Hot Shots History
Camp Hot Shots is a camp for children ages 6 to 11 who have Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Having this disease means that their pancreas does not have the ability to produce insulin. Lack of care can cause a multitude of complications and increase the risk by fifty (50) percent for premature death. However, if tightly managed, these individuals can lead a normal and prosperous life. To do so, diabetics must check their blood sugars often with a glucose meter and take insulin injections multiple times each day and night. Often, these children are the only one in their school that has this disease. It can be difficult for the child to cope with diabetes. Hot Shots gives them a place to come where others like them have T1D. They learn how to better manage their disease in a safe and fun environment. There are no“days off” from diabetes.
Camp Hot Shots started over 15 years ago as an informal play date at a park. A mother of a young child with diabetes wanted her daughter to meet and interact with other children her own age facing the same challenges. She identified and contacted families with children who had diabetes to see if they would be interested in meeting at a play ground a couple of days. She had an overwhelming response. These gatherings were held at the park for several years and continued to grow in numbers and then became a more formalized camp. The camp was loosely organized, but had a Certified Diabetes Educator who volunteered to assist with any medical issues. Through a contest, the campers submitted names, put it to vote, and Camp Hot Shots was the chosen name.
Several years later, a mother and father attended camp with their daughter and recognized the need for structure, education and organization. The vision was to provide a safe environment for the children to meet others like themselves, learn from each other and receive cutting edge medical education to assist them in living a healthy, long, and prosperous life. On site medical care and education was to be delivered by health care professionals. For the past fifteen years, Camp Hot Shots has resided at Platte River State Park in Louisville, NE. The camp has a volunteer staff made up of a medical director, camp director, physicians, certified diabetes educators, nurses, dieticians, counselors and volunteers. Nearly 1,000 children have attended Camp Hot Shots in the last fifteen years. Each year the number of children with T1D continues to grow. The camp is run utilizing a committed volunteer staff of 40 with an annual budget around $20,000 dollars. Camp Hot Shots provides a safe environment, educational activities, snacks, meals and the ability for children to meet others with diabetes and make friends for life.
We are excited to announce that we are expanding our reach by sponsoring a Family Educational/Motivational T1D Summit in March. Mothers, Fathers, siblings, grandparents and care givers are encouraged to come together for a day of education and motivation to learn and share with others. The families will have an opportunity to listen to guest speakers share their stories, challenges and achievements of how they have learned to be successful in life with T1D.