Kids with Type 1 Diabetes attend Camp UPeninsulin in Hiawatha Township

The five-day summer program allows boys and girls have fun while also connecting about their experiences with Type 1 Diabetes
This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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HIAWATHA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Kids with Type 1 Diabetes are spending the week at a summer camp in Hiawatha Township.

At least 28 boys and girls from in and outside the U.P. are taking part in Camp UPeninsulin, a more than a decade-old program located next to Clear Lake. Everyone attended for free thanks to grants and donations. Marquette’s Luke Perroud returned for the second straight year.

“I get to be around other people that know what it’s like having [Type 1 Diabetes]. I came back because of all the fun activities we did, [and] all of the counselors are really nice,” said Perroud.

The campers ages 8-14 participated in activities, such as tie-dye, arts and crafts, and “the lifeblood of the camp”: Four Square. Camp Director Chris Alderton said it was about kids not having to worry about being alone on their diabetic journey.

“Our goal is to have kids from all over the U.P. come here and connect, but have a full camp experience without not worrying about carrying sugar tabs and blood sugar meters. They just go ahead and be kids,” Alderton said.

Everyone also learned different tips from each other about taking care of their diabetes. First-year camper Aria Clements thought it was important to go.

“I wanted to get to know other diabetics because it’s really nice knowing that there are people going through the same thing you are,” Clements said. “I’m learning about different people’s experiences about going through diabetes.”

Alderton, who is a Type 1 Diabetic herself, said this camp is personal.

“When I was younger, my mom took me to a diabetic camp, and I learned I wasn’t the only one,” said Alderton. “But, I also learned how to manage my own diabetes and learned how to do my shots. So now as camp director, I want to take my personal experience and give it to the kids.”

All of the campers said they are looking forward to returning next summer, as well as welcoming new faces to the Camp UPeninsulin family.

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