T1D RD goes back to Diabetes Camp

I love camp – specifically diabetes camp.

Two weekends ago, this T1D dietitian had the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in Connected in Motion’s Western Slipstream.

Essentially, a diabetes camp for adults with type-1 diabetes.

Friends, I am not new to diabetes camp.

I went as a kid from the time I was 10 years old to 16 years old. And I loved it so much, that I became a camp counsellor for the same camp over spring break at 17 years old. And later, in my early 20s, I also became a camp counsellor for a non-diabetes camp in Monmouth, Maine three years running.

But, it’s been a few years, and I’d forgotten the joys of camp.

T1D dietitian Katie Bartel stands outside her cabin at Evans Lake where Connected in Motion held its Western Slipstream 2022
This was day 3: I was a little greasy!
Connected in Motion connects

A few months ago I was invited by Connected in Motion to be a speaker at their first live slipstream since Covid.

Connected in Motion is a T1D specific organization that uses experiential outdoor adventure as a platform for T1D education and peer support.

Of course I jumped at the opportunity to be apart of this environment.

I have been following CIM since it first started in 2008. I remember wishing for them to have camps closer to where I lived, but at that time, they were mostly based a four-hour flight away in Ontario. And when they finally did have a camp in BC, I was a very new mom not ready to leave my baby.

But nothing was holding me back for the 2022 Western Slipstream.

T1D RD Katie Bartel stands on the docks of T1D camp at Evans Lake in Squamish, BC
Experiencing the morning calm of Evans Lake was the BEST way to start off my mornings at diabetes camp!
The joys of camp

You all, this camp did not let me down.

I don’t sleep very well at the best of times, so I was one of the early morning risers, which to be completely honest was a HUGE benefit.

I spent my mornings sitting on the dock, watching the calm of Evans Lake in Squamish, BC, while eating my pre-packed overnight oats.

Side note: Yes, I did bring my own breakfast, because

  • (a) I like to eat pretty much as soon as I wake up
  • (b) I love my oatmeal, and
  • (c) Breakfast is the one meal of my day that I master the blood sugars on 95% per cent of the time, and I just like how that starts my day, so I wasn’t about to mess with it

I also did my physio strength exercises: squats, alternating side planks, plank leg lifts, and a variety of hand workouts on that dock before most others woke.

And I was there when the mid risers braved the cool waters for a morning polar bear dip.

The brave T1D crew that started their mornings splashing, flipping, and diving into into Evans Lake
Some were brave enough to start their mornings splashing, flipping, and diving into Evans Lake – I was NOT that brave!

Quickly, the morning calm became a morning community of laughter, conversation, and appreciation.

Our days were filled with canoeing, paddle boarding, arts and crafts, hikes, rock climbing, archery, talks, and campfires.

We commiserated over our challenges with diabetes, but we also provided each with tips and tricks to managing some of those challenges.

CIM has created a unique community that is so beneficial to T1D management, mental health, and advocacy. I will 100% go again.

A group of people with T1D paddle boarding on Evans Lake at the Connected in Motion Western Slipstream 2022
This is T1D community – on paddle boards 🙂
Spreading the T1D advocacy

My workshop for the weekend focused on navigating the challenges of disordered eating in the T1D population.

I was the last session of the weekend, which allowed participants opportunity to get comfortable with each other first before diving into this deep and difficult topic.

Disordered eating is so prevalent in our community, yet it doesn’t get discussed often enough.

My goal Is to change that… one Slipstream, workshop, healthcare presentation, client at time 🙂

T1D dietitian Katie Bartel discusses disordered eating in T1D to a group of people with T1D at the Connected in Motion Western Slipstream 2022
This is advocacy and awareness building. I provided information and discussion points, and my T1D community elevated insight into the condition of disordered eating with T1D.

Until next time Connected in Motion …

Leave a Reply