We made it to North Oxford, Massachusettes, safe and sound. We pulled into the Clara Barton Center’s (CBC) parking lot and were greeted by two Leaders in Training who merrily instructed us where to park and check in.
Upon checking in, Caleb and I met with several members of their staff including the medical counselors and the food specialists. David, Colin and Lila went back to the truck to bring our stuff to the cabin.
Caleb has never been to “just kid” camp, but I’m pretty sure there was a calmness and casualty of family camp that regular camp does not have. There are less people there in general and since most families have only one member who lives with type 1 diabetes, there are far fewer T1Ds for which they need to review care details.
Check in was pretty painless. Everyone was very friendly. The food specialists were happy to learn that although Caleb’s medical records note him as being allergic to EVERYTHING – yes his blood work shows that he is allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and everything else they test for – that he is, in fact, only allergic to peanuts. (I hadn’t realized that part of his medical records had been sent over in advance).
We were assigned to Rainbow Ridge cabin and Caleb and I headed over to reunite with the rest of the family. We thought Rainbow Ridge was pretty spectacular.
As we unloaded our stuff, we got acquainted with four of the five counselors, all of whom live with type 1 diabetes and are long time campers of CBC, and would be bunking in the loft of our cabin. We shared the cabin not only with them, but with two other families. A mom and dad with a 9 year old girl and a mom with her two kids, a 9 year old girl and 6 year old son. Both girls were living with type 1 diabetes and actually met in the hospital at diagnosis.
Next, Colin, Caleb and Lila took their swim tests and got their safety wristbands showing their level of swimming expertise. Caleb still speaks of the one minute of water treading and “tough”.
We then went out to “Lower Rec” where other counselors and family members were gathering and partaking in ice breaking activities. We learned songs and games and I felt like a bit of a fool running around and holding hands with strangers. Like Harry Potter thinking “Not Slytherin”, I was thinking “please, please don’t pick me for ‘Duck, Duck, Barton’, because I really don’t want to have to get up and run around this big circle or fumble all the names of the people that we are trying to learn.” I know I sound like a child. The good news is, the actual children of my family were having fun and that made me happy. And no, I didn’t get “Bartoned”. (Yay me!)
From there, the evening went as follows:
- BGMs and Insulin (more on that in a later post).
- Dinner, complete with song chanting and table banging.
- Banana Olympics.
- Camp fire, complete with campy songs and more songs.
- BGMs, insulin and snack back in the cabin.
You haven’t heard of Banana Olympics, you say? Well neither had I. Each cabin adopted a banana, decorated it, named it and took it through a series of courses culminating in a huge catapult. Any bananas that survived the events deemed their owners winners! There was a single banana survivor caught in the shirt of a very agile and committed dad. Ours met with a different fate after its catapult. It was a hoot to see the counselors dressed in their scrubs to attend to the injured bananas.
So that is the beginning of our stay at the Clara Barton Center. I have several more posts planned that will touch upon various aspects and highlights of our DCamp experience, rather than a day by day play by play like this one. I just wanted to get started with the nitty gritty for those of you who are like I was, curious about every single detail of how this marvelous camp experience works. Plus, we were all in a little bit of camp culture shock, so for the first day at least, we kindof just went through the motions.
To be truthful, my nitty isn’t so gritty, so if you have any questions as we go along, please feel free to ask and I will happily respond.