Disparities in Diabetes Summer Camp Participation

Summer camps can offer many benefits for children living with diabetes.

However, according to a recent study, Black and Hispanic children are often underrepresented at summer camps.

“Racial disparities exist in many aspects of diabetes care and outcomes, including diabetes camp attendance. Therefore, we need to identify what the barriers are and address them to make camp attendance more inclusive,” Risa M. Wolf, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told Healio.

To look more into these disparities, Wolf and colleagues evaluated the 2018 summer camp registrations of 48 different ADA summer camp programs. From these registrations, they evaluated the “racial and ethnic makeup, continuous glucose monitor usage, insulin delivery technique, camp type, and financial aid requirements.”

Their Findings

  • 83.7% of the 5,256 campers were white.
  • Day camps vs. residential camps: 31.9% of Hispanic children, 23.3% of Black children, and 20% of white children attended day camps vs. residential camps.
  • Financial aid: 65.6% of Black children, 48.1% of Hispanic children, and 24.3% of white children applied for financial aid to attend the camp.
  • Pump Insulin Delivery: 76.4% of white children, 60.3% of Hispanic children, and 39.1% of Black children used a pump for insulin delivery.
  • CGM Insulin Delivery: 61% of white children, 46.1% of Hispanic children, and 23.4% of Black children used CGMs for insulin delivery. 

From this analysis, we see much more representation of white children in summer camps. White children are also less likely to need financial assistance to attend summer camps and overall, they have more access to pumps and CGMs for insulin delivery, which is often more accessible to people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds (read more from the ADA 2020 Standards of Care here).

It’s important to notice these disparities in summer camp programs, so we can begin to address them. For many children, summer camp is a great opportunity for making connections, staying active, and offering continuous learning throughout the months they’re not in school.

To begin addressing these disparities, last year the ADA created a summer camp in Baltimore that had lower registration costs. This resulted in 31% of underrepresented youth in attendance (a 14.7% increase). While this year, due to COVID, the ADA is offering a virtual summer camp, known as Imagine Camp, which is free to join (click here to learn more).

Additionally, DiabetesEd Services will be developing a program where we sponsor underrepresented kids to cover the fees for future summer camps.

To read more click here for the Helio article and click here for the study.


Want to learn more about children living with diabetes? Join our upcoming Tots to Teens Standards of Care webinar!

From Tots to Teens Standards 2020
Join Live Stream July 15th at 11:30 am (PST)
1.5 CEs | $29.00 or No CEsFree

Perfect for those planning to take the CDCES or BC-ADM or for those seeking an update.

Coach Beverly is extending a special invitation to join this webinar on the latest standards for toddlers to teens living with diabetes.

This course includes updated goals and guidelines for children living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

This webinar will address:

  • special issues to be aware of when working with children with diabetes and their families. 
  • clinical presentation of diabetes
  • goals of care, management strategies

Register for FREE recorded webinar (no CEs).


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AccreditationDiabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.*  

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