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Camp Onyahsa to offer special Diabetes Camp for free to local children

May 19, 2016
Westfield Republican

DEWITTVILLE - YMCA Camp Onyahsa, established in 1898, to meet the needs of local youth, and has adapted to meet their changing needs since. This year, thanks to a sponsorship by Univera Healthcare, the YMCA will offer a special Diabetes Camp, starting on June 22, and concluding on June 25.

Onyahsa will launch a half-week of day or resident camping for local children who have Type-1 Diabetes. Moreover, with the support of local donors, this experience will be offered free of charge to full-time residents of Chautauqua County ages 7-13 who have been diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes.

This program will be led by Onyahsa's caring and committed staff, including long-time director Jon O'Brian. Trained camp staff will be assisted by a special medical team including a Diabetes RN, certified diabetes educator, and a dietician. This team will work under the coordination of an area physician.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Children play basketball at YMCA Camp Onyahsa, with picturesque Lake Chautauqua in the background. Camp Onyahsa will host a youth Diabetes Camp from June 22-25. This camp is free to local area youth, and will accommodate both a day and residential camping experience for children with Type I Diabetes along with their siblings and friends.

Campers will enjoy traditional organized camp activities such as swimming, boating, crafts, sports, Challenge Course, nature instruction, campfires, skits and much, more. Additionally, special activities including Diabetes Education, nutrition, and self-management skills will be offered. These activities help children who are affected by diabetes to lead healthier, happier, and more productive lives through good diabetes management and wholesome fun.

Attendees in this program will reside in Onyahsa's new year-round heated and plumbed cabins with specially-trained staff. Onyahsa is a 180-acre site on Chautauqua Lake, in Dewittville. It has undergone major renovations to add year-round cabins and facilities that help to make specialized programs like this possible during the summer months and across the school-year.

Non-diabetic siblings and friends may also attend during the same session, although they will reside in different cabins to facilitate late-night glucose checking. All campers will join together for daily recreational activities. Day campers will join the program from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Youth who have diabetes who "graduate" from this program by showing an acceptable level of self-management skills may return for full-week camping sessions during the remainder of the summer. The general camp program offers nine weeks of youth day and resident camping and concludes on Aug. 13.

O'Brian noted that "all youth can benefit from an appropriate organized camp experience, but unfortunately the closest program for youth who have diabetes is over 100 miles from Jamestown. Thanks to Univera Healthcare, a quality camp experience can now be enjoyed for the youth of Chautauqua County."

The Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA), of which Onyahsa is a member notes, "Kids love summer camp. Kids with diabetes are no exception. Diabetes camps are proven to improve disease self-care." The organization also notes that over 20,000 children in North America attend diabetes camps, and now local kids can do the same.

For more information on the camp's summer youth programs or its growing year-round offerings for children, teens, families, and groups, or to register for the Youth with Diabetes session, contact the Jamestown YMCA at www.onyahsa.org, office@onyahsa.org, or 664-2802.

 
 
 

 

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