About Us

About Us

Camp Kudzu’s mission is to educate, empower, and inspire children, teens, and their families living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). For 25 years, Camp Kudzu has provided inspiring year-round programming that empowers children, teens, and their families living with T1D to gain confidence, make connections with their peers, and increase knowledge about living a healthy life with diabetes. As Georgia’s largest provider of diabetes self-management education and support services, Camp Kudzu fills an important need for children aged 5 to 18 living with insulin-dependent diabetes.

Our year-round programs are delivered with the support of endocrinologists, healthcare professionals, and volunteers specifically trained in diabetes management. We offer overnight summer camps, family camp weekends, teen and junior retreats, day camps, and Kudzu One Day (K1D) programs across the state of Georgia.

Our Goal

To provide better support and services for the 8,000+ children in Georgia living with type 1 diabetes; where more than 600 diagnoses are made each year across our state.

Camp Kudzu was founded in 1999, by parents, doctors, health professionals and community leaders.  These caring visionaries joined forces to establish a program in Georgia that would support the special medical needs of children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in a fun, medically supervised environment.  We held our first summer camp in June 2000. Since then, the number of programs, campers and volunteers have continued to grow… like kudzu!


Camp Kudzu operates by the following guiding principles; in everything we do, we strive to meet our core values:

Our Team

Camp Kudzu’s staff believes that every child deserves a chance to grow, learn and know how to live a healthy life with diabetes. These are the people who work every day to educate, empower and inspire children living with type 1 diabetes:

Rob Shaw, Executive Director

Robert G. Shaw
(404) 858-3856

Robert “Rob” Shaw serves as Camp Kudzu’s CEO, leading its professional staff and working closely with the board on policy and planning, budgeting and finances, and on relationships with our friends, donors, and other nonprofits. Rob has a deep and longstanding appreciation for the needs of children living with diabetes. He has decades of relevant professional experience for leadership, development and believes that that camp is a force for good in young lives, and has great zeal for growing Camp Kudzu programs.

Prior to joining Camp Kudzu, Rob has worked with the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation and most recently served as Vice President of Leadership Giving and Acting Chief Development Officer at the Parkinson’s Foundation. Earlier in his nonprofit career, Rob was the Executive Director of the Georgia Chapter of JDRF. Rob’s personal interests align tightly with Camp Kudzu’s programs as he is an avid outdoorsman, loves camping and hiking, and enjoys farm life as well as competitive sports.

Kat Shreve
Associate Executive Director
(404) 495-4861

Just minutes after the Shreve family’s station wagon arrived at Camp Meadowlea in Bridgeport, WV Kat’s career path in camp began. Since then, Kat has worked for Project Adventure as a facilitator and developed environmental education programs at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Additionally, in her 30-plus years in camp, Kat has directed the Athens YWCO Camp for Girls, Girl Scout Camp Meriwether, YMCA Camp Colman in the Seattle area, and the two Girl Scout Camps operated by the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia: Camp Pamunkey Ridge and Camp Kittamaqund.

As an active member of the American Camp Association (ACA), Kat serves as an Accreditation Visitor and Instructor Trainer. During her tenure with ACA, Kat has served as the Education Director for ACA and has volunteered on a local level for several years with the Southeastern Region Board of Directors and on the LCOL of the Evergreen Region.

Kat has spoken at several youth professional gatherings from camp professionals to recreation professionals to educators. She was on the writing team for two books, Creating Positive Youth Outcomes and Designing Quality Youth Program.

Kat graduated from the Recreation & Leisure Studies program at the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Education. In 2007, Kat was honored as the University of Georgia College of Education Professional Alumni of the Year. The ACA awarded Kat the National Service Award celebrating her work volunteering for both multiple ACA regions and on the national level. She is a current member of the ACA National Awards Committee and serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee as both a frequent contributor and reviewer of content of Camping Magazine. Most recently, she was inducted into the Pioneers in Camping, an honor society of camp professionals who have worked in the field for 30 years.

