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Our Mission

MISSION

Gales Creek Camp Foundation is dedicated to providing camp experiences for children, youth and families directly affected by type 1 diabetes. Through traditional and innovative camp programs designed around fun, we are committed to nurturing a positive attitude toward life and fostering the transition toward independence, integrating diabetes management and self-care skills with social and life skills.

VALUES

  • Children living with type 1 diabetes should expect to live full, healthy lives.
  • The rigors and stresses of living with type 1 diabetes can lead to feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and social isolation—but social connection with others, and especially with peers who share the same challenges, can lend perspective, provide emotional support, and lead to a more positive sense of identity.
  • Good diabetes management and self-care education is critical to minimizing the long-term health effects of type 1 diabetes.
  • Children living with type 1 have far fewer opportunities to spend time away from their primary caregivers—and this is can hinder their growth toward independence.
  • Camp gives children an opportunity to experience personal independence, form social connections of their choosing, and forge their own identities.
  • Positive role models play an essential role in the development of a healthy outlook on life.
  • All children living with type 1 diabetes, regardless of their economic situation, deserve the opportunity to experience the power and richness of overnight camp.
  • Parents, caregivers, and families of children affected by type 1 are also subject to higher levels of stress, anxiety and uncertainty, and they are fortified and supported by connecting with other families who share the experience of caring for a child with type 1 diabetes.
  • Diversity in our organization—from our camp participants and staff to our board of directors—is essential to ensuring our programs are accessible and relevant to all children and families affected by type 1 diabetes.
  • Transparency in our organization models honesty, fairness, and trust within our community.

VISION AND GOALS

FOR CHILDREN WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES

  • We strive to provide camping experiences that are equal to or better than those of non-diabetic camps by
    • Providing professional medical supervision for all camp activities.
    • Developing and maintaining medical protocols that allow campers to participate in high and low energy activities.
    • Ensuring programming is age-appropriate, relevant, and meets professional child-development and education standards.
    • Hiring qualified, enthusiastic, and diverse camp staff.
    • Training camp staff to be leaders, facilitators, and role models.
    • Making campers part our camp history, stories, and traditions.
    • Maintaining a safe and clean facility.
  • We strive to foster relationships that allow sharing and connecting on a personal level by
    • Dividing camp sessions by grade, ensuring children in specific developmental groups are given opportunities to recognize their own challenges in their peers.
    • Recruiting and retaining staff and volunteers who genuinely understand the challenges and share the experiences faced by those with type 1 and their families—including maintaining a pipeline for campers to become staff.
    • Giving staff and volunteers the training and tools to facilitate positive interaction among campers, to encourage sharing, and to help campers identify common type 1 life experiences.
    • Providing opportunities for individuals and families affected by type 1 to connect outside of summer camp.
  • We strive to provide health, nutrition, and lifestyle education that instill positive lifelong self-care habits by
    • Designing programs that incorporate diabetes management lessons into daily activities.
    • Emphasizing programming that values physical activity, demonstrating the essential role exercise plays in a healthy lifestyle.
    • Providing nutritious food options and modeling a well-balanced diet.
    • Recognizing and encouraging collaboration among campers in developing their own approaches in meeting the daily physical and mental challenges of type 1.
    • Providing indoor and outdoor experiences that engage the mind and body.
    • Engineering teachable moments into every camp day.

FOR FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES

  • We strive to support and connect parents, caregivers, and families affected by type 1 diabetes by
    • Providing opportunities to meet outside of camp and the summer camp season.
    • Developing and maintaining an opt-in directory of campers and families that facilitates communication outside of camp activities.
    • Providing resources, basic education, and on-site opportunities to interact for parents of our youngest campers during family camps.
    • Maintaining financial aid programs that ensure no child with type 1 diabetes is turned away for financial reasons.
  • We strive to provide a sense of belonging to a community of people affected by type 1 by
    • Sharing our camp history, stories, and traditions—connecting today’s type 1 families to our earliest type 1 families, situating them within an even larger community.
    • Offering campers and their families clothing, gear, novelties and toys with the distinct brand and identity of Gales Creek Camp.
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