For children living with a diagnosis of diabetes, com-munity support and education about proper disease management are critical for the mental and physical health of the child and their family. The experiences offered at summer camps hosted by the American Diabetes Association address both of these needs for the pediatric diabetes community. These camps provide children with the opportunity to participate in a traditional camp experience—swimming, rock climbing, tubing, and more—while giving parents peace of mind in the knowledge that their child’s diabetes will be closely monitored by a team of health care professionals. During my time as volunteer medical staff at the American Diabetes Association’s Camp John Warvel, I was given the unique opportunity to put into practice the topics taught in my pharmacy curriculum in a hands-on learning environment. As part of the camp medical staff, I was responsible for adjusting insulin doses, checking blood sugar levels, and treating episodes of low or high blood sugar. While campers were given the opportunity to make friends and learn about how to manage their diabetes, I was able to supplement areas of my education with real-world applications of content from my clinical courses. Camp John Warvel is a prime example of the incredible benefit that a service-learning experience can have for a student, particularly in a health care profession. I left Camp John Warvel with a rejuvenated passion for my profession that helped sustain me through my remaining years of school. I returned to my classes at Purdue with improved retention of my diabetes knowledge after using that information in a hands-on setting. My campers went home having formed lifelong friendships and a better understanding of diabetes management, with their eyes excitedly set on coming back to camp again next year.
"Pharmacy Students as Volunteer Medical Staff for American Diabetes Association Summer Camp,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 8
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol8/iss1/8