By Sheryl Hirsch

Like many parents considering an overnight camp for their child, my husband and I took a tour of Camp Tevya in Brookline, NH. It was a warm day, and we had our son, Garrett, in tow. Unlike the rest of the families touring, we already knew our way around and were familiar with the camp’s welcoming atmosphere, rustic bunks, and sparkling lake. Our daughter, Amanda, was already a camper there enjoying her second summer of sports, crafts, and building friendships.

Garrett couldn’t wait to go. We, however, had other concerns.

Garrett was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 3 ½ years old. The little guy went from getting vaccination shots once a year to needing two insulin shots every day to keep his blood sugar in a healthy range. We sometimes had to chase him around the house as he yelled, “No shot, no shot.” It was heartbreaking, but he made the adjustments and learned to live with this new reality.

Jim and I loved the idea of Garrett joining Amanda at Camp Tevya, and he wanted to go. He had enjoyed attending Camp Joslin in Carlton, MA, an overnight camp for boys with diabetes that has many doctors and nurses on staff, but we wanted him to have the opportunity to celebrate Shabbats and to deepen his Jewish identity at a Jewish camp.

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