INGLESIDE, Ill. (CBS) — A summer camp in the far northern suburbs exposes kids to more than just fun and games, it’s also about learning to live a healthy life with diabetes.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports Camp Triangle D in Ingleside has been a summer tradition for the American Diabetes Association for 63 years.

Beach time is always fun time at summer camp, but at Camp Triangle D, kids have to put away their insulin pumps before hitting the water, because all the campers have diabetes.

One camper said Triangle D has taught her “that diabetes doesn’t slow you down.”

At Camp Triangle D, before kids eat in the dining hall, they get their blood sugar levels checked.

At counseling sessions, they vent their frustrations about dealing with the disease.

Olivia Rochon said she’s no longer ashamed of being diabetic.

“I don’t hide my pump anymore. I used to hide it when I first got it, but now I don’t hide it, because it’s now an accessory,” she said.

Whatever the kids are doing – whether it’s boating, swimming, or working the ropes course – medical staffers are always right there with them, because safety is just as much a priority as having fun.

“We have a ratio of one medical staff member to 10 children, and they are monitoring their blood sugars, their insulin doses, what they’re eating,” said camp nurse Laurie Diasio.

But, mostly of all, the kids at the camp learn they aren’t the only ones battling diabetes, and the disease doesn’t have to limit their future.

Cooper Reis said, “you can do anything with diabetes, as long as you can manage it correctly, and camp has been able to get me to manage it correctly.”
Camp Triangle D serves 140 children between the ages of 9 and 13.

CBS 2 is proud to partner with the American Diabetes Assoction to stop diabetes. Click here for information that can help your health.