How are campers organized at camp? For our summer program, campers are organized into cabins of 6-10 campers by grade level and gender. Campers can make requests to be paired with other campers or staff during registration, and we will do our best to honor those requests. Each cabin has a counselor (adult with T1D) and a dedicated medical staff member. For Elementary and Middle School camps, camp counselors are 18 years old or older, and each counselor is assisted by a Counselor in Training (teen with T1D). For High School Camp, counselors are 21 years old or older.
For our family camp program, families room together. During the day, campers are organized into cabins for activities based on age. Parents select which programs to attend based on interests.
What is the ratio of adults to campers at camp? Camp Leo maintains a minimum ratio of 1 adult staff member per 4 campers at camp. In most of our programs our staff to camper ratio is closer to 1:2, especially programs with younger campers.
Is Camp Leo accredited? Yes, Camp Leo is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA). The main purpose of the ACA-accreditation program is to ensure that camp operation meets best practices, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. This accreditation means that Camp Leo has met up to 300 standards for a quality camping program. The second purpose of ACA accreditation is to assist the public in selecting camps that meet industry-accepted and government-recognized standards.
Who do I call if there is an emergency? If an emergency involving campers occurs, we will make every effort to contact the parents or guardians in a timely fashion (or emergency contact if they are not available). We will use the information you have provided during registration, so it is important that this information be complete and accurate. We urge you NOT to call us at camp as the emergency land line may be needed to respond to the emergency. In the event of a family emergency, campers can be reached at camp on the emergency phone at 360-663-2251. This phone is answered by staff members throughout the day, but please expect to leave a message until a camp director can call you back.
Is Camp Leo religiously affiliated? Camp Leo is not religiously affiliated. We do not provide any religious programming, and we welcome campers of any religious or non-religious background. During camp we do sing a non-denominational "thank you" song prior to meals; this is optional for all of our staff and campers. Camp Leo does rent both of our campgrounds from Christian organizations, so there are bibles, crosses, and other Christian messaging present at camp.
Do you allow electronics at camp? We want your child to fully experience the beautiful surroundings at camp and participate in all activities. In order to achieve this, we have a strict NO CELL PHONES OR ELECTRONICS policy for campers. Cell phones do not get reception up at camp. We understand that some people use their phones as medical devices or want to use them as cameras, alarm clocks, or to listen to music at bedtime. This is allowable, but cell phones must be kept in airplane mode. Electronics for listening to music can be used at bedtime or during rest times. If we do see your child using their cell phone or electronic device at other times of the day or for uses other than those allowed (like playing games or messaging), it will be confiscated and they will not be able to use it for the remainder of camp. CAMP LEO ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGE OR LOSS OF CAMPER POSSESSIONS.
What are the facilities like at camp? For our summer and LIT programs at Black Diamond, campers are housed indoors in dormitory-style cabins in a former ski lodge or in A-frame Adirondack cabins. Campers sleep in bunk beds or on cots outfitted with mattresses. There are shared restrooms in each area separated by gender. We also have single-occupant, gender-neutral, and handicap restrooms at camp.
What happens if my child becomes homesick? Homesickness can be an issue for some campers and is a normal part of being away from a loving home. We work with the parents of our campers to prepare them for being away from home, and we train our staff in techniques to help campers overcome feelings of homesickness. As a last resort, your camper can call you to discuss their homesickness; however, our experience has shown that talking to people at home on the phone intensifies feelings of homesickness rather than resolving them. Please rest assured that we will keep you informed of how your child is doing throughout the week if there are any issues and make sure you are involved throughout the process. In some situations your child may even go home and try again next year. We take this situation very seriously and do not force anyone to stay at camp; we will give your child the best guidance possible so that their camp experience ends on a positive note.
Can I call my camper? Can my camper call me? Camp is a great time to learn independence. Phone service is extremely limited up at camp and is for emergency use only. In general, we do not allow campers to call their parents or vice versa, except in limited emergency or special circumstances. Campers and parents can communicate via email or by sending letters. You can also contact us by email during the camp session to check in on your camper, or leave a voicemail on our normal camp line 206-486-8486 and we will give you a call back.