Desirae August
VP of Development
(404) 495-4853

Desirae August joins Camp Kudzu as the VP of Development. She brings over 15 years of diverse nonprofit, fundraising, and event planning experience. As a devoted community leader, Desirae is passionate about empowering children and families.

Prior to joining Camp Kudzu, Desirae served as the Chief Development Officer at Buckhead Christian Ministry and managed fundraising events with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. As a volunteer, she served as the President and Event-Co-Chair of Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc. Atlanta Chapter. She earned a Master of Business Administration with an Executive Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Leadership from Brandman University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from California State University Fullerton. Desirae is looking forward to growing Camp Kudzu’s fundraising efforts and furthering the mission to educate, empower and inspire children and teens living with type 1 diabetes. Desirae and her husband, Troy, are the proud parents of Makayla and Elyjah. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and friends.

Sharda Vishwanathan
Senior Development Manager
(404) 495-4859

Sharda joins Camp Kudzu as the Senior Development Manager. She brings over a decade of experience managing partnerships, strategic communications, and outreach for nonprofits, community-based organizations, and impact investors. Throughout her development career, she has worked with organizations in India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Atlanta. Sharda believes in the power of networks and is passionate about partnerships, innovation, and multisector stakeholder collaboration to amplify an organization’s impact.

Prior to joining Camp Kudzu, Sharda served as the Business Development Lead for Gray Matters Capital and managed pipeline development and partnerships for their Africa-focused gender-lens impact portfolio, coLABS. She earned her Master’s in Gender, Media and Culture from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sharda is excited to be part of Camp Kudzu and is looking forward to using her development experience to expand the organization’s partner network.

Sharda is from Mumbai, India and has been living in Atlanta since September 2016. When she is not working, you can catch her writing stories for children, reading or exploring the outdoors.

Taylor Cain
Development Manager
(404) 495-4857

Taylor Cain joins Camp Kudzu as a Development Manager and VP of Camp Kudzu Fun Club. She brings over seven years of experience in nonprofit, fundraising, and event planning experience. Taylor is passionate about working with organizations that thrive in helping the community and loves doing her own volunteer work in underserved communities.

Prior to joining Camp Kudzu, Taylor served as a Program Manager at Chicago State University’s women’s resource center. Alongside this role she also worked with three Nonprofit organizations in the city of Chicago: Guidance Eight Wellness, Publicis Media, and Noire Impact Collective as a Marketing professional and social media specialist. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Science and Minor in Management at Chicago State University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Marketing and Science from Northern Illinois University. 

She is the proud parent of Sevyn and Carter. She enjoys spending time in nature and with family and friends. She is most excited about connecting with families, community, partners, and volunteers in the T1D community.

Julie McCarren
Development Associate
(404) 250-1811

Julie joined Camp Kudzu with more than a decade of experience in non-profit fundraising at the local, state, and national levels. After a period working outside of a non–profit, Julie was purposed to get back to where she feels she belongs – helping to mobilize a non-profit to do its best for the community it serves.

Julie has worked with the World Golf Foundation – The First Tee, Take Stock in Children, United Way of NE FL, and several others throughout her career and is thrilled to play a role in the work of Camp Kudzu to empower the next generation living with T1D.

Julie remembers a close friend sharing about their child’s first experience with Sprouts after being diagnosed with T1D. It was a game changer for her as a little girl to meet others with T1D and not feel alone anymore. When the opportunity to join the team became available, Camp Kudzu was an easy yes for Julie.

Julie and her husband live in Marietta with their dog, and she enjoys all things outdoors! If she’s not on a trail exploring the outdoors, you can find her happily immersed in a project at home, spending time with friends or volunteering with a variety of organizations.


Megan Frank
Program Coordinator
(912) 715 – 1005

Megan was drawn to Camp Kudzu by a friend who grew up attending camp. She volunteered with Camp Kudzu for two years as a counselor, camp life specialist, and an extra hand at K1D events.  Megan served as the programs intern in 2023, when she found her passion to be part of the camp world. In 2022, Megan served as camp director during the inaugural summer of Little Shot of Camp Kudzu!

