing an impressive period of growth in terms of the number of children served, and community awareness of our organization. Jumping in during this critical time of expansion and evolution is very exciting for me,” she added.
Bryan Fallon, founding member and Chairman of the Board of the Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children, is equally excited. “Camp Hendon recently formed a partnership with the Lift a Life Foundation which allowed an enormous increase in capacity. Within 10 years, we want 20% of kids with Type 1 diabetes in the Kentucky region to attend three camp sessions. Studies show that after just three sessions, kids’ lives are dramatically changed. Using her skills, drive, and tenacity, Megan will be challenged with leading Camp Hendon into this incredible phase of growth. I couldn’t be happier that she joined our team,” said Fallon.
About Camp Hendon, the Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children
Camp Hendon educates, empowers, and inspires children living with Type 1 diabetes. Our programs transform lives, and enable the children we serve to develop diabetes management skills. Not only do they gain knowledge that will help them grow into healthy adults, but almost more important are the relationships they build with other “T1D club member” children. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Camp Hendon conducts diabetes camping and related programs primarily devoted to children, teens, and their families in the Kentucky region.
Visit us at www.CampHendon.org for more information.
Executive Director, Camp Hendon