Can I see pictures of my child at camp? Yes! We understand that in this connected age you want to see your child enjoying their camp experience. Please follow us on Facebook to see daily pictures of all the fun we are having at camp. We make every effort to ensure that at least one picture of each camper is posted each day, but with almost 300 campers, that can be difficult. We ask for your patience and understanding. If we aren't posting pictures at the moment, that means we are out having fun with your kid!
Can you accommodate campers with special needs? Camp Leo works with children with all types of developmental, behavioral, and physical abilities or limitations. We want to ensure that every child who attends camp has a positive and successful experience. We sometimes have additional staff on hand to support them, or we work with their family to adjust their schedule and activities. However, residential camp is not always a good fit for everyone. Please contact the registrar at email@example.com if you have questions about how we can meet your child's specific needs.
Can siblings or friends without diabetes go to camp? Our summer camps and LIT program are exclusively for children and teens with type one diabetes. One of the special things about Camp Leo is that diabetes is truly the norm, and not the exception, and we feel strongly about keeping it that way. Additionally, we generally have waiting lists for all of our programs, so we want to ensure that we accommodate as many children with diabetes as possible since that is central to our mission. We do know that diabetes effects the whole family, so in 2016 we launched our Family Camp program. Family Camp is for the whole family - siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents - of any child with diabetes in grades 8 and younger. If you would like to send your child to a camp that accommodates kids with diabetes as well as their friends and siblings without diabetes, we recommend American Diabetes Association Camp Sealth, which has an integrated program.
Can I send my child mail or care packages? Yes! Please check out our Plan for Camp page for directions and ideas.
Is there a dress code? Similar to public schools, Camp Leo does not allow provocative or inappropriate clothes. This includes clothing with offensive words or slogans. We ask that all campers wear modest swimsuits and dress appropriately for the activity that they are participating in. This may include warm clothing or closed-toe shoes. Please refer to the packing list on the Plan for Camp page for a list of what to bring.
Registration, Payments, Cancellations, and Refund Questions
When is registration open? Registration typically opens in January of each year. If you would like to receive notifications for when registration opens, please join our Mailing List. Registration closes on June 1st for summer sessions or whenever camp is full, whichever comes sooner.
How do I hold my spot? You can hold a spot for your child or for your family by registering and paying the $50 registration fee. No other payment is required at the time of registration to hold your spot. You will receive an email after your have completed your registration confirming that your spot is held. If you did not receive that email that means that you did not complete the registration process.
What happens if I miss registration? If the camp session you would like to register for is full, you can contact the registrar to be placed on a waiting list. We fill spots on a first-come, first-served basis off the waiting list as they become available for the family or for the grade and gender of the camper. Please register early to avoid being placed on the waiting list!
Do I have to register online? Yes, our registration process is all online. We collect a lot of information and want to ensure that is both accurate and secure. Our registration program can be accessed on web-enabled mobile phones and tablets as well as computers. Under special circumstances, we may be able register you over the phone. Please contact the registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Are scholarship funds available? How do I apply for a scholarship? Yes, our policy is to never turn a family away from camp for financial reasons. Partial and full scholarships are awarded based on financial need, which is calculated by family size and adjusted gross family income compared to the federal poverty guidelines. Should your family not qualify based on that criteria, we also have a supplemental application to explain any extenuating circumstances. We will contact you regarding your scholarship award following registration.
Our scholarship application is a part of the registration process. You will be asked if you would like to apply for a scholarship; we strongly encourage you to apply if you feel your family could benefit from financial assistance.
A $50 registration fee is required of all campers to register and is not covered by the scholarship award.
Can I get a scholarship to cover the registration fee? Under special circumstances, this fee may be excused. Please contact the registrar to inquire about those circumstances at email@example.com.
When is payment due for camp? Final payment for summer sessions is due June 1st. Final payment for LIT Weekend is due April 1st.
Will my health insurance pay for camp? Camp Leo does not bill health insurance companies directly. We can provide a receipt of payment. Some families have received reimbursement from their health insurance for diabetes camp as "diabetes education." Health insurance plans vary widely with respect to this coverage; please contact your provider directly with questions about how to apply.
