Hot Shots Overview
Diabetes is the single largest cause of blindness, non-traumatic amputation, kidney disease and failure in the United States. It is the fifth leading cause of death. These are startling statistics.However there is hope, a diabetes outcomes study done by Camp Joslin showed that participation in diabetes camping programs for multiple years has a positive impact on a campers lifelong health. Hot Shots mission is to empower youth living with T1D today to manage their disease and live a healthy, happy life. In 2014, we will be offering diabetes camps for children, a winter educational/motivational family summit and several outings focused on young adults with diabetes. This will be the sixteenth year that Hot Shots has been providing educational and networking opportunities for children and young adults with diabetes in Nebraska and Southwest Iowa. We are very proud to say that one hundred (100%) of the money donated to Hot Shots stays here in our community to help our children and young adults with diabetes. Camp Hot Shots is a not for profit 501(c)3 charity.
We have dedicated and loyal volunteers, many who have been with
Hot Shots for sixteen years. The majority of our counselors at camp were previous campers. We also have the support of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. We have endocrinologists, certified diabetes educators, physicians, nurses, dieticians, interns and many other volunteers who support our events.
Our camping program is held at Platte River State Park in Louisville, NE. We have 60 – 75 children with T1D ages 6-11 attend each year. Our volunteer camp staff is comprised of Counselors (many who have been previous campers), endocrinologists, physicians, certified diabetes educators, dieticians and additional volunteers. We have approximately 40 volunteers for the camping program. We are planning on adding a second session this year because of the growing need to educate additional children in our community. There is a parent/camper information night the evening before camp where parents and campers can meet the staff and get aquainted with the facility. They also have an opportunity to meet with representatives from the diabetes industry to stay current on existing and new products and information.
The activities at camp include educational sessions on nutrition and diabetes medical care. The campers also enjoy horseback riding, archery, crafts, hiking, swimming and special guest presentations. The campers learn the proper way to manage their diabetes by learning when to check blood sugars, how often to check blood sugars, how to correctly handle a low or high blood sugar and what to do when an insulin pump site comes out or becomes blocked to list a few. The power of observation and participation is priceless.
One of the most important things that camp provides the camper is a fun and safe place to go where other children are dealing with the same disease. Most of these children are the only ones in their school who have diabetes. No one at school can understand the daily challenges and the responsibility these kids have. There is never a day off with diabetes. Friendships are made at Camp Hot Shots that last a lifetime.
Family Motivational/Educational T1D Summit
The Winter Family Educational/Motivational Summit is focused on bringing the families of children with T1D together. We encourage mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and caregivers to come together for a day of education and motivation. They come learn and share with others. Families will have an opportunity to listen to guest speakers share their stories, challenges and how they have learned to be successful in life with T1D. There are also question and answer sessions with health professionals and others from our diabetes community. The Summit provides an opportunity for families to meet each other and build a network of others they can reach out to for support.
Young Adult Programs
The young adult outings provide an opportunity for individuals to meet others with T1D, build relationships and learn from each other. This is a challenging age group who is transitioning from a child to a young adult. There are not have many opportunities in the diabetes community for this age group to stay connected. We are providing these activities to give them an opportunity to meet other young adults with T1D and stay connected. Again, learning from each other’s trials and errors and counting on each others support.