Camp Sweeney is built upon four ideals that campers and staff alike strive to achieve: Habitualization, Self Confidence, Self-Esteem and True Life- Long Friendships.
Habitualization is crucial in developing a treatment regimen for any child with diabetes. Diabetes management skills are learned here and become lifelong habits. Campers learn to plan healthy meals and regulate insulin. They learn exercise programs and medical management skills. With help from physician and counselors, campers are taught to independently manage their diabetes with habits that help combat long-term effects of type I diabetes. Independent research studies show that Camp Sweeney improves both the short-term and long-term prognoses for children with diabetes.
Camp Sweeney is more than a summer camp. It is a lifestyle enhancing program that builds self-confidence. It empowers youngsters to have the strength to make healthy lifestyle choices. Campers learn about themselves and others. Camp Sweeney encourages young people to develop the confidence to achieve their goals, whether in sports, academics, art or other talents. Opportunities are provided to each camper through the dedicated work of our program staff to help accomplish these goals, inspiring confidence within each camper in their own way.
Camp Sweeney builds self-esteem by getting campers to recognize value in their own virtues rather than the everyday predetermined values of the world. Campers are encouraged to strive to represent meaningful life values in each other and in their everyday actions. Each individual cabin determines a set of 10 characteristics, which are then combined with all eight cabins' sets. The top 10 characteristics for a camping session are called our "Code of Living Traits." These traits are discussed often and campers are encouraged to embody these traits. The "Code of Living" brings each camping session together over a positive common goal: to live a life based on virtues and true friendships.
Camp Sweeney is truly a place where friendship begins and never ends. Many campers have been attending Camp Sweeney since they were five, yet others do not attend until age 17. The consensus is consistent among our older campers, "come as long as you can, as often as you can." Camp Sweeney is a place filled with campers who give of themselves to welcome new friends into the Sweeney Family. This giving atmosphere develops and fosters friendships at Camp Sweeney as youngsters relate and connect to other young diabetics who share their struggles, goals and dreams. Although summers will come and go, Camp Sweeney friends are friends that are here for a lifetime.