What if we need to cancel at the last minute? If you are unable to attend camp at the last minute, please call the Camp Director at 206-486-8486 and leave a message as soon as you know so we won’t start worrying.
In what situations will camp issue me a refund? Camp Leo will issue a refund of your payment up to two weeks prior to the start of the camp session. Any cancellations after that time will be handled by the Executive Director on a case-by-case basis.
Who oversees the diabetes management of campers? Our medical team includes volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians, and pharmacists with special interest and experience in diabetes. Many are certified diabetes educators. Every cabin of 6-10 campers is assigned a medical staff member who supervises all blood glucose monitoring and insulin management.
What diabetes supplies should I bring? All insulin, insulin pens, syringes, and blood glucose monitoring equipment are provided. The only supplies needed are insulin pump supplies, CGM supplies, or special injection aids.
Do I need to bring insulin to camp? No, all insulin is provided.
Do I need to bring pump and/or CGM supplies to camp? Yes, all campers on insulin pumps or CGMs need to bring a 2-week supply of infusion sets, injectors, pump reserviors, sensors, and any adhesives you normally use at home. Please bring these supplies in a bag clearly labeled with your camper's full name.
How often are blood glucose levels monitored at camp? All campers check blood glucose levels before every meal and at bedtime. Medical staff also checks blood glucose levels at 11 p.m and 2:30 a.m. as needed. Staff is available to check BG levels at other times during the night and during all activities through out the day.
Do you check blood glucose levels during the night? Yes, our medical staff checks blood glucose levels at bedtime, then again at 11p.m. and 2:30 a.m. and additionally as needed based on prior blood glucose levels and trends. If you would like your child checked regardless of BG level, please let us know.
What are the goal blood glucose levels for children while at camp? We strive to keep blood glucose levels in a safe range while at camp. Because camp activities may be different from home activity level, we believe BG levels between 100-200 are considered safe. This is individualized per camper as needed. Every effort is made to have good diabetes management at camp, but please remember that camp is not the same as home; with different foods and activity levels, heightened emotions, and a very different routine, diabetes management can be challenging. Our medical program’s primary goal is safety for your child at all times, as well as teaching good diabetes management techniques, habits, and decisions.
Can Camp Leo accommodate campers with medical conditions other than diabetes? Camp Leo accommodates campers with many other medical conditions other than diabetes, especially diseases that are common comorbidities like Hashimoto's, celiac disease, Crohn's, Grave's, and other autoimmune conditions. Every effort is made to serve every family and provide reasonably accommodative medical care. Please contact the registrar with questions if your child has another medical condition that you would like to discuss.
How should I bring my child's medication to camp? Any other prescription or non-prescription medications for your camper should be brought to camp IN THE ORIGINAL BOTTLES with their clearly labeled name and instructions. This includes medications like multi-vitamins and supplements. If a medication is not in this state, we will not be able to dispense it to your camper.
What is food service like at camp? Food is served family- or buffet-style depending on the age group. We have breakfast, lunch, dinner, an optional afternoon snack of fruit and protein, an evening snack, and additional low-carb options if kids get hungry during the day. At camp we teach carbohydrate counting and serving size, but your child can use any system that they are comfortable with. We observe campers at meal times to ensure that they are eating reasonably, and we encourage them to eat a variety of foods and to try new things. In keeping with the philosophy of carbohydrate counting, we put an emphasis on being honest about eating and food consumption, and adjusting insulin accordingly. We understand that many children have special diets or are selective eaters, and we make reasonable accommodations to make sure that your child has the balanced diet necessary to participate in this very active week.
Do you do carbohydrate counting at meals? Yes, all of our meals are carbohydrate counted by our lead dietitian. Campers are provided with "carb cards" prior to each meal so they know what to expect. They are assisted by the camp staff in calculating their carbohydrates and corresponding insulin doses. Measuring cups are provided with the food to help campers accurately count servings.
Do we need to bring any food to camp? For summer camps and LIT weekend, we ask that you NOT bring food to camp or pack food with your camper. We have many children with food allergies at camp, and we want to discourage sneaking food or consumption of food without staff knowledge. Food in the cabins also attracts our neighborhood woodland critters, which can be unsanitary and dangerous.
