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barton love

I was so giddy with excitement when I arrived at Clara Barton Camp yesterday to pick up Madeline. After 5 long days (for me)… or 5 too-short days (for her). Unfortunately, when I arrived at her cabin, I was informed that she was at the infirmary, having lost an infusion site overnight and was battling ketones and BGs in the 300s. But hey, even that did not dampen her spirits nor her love, love, love of D camp!


The main building, which houses a library, the infirmary, and a big multi-purpose room with a lovely stone fireplace.

Before we left, counselors gave Maddy a survey to complete about her experience at Clara Barton Camp. She pondered the last question for a little while: “what has camp taught you about diabetes?” Her response warmed my heart.

I learned that I don’t have to feel bad just because I have diabetes.

She can’t stop talking about all the people she met, all the things they did together, and all of the things they learned. This morning, we decided to change her set (again–4th time in two days) because the adhesive was peeling up and her BG was creeping up again. As I lugged out our tote box full of supplies, Maddy rushed over and said “let me show you what I can do!” And she proceeded to unwrap all the components, assemble and load the insulin cartridge, and prep the infusion set insertion device (known around the DOC as the “ka-chunker”)– by herself! Then, she walked me through the insertion into her arm. It was the easiest set change ever. EVER.


The newest building at the camp, the Arts and Crafts building.


Maddy’s cabin, Lilypad. It’s one of the oldest at the camp, and she will upgrade to nicer digs if she returns as a two-week camper next year.


Here’s Maddy, exhausted from daylong BGs in the 300s, large ketones (and being sick several times)… but rocking her arm site! Her goal was to try an infusion set on her arm… and she did… three times!

Thank you, Barton Center. Thank you to the counselors who befriended my daughter, who each showed her that she can be a Strong Girl, that she can be proud of who she is, that she can rock life even when dealing with diabetes. Thank you to the medical staff, whose meticulous review of Maddy’s pre-camp diabetes data, hawkish monitoring of her daily functioning, and urgent treatment of an ugly situation helped her be safe in the care of someone other than her family. Thank you to the Barton Center staff, whose mission and work are so important to the quality of life of so many people. Thank you, other D-parents, for your bravery in sending your daughter to camp, so that mine could meet so many girls

in the same boat and see that she is truly not alone in this journey. For a short five days, living with diabetes felt normal to Maddy.

I am so, so grateful.


About Heather Garcia Queen

I am… a mother of 3 spectacular children. A wife of an architect extraordinaire. An MSW. A psychologist in an elementary school. A (wishful) writer. A protector of family and spirit. A worshipper of the natural world. A seeker of knowledge. A lover of the arts. An introvert. A silver-lining kind of girl.


4 thoughts on “barton love

  1. so awesome! Not the ketones part, but all the rest makes me smile

    Posted by Lora | 08/03/2013, 3:21 pm
  2. this sounds like the ideal camp experience, despite the ketones at the end! i am happy for you!

    Posted by Katy | 08/03/2013, 4:16 pm
  3. Loved reading this!

    Posted by Colleen | 08/03/2013, 7:40 pm
  4. Gosh I so wish I could get Joe to go. Sounds utterly fabulous. 🙂

    Posted by Reyna | 08/04/2013, 7:52 pm

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Creative Commons License
This work by Heather Garcia Queen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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