Why You Should Attend Diabetes Camp—As An Adult


There are so many ways to connect with the diabetes community—through apps, forums, social media and more. But nothing compares to the interactions we experience when we are surrounded by people who just “get it.”

Meet tons of fellow type 1 diabetics (T1Ds) who are experiencing the same things, asking the same questions, and looking for support at Slipstreams camp weekends.

Slipstreams—the area of reduced air pressure and forward suction immediately behind a rapidly moving vehicle or person or group of birds—are adult diabetes camps for adults and adults only! Spend a few days with your diabuddies on a beautiful campsite, attend speaker sessions on various topics, make friends, stay active and most importantly—have fun!

Here’s the philosophy: It’s easier to travel in the Slipstream.

When people with type 1 diabetes get together, we can learn from one another, share our experiences and generate momentum. Here, BJ, Alice and Ciara, who attended the Northeastern Slipstream weekend in May 2022, share their experiences at camp.

Please note: If you want to attend adult diabetes camp this summer, there are a few more opportunities to join but sign up quickly! Here is a list of upcoming events.

How long have you lived with type 1 diabetes?

BJ: I’ve lived with type 1 for 24 years. I was diagnosed in March of 1998 at age 12. I lived the life of NPH insulin and Pork “R” Insulin. I’m an elder with diabetes in the community if you will. Now get me my diabetic-friendly slippers.

Alice: I have lived with type 1 since 2008. It is going to be 14 years on August 11th. And yes, I do remember the date and that it was a Monday…

Ciara: I have been living with T1D for 24.5 years!

Why did you decide to sign up for the Northeastern Slipstream?

BJ: I was raised in a small town and never had any role models growing up, so getting a chance to hang with other T1Ds is a dream come true. I wanted to meet others who craved adventure and fun without living in fear of type 1 diabetes.

Alice: I used to have an awesome support group back in Germany but still haven’t found one since I moved here six years ago. I signed up for the virtual slipstream last year and just realized how much I missed talking to my diabuddies. When this year’s email was sent out, I was stoked to actually meet others in person.

Ciara: I attended a Slipstream event in 2018 in Nova Scotia and was keen to dive in again. I was also lucky enough to be able to teach a yoga session at the NE Slipstream event, as well as lead a session on Mindfulness.

What was your favorite thing about camp?

BJ: The people. Connecting with people like myself who can share stories, education and experience is life-changing. These are my people.

Alice: Just being around other people with diabetes. Seeing how other people take care of their diabetes. Since the camp I am wearing my sensor on my legs as well. It is such a convenient spot I had never thought about before.

Ciara: There is nothing like the vibes felt when surrounded by a bunch of people who have very similar day-to-day experiences as you. Camp is inspiring and energizing.

Slipstreams were put on hold for a little while because of the pandemic and lockdowns. How important is community to you now?

BJ: More important than ever! After taking a few summers off because of the pandemic and feeling the energy from the Maine Slipstream, I didn’t realize how bad my mental health needed the Connected in Motion/Beyond Type 1 crew! After being encouraged to stay inside and isolated, it’s nice to break free (snacks in hand) and get out into the world again.

Alice: I would love to meet other diabuddies more often than just once a year!

Ciara: Community is so important! I’ve witnessed the difference that connection makes, both within my own life and in the lives of others.

What do you want people to know about adult diabetes camp? Would you recommend it to others?

BJ: I would like people to know it’s one of the best experiences of my life. The activities, the food, education and people you meet will change your life for the better. I wish I could stay at camp 24/7.

Alice: It is a lot of fun, you learn little tricks no diabetes educator or endocrinologist will tell you. You can vent, listen to other people vent and tell hilarious stories. I would absolutely recommend participating in a diabetes camp if possible!

Ciara: 10/10 I would recommend Slipstream events to others. I want people to know that everyone is so nice and welcoming. It’s a great opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone. You’ll meet so many new people and make lifelong friends, even within the span of a few days.

Check out this first-timer’s guide to Slipstreams here and view beautiful photos from the Northeastern Slipstream here.

WRITTEN BY Erika Szumel, POSTED 08/05/22, UPDATED 12/20/22

Erika has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2000 and has strived to be an advocate for the diabetes community ever since. Every November she shares her thoughts and photos on living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) on Facebook to help raise awareness for the disease. Erika earned her BA in Visual & Sound Media at Seton Hall University in New Jersey and began her career as a TV producer. Living at the Jersey shore, Erika is a lover of the little things, the ocean and pork roll.