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Camp Life as a Nutrition Student is about to begin...

I love adventures and learning new things. So imagine when I discovered the opportunity to give back with my nutrition and food literacy skills at a sleepover Camp for kids and youth living with Type 1 Diabetes: Camp Huronda close to Huntsville, Ontario in the (well known & famously popular) Muskoka region.

This amazing experience is organized and run by Diabetes Canada along with many others across Canada. While many campers document their own journeys (just search #camphuronda or #T1D ), I wanted to give my perspective as a medical team / dietetic staff member (of course, being confidential as necessary!).

As a nutrition graduate and about to begin my MAN graduate school program, I know there are many others curious about unique jobs available. I prefer to call it experiential learning because I am sure I will learn just as much as I give for the time that I'm there.

Where am I currently? I am living in London, Ontario and heading up to Camp Huronda in 9 days.

Friendship bracelets in different colours with words saying Believe, Resilience, Inspire and Empower

Yet, my journey began way back in February when the school I was attending shared a posting on their student system. I took the initiative to read the PDF letter from the Dietetic Coordinator (Step 1!) and apply (Step 2). Yet, I'm sure many were not able to apply for several reasons:

- Only 2-4 weeks maximum of employment per nutrition student (funding university is expensive if doing it solo)

- Pay was a stipend and not an hourly wage (yet all food and accommodations are FREE!)

- Not well advertised or extra information via Google search (job posting did a great job though)

But in my opinion, this was one of the BEST (& ONLY) opportunities to work with patients with Type 1 Diabetes available to nutrition, nursing and medical students I had come across in my search (for many years).

A jackpot for a person who was looking to learn and grow while working in a naturally gorgeous location filled with food, fun, laughter and lake life!

As the weeks passed, I waited patiently then impatiently. I emailed the coordinator when I received news that I was accepted as a dietetic intern and Master's student from several grad schools. (I thought it might help my application since they also have dietetic interns do some of their placements here!) And then, I got the email for a phone interview (Step 3). Within a week, I had my job offer and she asked me if I could do TWO sessions (one session is 2 weeks, so I'd get to work 4 weeks - almost the entire month of July!).

Immediately, I responded YES! to the email (Step 4).

Summer camp journal

So now here I am, preparing for my Camp Huronda experience as a Nutrition Student for 2022. This is the first in-person camp there since the pandemic of 2020-2021 forced it to pause. I'm so excited to be working face-to-face again and I'm sure all the campers (and parents) are thrilled to get away for an experience of a lifetime.

I'll be posting again before I leave to share what and how I'm packing as well as my online training to be completed before I arrive. (More training happens on location!)


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