Summer Camp 2022 Was a Blast!

HFMD Summer Camp 2022

We had a great time at the HFMD Summer camp in June, and enjoyed spending time with our campers from all over MN, ND, SD, and IA! For the first time, Camp was held at YMCA Camp Iduhapi in Loretto, MN. Located on a beautiful acreage, Camp is surrounded by forest and prairie, nestled on the shore of the aptly named Lake Independence. Through a combination of programming, fun activities, and charismatic staff, Iduhapi strives to foster character development, skill building and life-long friendships within their campers. What a great setting to learn more about bleeding disorders, develop self-care skills, and find community! Truly, nothing can beat the bonds and memories that develop at summer camp, and it is a joy to reminisce about it. So, what did we do?

We had fun. Each day campers participated in team building games and activities with their cabins in the morning, and then selected from a wide range of activities in the afternoon. Some favorites included horseback riding, the climbing wall, gaga ball, sports, and arts and crafts. With record breaking hot temperatures, swimming in Lake Independence was also popular! Campers enjoyed jumping off the dock, swimming, floating, and playing ball on the waterfront.

We learned. There were daily opportunities to work with HTC clinical staff on skills such as Sub-Q injections using HEMLIBRA practice kits, and self-infusing. Many participated in an education initiative to learn more about their bleeding disorder, earning cool wrist bands for completion of four series of trivia questions and skill demonstrations. Dawn Rusk of Mayo Clinic also led a great girl’s focused group one afternoon.

We inspired. Each day, older campers could be found in the health center during prophy time, supporting younger campers through demonstrations, encouragement, and sharing words of wisdom. Continuing a favorite tradition, we recognized the huge milestone of attempting an IV stick for the first time with The Big Stick, campers clapping and cheering one another on. Positive energy and inspiring the next steps to independence was evident in the health center.

We found identity. It is the people who make camp special, and we had a great turnout this year- a combination of first-time campers with those who have attended for many seasons. To recognize this week of camp and the many years to come, we had the goal of determining an official camp name! Campers and staff helped to generate, submit, and vote on names…. and during closing campfire, the voting results were revealed. We are officially Camp Not-A-Clot!! A name that is fun, catchy and inclusive of the multiple bleeding disorder diagnoses that we see.

A huge thank you to our campers and staff from Children’s MN, Mayo Clinic, M Health Fairview, Sanford Health ND, and Sanford Health SD for making it a great week. We are already looking forward to Camp Not-A-Clot 2023! – By Becca Shaheen