Family Diabetes Camp Amidst COVID-19: A Community of Practice Model


  • Eddie Hill Old Dominion University
  • Rowan Williams Old Dominion University
  • Justin A. Haegele Old Dominion University
  • Ron Ramsing Western Kentucky University
  • Bethany Arrington Old Dominion University
  • Laura Hill Old Dominion University



type 1 diabetes, camp, COVID, community of practice


Studies have found that youth are experiencing higher anxiety levels than prior to COVID-19, and youth with type 1 diabetes are at higher risk. Medical specialty camps are a type of camp that provide opportunities for youth with chronic illnesses to share common goals, increase socialization, improve camper well-being, and increase knowledge of diabetes management. The program evaluation sought to determine the impact of a campers’ outcomes of independence and perceived competence and familial impact during COVID-19. Over half the participants were at their first diabetes camp and 71% of the  campers felt their perceived competence “increased a little bit” because of camp. Over 95% of parents felt that their participation in camp had increased their diabetes knowledge. Qualitative data from parents revealed 2 themes, camp as a meeting place and learning from others. The findings from this study demonstrate that medical specialty camps influence campers’ perceptions of independence and competence and that families play an important role in creating a community of practice.

Author Biography

Justin A. Haegele, Old Dominion University

Center for Movement, Health & Disability


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