Camp FAQs


DASH programs are for youth ages 6-18 living with type 1, type 2 or pre-diabetes, friends and family members without diabetes and anyone in the local community whom wants to join. DASH Campers will play a variety of sports depending on the field space, including but not limited to soccer, baseball, football, basketball, dodgeball, DASH Olympic games, capture the flag and others. In addition to the rotation of sports, we include basic diabetes education in forms of carbohydrate counting, type awareness, stress management and empowerment through music, art, theatrical activities and community health advocacy.

Parents and loved ones (known as Type 3′s) are strongly encouraged to attend all DASH programs. We have specific activities such as panel discussions with local medical professionals, athletes living with diabetes, siblings and other parents. The goal of the panel is to give Type 3′s a space where they can vent the buried emotions associated with diabetes, in safe and judgment free environment while learning from others.

How much will DASH Camp cost?
What will our kids do at DASH Camp?
What will parents do at DASH Camp?
Where are the medical staff from?
How will diabetes be managed at DASH Camp?
How can we continue to help DASH Camp?
What will youth learn from being at DASH Camp?
What will parents learn from being at DASH Camp?


How much will DASH Camp cost?

We have full and partial scholarships available for individuals and families for all camps. All of our programs in Oakland are donation based. Our DASH Camps cost the organization $80 per day per camper. Our goal is for DASH Camp to not be a financial burden for anyone, and we will work with you to achieve this goal. Costs include lunch, T-shirts, marketing material, field rental fees, insurance, and expert advise with mentorship from athletes living with diabetes.

What will our kids do at DASH Camp?

For our weekend camps, DASH campers will be physically active for about 6 hours each day, playing a variety of sports games and education games. Our most popular sports are soccer, baseball, basketball, football, capture the flag and obstacle courses designed by campers. We mix in diabetes education topics throughout the day during the 5-6 water and blood sugar checks for the campers, staff and volunteers.

For our weeklong camp, DASH campers will be physically active for about 5 hours each day. In addition to sports and other games, we will have activities such as diabetes raps, dancing and songwriting. We also will have mural drawings to express diabetes with a paintbrush, video productions and camper-created ways to express themselves and their diabetes identities. At the end of our weeklong DASH Camp, we will have a community health fair designed, organized and run by our DASH campers with lots of help from our DASH team.

The combination of these activities has already shown robust character growth in our campers, parents and staff, and we look forward to leading the field of innovative self-efficacy and healthy diabetes management.

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What will parents do at DASH Camp?

We strongly encourage parents to be an integral part of the DASH team panel discussion covering topics such as communication with teammates, coaches, other parents and teachers, the effect of physical activity on blood sugars, how to navigate diabetes without negative emotion and judgment, and how to communicate with your teenager. Fabiana Couto is our specialist in creating a foundation for rapport and positive relationships between parents, youth and diabetes. At our weeklong camp we will have a special training course devoted to parents of teenagers, yoga for parents, cooking classes and other activities.

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Where does the medical staff come from?

Our volunteer medical staff members come from all over the Bay Area. Our endocrinologists, diabetes educators, nurses, nutritionists and social workers come from hospitals and clinics such as the University of California, San Francisco Diabetes Center, Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Hospital Sports Rehabilitation Center and Alameda Health System’s Highland Hospital.

At every day of camp, we will have at least two medical professionals present. For camps exceeding 50 campers, we will have additional medical professionals present.

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How will diabetes be managed at DASH Camp?

Before each activity, everyone checks their blood sugar, including DASH team staff. For blood sugars above 250, we check for ketones for pumpers and consult with parents about the possibility of corrections. For blood sugars around 100, we carb up, depending on the campers carb ratio. We will wait for blood sugars to rise above 80 before we consider sports participation and will do a recheck in 15 minutes. We have both glucagon and fast-acting insulin at camp for emergencies. We strongly encourage parents to be a part of the team and will contact them immediately with blood sugars that are below 50 or above 350.

Each member of our DASH team goes through at least 24 hours of basic diabetes training, specifically focusing on early signs of low and high blood sugars. At DASH Camp, we view our blood sugars as data used for either the action of dosing insulin or consuming carbs or nothing at all. We purposely do not react to blood sugars as good or bad, but just as data.

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How can I continue to help DASH Camp?

We are a newly formed nonprofit organization called DASH Sports Education. Our goal is to have at least 10 annual DASH Camps in the Bay Area; to do this, we need volunteers, additional campers, your feedback and, if you are in a position to donate, we are happy to use your funding toward sustaining our DASH Camps. For details, email fogarty.lucas@gmail.com

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What will youth learn from being at DASH Camp?

Campers will learn how to be comfortable in their own skins. They will learn to check their blood sugars before exercise by practicing this at DASH Camp. They will learn the details of how exercise affects their blood sugars. They will learn what they need to bring with them in order to plan for high and low blood sugars while playing sports. By sharing with their peers and others who have diabetes, they will develop the communication skills needed for expressing their diabetes needs in unfamiliar environments. Most importantly, campers will take away the belief that they can thrive and flourish because of diabetes.

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What will parents learn from being at DASH Camp?

Parents will learn that they are not alone and that living a healthy, full and happy life with diabetes is possible for their children and for them. From our medical professionals, parents will have the opportunity to ask questions that they often forget to ask in clinic. From our DASH team, parents will learn strategies for communicating with their children who have diabetes and how to incorporate their children who do not have diabetes into the everyday diabetes discussion. Parents will learn strategies on how to create cheat sheets regarding their children’s diabetes for other parents, teachers and coaches. Most important, parents will have a judgment-free space to express their emotions freely and be themselves without the cloak of diabetes.