“Friendship … is born at the moment when one person says to another “What! You too?” -C.S. Lewis
At Camp Kudzu, community (and, by extension, friendship) is at the center of everything we do. We strongly believe that children, teens, and their families find more hope, joy, and inspiration in life when they are closely connected to people who share similar experiences. With that in mind, Camp Kudzu has strived over the last 20 years to create and nurture a strong since of belonging and community for campers and families living in Georgia and the surrounding areas.
The need for community and inclusion is especially pressing for children and families living with a chronic disease like type 1 diabetes. A recent study on diabetes camps found that “both campers and their families reported significant improvements in their own distress after camp” (Weissberg-Benchell & Rychlik, 2017). The same survey also concluded that “campers and their parents see camp as a place where youth feel they are with others who really understand what it is like to live with diabetes.” While there are many academic studies that reiterate the importance of camp and camaraderie, our favorite proof of the benefits of camp come straight from the Camp Kudzu community. As a parent of a 2018 camper shared with us: “Going to camp always makes my daughter feel more confident about herself. She just absolutely loves Camp! Her best friends are there, and they get closer every year!”
The Camp Kudzu tagline is “Until there’s a cure, there’s camp.” To add to that, we believe that as long as there’s Camp Kudzu, there will be community. As the head of our outreach efforts, I am working every day to accomplish our goal of expanding our vibrant, year-around community! We hope that you and your camper have already had the opportunity to experience your own “What! You too?” moment at a Camp Kudzu program this year, but if not, we excitedly invite you to join us! Join us at family camp, summer camp, or one of our 1-day events this year. We can’t wait to welcome you into our evergrowing community!
Whitney Lehew, Outreach Manager
Weissberg-Benchell, J., & Rychlik, K. (2017). Diabetes camp matters: Assessing families’ views of their diabetes camp experience. Pediatric Diabetes, 18(8), 853-860.