Smyth County Community Hospital | News Article

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Smyth County Community Hospital's day camp for kids with type 1 diabetes has another great day at the park

Kids at the diabetes day camp enjoyed a variety of activities both inside and outdoors.MARION, Va. – Smyth County Community Hospital recently hosted its third annual day camp for kids with type 1 diabetes. Held at Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center and funded by a grant from Climb-4-A-Cure, it provided a group of young people with a day full of healthy and fun activities while helping the kids learn how to better manage their diabetes.

“We had a beautiful day and got to do everything as planned,” said Mary Riggins, diabetes educator at Smyth County Community Hospital and a clinical nutrition dietician. “It’s very rewarding to see the kids support and bond with each other. You could see it as they said their goodbyes and told each other, ‘See you next year.’ ”

See some photos from the camp.

A new event this year was learning about fly fishing. George Owens and the team from Project Healing Waters instructed the campers on fly fishing techniques and fly-tying. The day’s schedule included hiking, gardening activities, crafts and the favorite – swimming at Hungry Mother State Park. Swimming burns calories and campers know to monitor closely during and after exercise. Planned morning and afternoon snacks help to carry them through the day.

“Really, we learn much more from them about diabetes self-management than they learn from us,” Riggins said, “and they help each other to learn.”

One of the goals with the camp is to work together with other community resources such as The Wellness Center, Hungry Mother State Park, Smyth County Community Hospital, private practices and the community garden, Riggins said. United Way also partnered with the camp this year.

Many people helped to host the event, including Rob Kell from Sprouting Hope Garden; Jeremy Engberg, clinical liaison for The Wellness Center; and pediatric dietitians from Johnson City Medical Center.

Learning in the garden was part of the day's agenda.