What made you decide to volunteer at Camp Hendon and how long have you been volunteering?
My dream career when graduating from nursing school and starting my journey at Norton Children’s Hospital was to be a diabetes educator. When I heard there was a camp dedicated to children with diabetes, I knew this was the place for me. I wanted to be able to learn as much as possible from the kiddos served at camp so that I could pass along their knowledge and skills to the families and children at Norton Children’s Hospital. I want to be the best educator I possibly can be, and this starts by learning from those that live with diabetes every single day. I am inspired by my friends at camp, the young AND the more experienced. I have been going to camp for most of the past several years.
What is your role at camp?
My role at camp is a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. AKA overseer of the medicines, insulin, tacklebox, and clipboard.
Why do you come back year after year? What do you get from camp or how has it impacted your life?
I think I addressed part of this in the first question, but every year I learn more about the impact of diabetes on the everyday life of our families. This equips me to better educate the families I see in the hospital on how to manage the diabetes after they are home from the hospital. I come back each year to keep up my learning. Camp is when I get the most hands on experience with technology of diabetes (CGM’s and Pumps). I also have the pleasure of talking with campers about their diabetes so that I understand more the feelings and emotions behind their diabetes which helps me to grow as an educator as well.
What is your favorite activity at camp and why?
My favorite camp activity has to be….gosh…this is a hard question!!! The entire week is packed full of so many incredibly fun activities. I definitely love to watch the talent show and enjoy the dancing. The nature hike though, that’s my jam. Playing in the water and being close to nature, I love that part of camp.
What are some things you have learned or taken away from camp?
I learn how to be a better person and a better diabetes educator by going to camp every year. I know how to teach the families at the hospital the skills and knowledge necessary to keep their family member or themselves safe and healthy at home because of everything I learn at diabetes camp.
What do you do in your real life when you’re not giving your time to Camp Hendon?
I am a mom of 3 lovely children ages 11, 5, and 2! They keep me quite busy, but I love planning adventures for our family. We will be going to Disney World this spring break! I also love to cook and bake, sometimes the family likes my experiments, and sometimes they don’t. Our newest favorite is cabbage steaks! We are in the process of building a house! We will hopefully be moved in sometime this spring which is super exciting!!
Do you have any skills or talents that many may not know about you?
I can play Mario like you wouldn’t believe. I’m also pretty good at Crash Bandicoot and Spyro if I may say so myself. (: