The campers were divided into groups based on age, and each group was named for a different woodland creature. The youngest campers were adorably named the Chipmunks, and the oldest campers were named the Eagles, which is symbolic of their camp chiefdom. I was assigned to be an adult counselor with the Eagles, who are 16 and 17 years of age. Initially, I had mixed feelings about working with teenagers, but in hindsight I am so very glad for the opportunity to get to know these young individuals on a personal level.
Highs and Lows
When given a chance to share, I confided my fears about putting my knowledge into practice at the risk of others. I described my weekly low as being unsure of myself at the beginning of the week, and described my weekly high as the confidence I had gained with their encouragement. By the end of the week the campers were asking me to come back next year, and I cannot begin to describe how happy that made me feel.
This week made me realize how passionate I am about youth development. As a counselor to 16 and 17 year old campers, a lot of the conversation trended towards future goals and plans for college. I have felt the pull towards pursuing a career in academics for a while now, and this experience helped me realize how much I enjoy counseling students as much as teaching them. Our youth is our future.
This post does not come close to scratching the surface of all that diabetes camp taught me on a personal and professional level. The people I encountered at this camp, from the campers to the medical staff to the executive staff, all touched my life in one way or another. I have a better understanding of type 1 diabetes, but at the same time I realize that I will never really understand what it is like to live with this disease. My contribution to individuals who suffer from this disease can be to continue working and volunteering with organizations that provide these great opportunities, as well as supporting the search for a cure.
CRD 1.2 Apply evidence-based guidelines, systematic reviews and scientific literature (such as the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Library and Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guidelines, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Guideline Clearinghouse Web sites) in the nutrition care process and model and other areas of dietetics practice.
CRD 1.4 Evaluate emerging research for application in dietetics practice.
CRD 2.1 Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes and rules, as applicable and in accordance with accreditation standards and the Scope of Dietetics Practice and Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics.
CRD 2.3 Design, implement and evaluate presentations to a target audience. (Tip: A quality presentation considers life experiences, cultural diversity and educational background of the target audience.)
CRD 2.4 Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change.
CRD 2.5 Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in group settings.
CRD 2.7 Refer clients and patients to other professionals and services when needs are beyond individual scope of practice.
CRD 2.8 Apply leadership principles to achieve desired outcomes.
CRD 2.9 Participate in professional and community organizations.
CRD 2.10 Establish collaborative relationships with other health professionals and support personnel to deliver effective nutrition services. (Tip: Other health professionals include physicians, nurses, pharmacists, diabetes educators, health educators, etc.)
CRD 2.11 Demonstrate professional attributes within various organizational cultures. (Tip: Professional attributes include showing initiative and proactively developing solutions, advocacy, customer focus, risk taking, critical thinking, flexibility, time management, work prioritization and work ethic.)
CRD 3.3 Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management. (Tip: Students/Interns should consider health messages and interventions that integrate the consumer’s desire for taste, convenience and economy with the need for nutrition and food safety.)
CRD 3.4 Deliver respectful, science-based answers to consumer questions concerning emerging trends. (Tip: Students/Interns should demonstrate and promote responsible use of resources including employees, money, time, water, energy, food and disposable goods.)