Every May, Rock Eagle 4-H in Eatonton, Georgia, becomes the home of a very special and unique camp. For five days and four nights, anywhere between 70 to 90 campers, ages 6 to 18, converge onto one location ready to start their camping experience. Some are seasoned veterans: planning which bunk they want and what activities they hope they get to do this year. Others are a little nervous and apprehensive, because this is their first time at camp and, for some, their first time away from home. Sounds like a typical camp start, but what makes this camp different from any other camp is all the campers have diabetes. Some of these children have only had diabetes a few weeks or months, while others have had it for years. A lot of campers are the only diabetics in their school or community so they do not have that connection with other diabetics their age to talk to and identify with issues that are unique to their diabetes. That is what makes Camp Little Shot not only a special experience for these camper, but their family, a community in which they can rely on, learn with, grow with, and know they can count on year after year.
For five days, these children are able to participate in a multitude of activities, education, and fun filled days not being alone but being a part of something special. Camp Little Shot want these campers to know that Diabetes is something they can live with and manage in order to become leaders and changers in their families, schools, and community in which they live. Their days are full of great activities like bike riding, hiking, canoeing, paddle boarding, arts and crafts, field games, Colorpalooza, and pool time to name a few. Still, within all of these great activities, they are also being educated in dietary controls, the importance of exercise and moving, pump education, and other areas that helps them become better.
It takes a lot of time, planning, and work to make this camp happen. Dr. Tom Jones had this vision of a camp in 1980. In the past 36 years, it has progressed from a one day experience to five full days that campers come to be a part of year after year. With Dr. Jones’ wife, Elizabeth, as Camp Director, and a host of volunteers, this camp remains a strong center in the lives of many children every year. The volunteers are made up of nurses, doctors, counselors that grew up in Camp Little Shot, and people who want to see these children be successful at all they do in their lives. They have become just as much of a family as the campers. The counselors work and give their time so these campers can have an exciting time. They want to see a change and growth in their campers, but they change and grow as a side effect as well. One of the most remarkable aspects of this camp is it is free to all who attend. No camper has ever paid to attend Camp Little Shot. It is through donations and gifts that CLS can offer these few days of freedom, friendship, learning, and growth to these campers each and every year. We would truly appreciate any donation made to keep this camp free for the many children whose lives are changed and made better through their time and years spent at Camp Little Shot.