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Kids in control

Camp Hickory Hill focuses on fellowship and teaching kids how to deal with diabetes
Sunday, July 1, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:56 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008
Campers and counselors at Camp Hickory Hill head up to the blood shed to check their blood sugar levels after their outdoor activities on Friday. Twenty-five children, ages 8 to 12, came out this past week to attend the camp, where children have fun while learning how to manage their diabetes.

As the rain let up on Friday afternoon, the children at Camp Hickory Hill enjoyed some outdoor games on their last full day of camp. The purpose of the Central Missouri Diabetic Children’s Camp, more commonly known as Camp Hickory Hill, is to educate children with diabetes about the illness and how to manage their own care.

It’s a place kids can meet other kids who have diabetes while learning how their daily activities affect their blood sugar levels, an important aspect of managing diabetes.

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“Our job is to teach kids how to measure food,” said camp volunteer Doug Phillips.

Phillips, whose son Ethan has diabetes, saves up his annual vacation days to help with the camp.

The days start at 7:30 a.m. with the children checking their blood sugar. Breakfast is followed by one hour of class taught by educators such as Danita Rife, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator. Rife, who has helped every year with the camp, says it’s a rewarding experience.

“This is a place where they can really appreciate they’re not alone,” she said.

The kids participate in many activities throughout the day on the 77 acres of land owned by the nonprofit organization.


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