Camp Victory, we have no words. We wait and wait and wait for you all year. The countdown to diabetes camp starts, well, the day after the previous year's week ends. Literally. Grace will say 'Only 364 more days until camp.' Do you know the countdown that needs to happen to count down for an entire year? On second thought, you probably don't want to know. It's looooooooong.
(You can read about Camp Year 1 here. And Camp Year 2 here. And Camp Year 3 here. Enjoy.)
This is Grace's 4th year at camp, and as she puts it 'It's the best week of my whole year, Mom.' And I truly believe it is. Our family would plan a trip to Disney, and if it was the same week as diabetes camp, Grace would choose diabetes camp, hands down. It beats the ocean, Disney and an amusement park, all rolled into one.
She finally moved up to the 11-12 year old cabin. The pink cabin, Sassafras. I love the picture that captures the Sass, because truly it fits.
And of course, the t-shirts rocked. Sweeties with Betes, indeed.
And of course, there is Lily. Lily is the very reason that Grace loves camp. ONE ENTIRE WEEK with her best friend, or as Grace puts it, 'Mom, she's my DBFF, and like my sister.' And they are, two peas in a pod. Outgoing, funny, kind, smart, caring, listeners, and best of best friends. They found each other at this very camp, four years ago. And it was like capturing lightning in a bottle. There had to be a reason we sent Grace to camp that year, and Lily's parents sent Lily, and they ended up in the same cabin, and by the end of 6 days together that first year, decided they were best friends forever. Right from the beginning, to click with someone like that, and only be 8 years old. That's pure lightning, right there.
They swam, they campfired, they ziplined, they ate, they tested, they treated lows, they made mugs in arts and crafts, they went on hikes, they joined the polar bear club and jumped in the pool early one morning. They communed, they made new friends and most of all, they were part of a community that cares deeply about it's members.
There is nothing in the world that comes close to the closing ceremonies, where counselors, leaders, campers, staff and directors of camp sing the closing song 'Waltzing with Bears.' And as they sang it, the words resonated with me:
Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too
And there's nothing on earth Uncle Walter won't do
So he can go waltzing, wa-wa-wa-waltzing
So he can go waltzing with bears
There's nothing on earth that Grace won't do, so she can go to diabetes camp, put her arms around her peers living with Type 1, sway in time to the music, and sing.