For family camp, please feel free to pack snacks or low supplies for nighttime. We recommend you bring them in a cooler or other critter-resistant packaging.
What if someone in my family or my child has celiac disease? At LIT weekend and summer camps, we offer gluten-free menus and snack options for our campers and staff with celiac disease. Our Kitchen Liaisons prepare a similar menu to the typical camp menu.
Because celiac disease is such a common comorbidity with diabetes, Camp Leo Family Camp will be serving an entirely gluten-free menu to the whole group.
While we do our best to keep cross-contamination to a minimum by preparing food in different areas of the kitchen and practicing proper sanitation techniques, the kitchen facilities at our campgrounds are limited and we do not have a separate kitchen or separate pots, pans, and utensils for gluten-free food preparation. Please be aware of that possibility when attending camp.
What if my camper has other special food requirements or allergies? Camp Leo offers vegan, vegetarian, low lactose, and gluten-free meals at all of our sessions. Because of the high number and dangerous nature of peanut allergies, our camps are also 100% peanut-free during the time that we are there. If your camper has special food requirements or allergies, please indicate what they are when you register and our lead dietitian will contact you to review.
Do I need to have diabetes to volunteer? No, Camp Leo has many volunteers who do not have diabetes. We accept applications for medical staff, activities staff, and administrative staff who do not have diabetes. We do prefer that our staff have a connection to diabetes as it helps them integrate with our community and empathize with campers.
What are the accommodations like for volunteers? Counseling staff and CITs stay in the cabins with campers, in the dormitory-style lodge building or in A-frame Adirondack cabins. Medical staff, activities staff, and administrative staff are housed separately in small-group housing by gender. Bathrooms are shared with other staff of the same gender. We also have single-stall, gender-neutral, and handicap bathrooms available. Most rooms have bunkbeds or twin beds. We do our best to ensure that our staff with mobility limitations have appropriate comfortable accommodations.
As a volunteer can I contact my family while I'm at camp? How about work or school? Yes. Cell phone service is limited on camp grounds at LIT weekend and summer camps, but you can leave camp during your break to contact your family or conduct any other over-the-phone business. We do have Wi-Fi at camp that can be used by camp staff for limited purposes during their break, such as contacting home, work, or school by email.
I would like to volunteer, but I can only get a few days off of work. Can I come up even if it is not for the whole week? Yes. Camp Leo has many volunteer roles, including medical staff and activities staff, that require only a limited time commitment. We do ask that counselors volunteer for the full week of camp. Please indicate your availability on your volunteer registration.
Can my children come with me to camp? Yes. Camp Leo will cover the cost of camp-age children to attend camp if you are hired. Staff children are integrated into cabins with the campers, so if they do not have diabetes, they need to be prepared to participate in all the diabetes-related programming with their peers. We place volunteer family members of campers in roles where they have minimum contact with their child to help their child integrate with their cabin and reduce homesickness in the other campers. If your sole reason in wanting to volunteer at camp is to spend time with your child, volunteering may not be a good fit for you.
Can a family member of a camper volunteer at camp? We are always looking for support and help from our campers' parents and family members, but unless you have a specialized degree or experience in working with children or a medical degree, we may find it hard to keep you busy. We place volunteer family members of campers in roles where they have minimum contact with their child to help their child integrate with their cabin and reduce homesickness in the other campers. If your sole reason in wanting to volunteer at camp is to spend time with your child, volunteering may not be a good fit for you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in finding out more.
Are donations to Camp Leo tax deductible? Yes! Camp Leo is recognized by the IRS as a Non Profit 501c3 Organization. Donations are tax deductible, but registration fees are not.
What do donations help fund? Some donations are used to maintain infrastructure at camp, while most are used for scholarships that allow children to attend camp. Many of our campers require financial assistance to attend camp, and we rely on donations to help children attend diabetes camp no matter what their financial situation.
Donations/checks can be sent to our Treasurer: Camp Leo 31811 Pacific Hwy S Ste B #224 Federal Way, WA 98003