Megan was born and raised in Macon, Georgia.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Child and Family Development with an emphasis in Child Life from Georgia Southern University.

Mandy Conroy
Camp Community Coordinator
(404) 495-4863

Mandy’s previous positions have been with Camp Twin Lakes where she served as Partner Support and Hospital Programs Manager. Her background gives her full appreciation for the questions that families have who are new to diabetes and haven’t had their children away from home since diagnosis.

Mandy is a Georgia native, with her a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Georgia State University. She earned her master’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations from East Carolina University. She has a passion for working with children and families and looks forward to serving the families of Camp Kudzu. Mandy and her family live in Atlanta with her husband, sons, and their two dogs. She enjoys the outdoors and hiking with her family.

Reed Stewart
Community Medical Manager
(404) 495-4854

“As a previous camper, volunteer, and head staff member, at Camp Kudzu, Reed is honored to have joined the Camp Kudzu team as of May 2023. After first-hand experiencing the impact of Camp Kudzu on her physical and mental well-being living with Type 1 Diabetes, she is excited to give back to a community that has given her so much… and to educate, inspire, and empower a new generation of T1Ds! 

Prior to working as the medical manager for Camp Kudzu, Reed received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia in 2021 and her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University in 2023. She has worked as a social worker at Piedmont Athens Community Care Clinic, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Athens-Oconee County, a program intern for DOROT in New York City, and an executive assistant for a non-profit grant writing consulting firm (Strategic Funding Group).  With her experience as a social worker in the medical field and having lived with T1D for over 15 years, Reed plans to train, empower, and lead the best team of medical volunteers to our community to ensure the health and safety of our campers for all programs.”

Patricia Clark
Program Manager

(404) 495-4862

Patricia Clark joins Camp Kudzu as our Program Manager! She has spent the past 7 years in the ministry world leading middle and high school students with an occasional time serving elementary, college and young adults.  She has a passion and heart for young people and their families.  Patricia brings over 7 years of experience in directing Youth programs, fundraising events, retreats, community outreach, and leading volunteers. Patricia knew of Camp Kudzu since she grew up serving with Camp Hope at Camp Twin Lakes. She also grew up going to Camp High Harbour where she served as a Leader in Training, Counselor in Training, and Assistant Counselor. Patricia understands the impact and joy camp can have on a youth.

Patricia, her partner, and their cat have moved back to the Atlanta area after spending 3 years in Denver, Colorado. She loves all things sports and outdoors. Also, as a graduate of the University of Alabama, you can catch her watching any and all college football games. She is excited to join the team and looks forward to serving the families of Camp Kudzu.

Caroline Tallman

Caroline Tallman
Senior Medical Coordinator
(404) 495-4856

Caroline came to us as a volunteer after hearing about us over the years from her endocrinologist. Caroline fell in love with Camp Kudzu and volunteered at many year-long programs. Before joining our full-time team, she completed an internship rotation with us. She now serves as our Senior Medical Coordinator

Caroline graduated from Georgia Southern University with Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science with an emphasis on Dietetics and completed her Dietetic Internship through Life UniversityCaroline is a Registered Dietitian and is excited to use her knowledge of nutrition to help educate our campers and volunteers on healthy ways of living with type 1 diabetes. Caroline has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for over 10 years and is a Marietta native who loves the lake, goats and spending time with her family and friends.

Jennifer Buckelew
Community Engagement Manager
(770) 988-6877

Jennifer came to us after returning home to Georgia and searching for a space to give back to others. She has a heart for camping, young people, and families. Always seeking to assist others to thrive where they are. Jennifer’s background includes work with Girl Scouts, YMCA, GA Women’s Missionary Union, and the State of GA. The first time she attended camp was when she was 6 years old, and since then has only missed 7 summers of camp in her lifetime.

Jennifer has a Master of Education with the emphasis of outdoor education from Georgia College and State University and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia. Although she is fairly new to the Camp Kudzu community, she is most excited about connecting families, individuals, community partners and volunteers with resources and support in the T1D journey. 

