What made you decide to volunteer at Camp Hendon and how long have you been volunteering?
It wasn’t much of an intentional decision since I had been a camper since I was 10 years old. Becoming a CIT (counselor in training) and then an adult counselor just seemed like the right next step to a 16 year old since camp was such a fun and meaningful experience as a camper. Now, staying committed to volunteering for 26 years in a row (2021 willing!) has been an intentional decision and I make it a priority to make time for camp and the other KYDCFC activities.
What is your role at camp?
With 31 years of camp under my belt, if you don’t have to have a license I’ve probably done it twice. Most recently I’ve helped restart the CIT program which leaves me time and flexibility to lend a hand to staff wherever help is needed. Anymore, the only “role” I try to ensure I play is facilitating the “spirit” and traditions of camp…..sharing with new staff why we do what we do and why it matters, ensuring campers feel the connectedness to the camp family on our last night, etc.
Why do you come back year after year? What do you get from camp or how has it impacted your life?
I love to help others have a meaningful experience, but I think in the end I still manage to receive more than I give. It’s 100% a symbiotic relationship, LOL.
What is your favorite activity at camp and why?
Our closing ceremony. You just know camp has made an impact on the campers and the staff.
What are some things you have learned or taken away from camp?
Everyone’s journey with diabetes is different, and yet the same. Even as an adult it’s nice to know you have peers and a support system that knows when to commiserate and when to give you a little….um….motivation when needed.
What do you do in your real life when you’re not giving your time to Camp Hendon?
I spent 17 years working for nonprofits and associations, mostly in leading continuing education departments. In January I started my own consulting practice focused on credentialing, competency, and workforce development initiatives.
My spouse, Emily, and I live in Columbus, Ohio and have 5 year old twins named Logan and Lilly and a beagle named Marie (Rierie).
At what age were you diagnosed?
July 12, 1980. 15 months old.
Favorite low treatment snack?
Oreos, which are a terrible treatment choice.
Are you on a pump &/or CGM? If so, which ones?
Tandem tslim x2 and the dexcom G6 for the hybrid closed loop system which is a life changer!
What is hard for you? How do you manage it?
After 40 years letting yourself get too comfortable and being on auto-pilot is my challenge. I get sloppy with carb counting and then get frustrated with the results. Camp is a really good refresher on real world challenges.
Favorite tip for dominating T1D when you have diabetes burnout?
Acknowledge it, give yourself permission to be burned out. This is the most important marathon we’re ever going to run and it’s really a psychological marathon with yourself. When I’m lost in it and it feels overwhelming I commit to one thing a week to focus on to get back on track. “OK this week it’s carb counting, pay attention to portion sizes. Ok it’s next week, focus on bolusing before you eat. OK, we’re good now Josh this week don’t eat the whole pack of oreos at 3am.” Sometimes it’s the little things.
Do you wear a medical ID?
I wear a necklace; I lost the charm so I need a new one.
Do you have any skills or talents that many may not know about you?
I taught myself to juggle when I was little because I thought it’d be on the entrance exam to clown college. True story.