Board of Directors

Camp Kudzu is honored to have an outstanding and dedicated group of volunteers who generously donate their time and talents by serving on our Board of Directors. Our work would not be possible without their efforts.

Trevor Pitt
Vice President
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.

M. Everett Peaden
Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Mike Firsowicz
Director of Business Intelligence Care ATC

Jan Studdard
Financial Manager
RLS Constructions

Mark A. Bailey
Senior Account Executive
United Healthcare

Bridget Bassett
Community Volunteer

Ann Brumbaugh
Ann S. Brumbaugh, LLC

Tanicia C. Daley Jean-Pierre, MD
Pediatric Endocrinologist
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Jennifer Frankowski
Pre-OP Nurse
Northside Hospital

Mary Catherine Fudger
Staff attorney
Superior Court Cobb County

Kathy Garrett
CCR&R of NE Georgia

Meredith Guffey (Meri)
Community Volunteer
Co-Owner Guffey’s of Atlanta

Holly Hailey
Senior Paralegal
Blasing, Burch, Garrard and Ashley, P.C.

Dr.  Jessica Hutchins, MD
Pediatric Endocrinologist
Atrium Health Navicent

Eloise Lamons
Community Volunteer

Dr. Joey Low, MD
Pediatric Endocrinologist

Rosemary McElhannon
Community Volunteer

Stephanie Needle
Client Partner

Erica Tolbert
Community Engagement Manager
United Healthcare

Karen Wood
Community Volunteer
“Taste of Tucker” Co-Chair/Producer

Betsy Zint
Community Volunteer

Camp Partners

Camp Kudzu works with four partner hosts: Camp Twin Lakes, Camp Barney Medintz, Camp High Meadows, and Camp Grace. All sites, along with Camp Kudzu, are accredited by the American Camp Association. Our hosts are responsible for the dining hall, waterfront, ropes, equestrian activities, and many others. They work with us to ensure that our campers have the time of their lives. Camp Kudzu counselors are with our campers at all times and our medical personnel are always within reach.

Camp Twin Lakes (CTL) partners with Camp Kudzu to offer two weeks of summer camp and our family camp and teen retreat programs. The CTL Rutledge property is located in the Historic Heartland region of Georgia, about 50 miles east of downtown Atlanta. The surrounding terrain includes rolling hills, lush green pastures, and stately oak trees. The camp includes paved walking trails, a lakeside amphitheater, a treehouse, a working farm, a pool with awesome slides and fountains, and more.

Camp Barney Medintz is our late summer location. Camp Barney is in Cleveland, Georgia, at the foothills of the Appalachians, bordering the start of the Appalachian Trail. The property includes 500 acres of mountains, lakes, rushing streams and pine forests with cabin villages built around each lake. There are many activity and gathering spots, including an equestrian center, outdoor creative arts compound, water ski docks, beachfront and a medical lodge.

Camp High Meadows at High Meadows School is located on 40 acres of meadows and woodlands that boasts a 35-year program history just outside of Historic Roswell.  Our five-day program runs in conjunction with their summer programming each year. This hidden gem offers archery, paved nature trails, swimming, sports,  arts & crafts, canoeing, and other age-appropriate activities. 

Camp Grace is located in Central Georgia, in Roberta, about 30 miles from Macon. Camp Grace’s distinctive program and lodging spaces are very different from Kudzu’s other host sites. It includes a climate-controlled living space, a dining hall, a health center, office areas for our staff and apartment style housing for the endocrinologists and their teams. The camp also includes lakes that accommodate fishing, canoeing and a myriad of water inflatables, a pool, and an extensive challenge course with a climbing wall, zip line and a big swing in the bunkhouse meadow. The arts and crafts room located in the gym building offers a perfect space for tie & die activities.  The Little Shot of Camp Kudzu which was first launched in the summer of 2023 is hosted at Camp Grace along with Dose of Camp Kudzu.