Canada's longest running camp for children living with type 1 diabetes. In 1953, diabetes looked very different than it does today. It had been just over twenty years since Leonard Thompson received the very first medical injection of insulin at age 14. Until that point, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was a death sentence. It would be another twenty years until blood glucose meters began finding their way into homes. Patients with diabetes used reusable glass syringes, sharpening needles on a whetstone, to deliver their insulin. Cell phones, computers, and digital anything were non-existent. It was in the heart of this history that a group of volunteers decided to launch Canada’s first diabetes camp for children. Under the sponsorship of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, the camp received $1500 in seed money. The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region supported the venture by providing a campsite. Local doctors and nurses staffed the camp. And, in the summer of 1953, children struggling with the challenges of diabetes packed bags, left parents behind, and went to camp. How magical is that? The camp grew and evolved, fueled by a steady passion for its community and a dedication to its children. In the early 1980s, the Canadian Diabetes Association (now Diabetes Canada) began working closely with the camp committee from Kiwanis, eventually assuming full sponsorship of the camp a few years later. 2018 marked a major milestone for Camp Banting as it continued under its own sails as an independent camp for children and families affected by type 1 diabetes. The camp continues with its existing medical leadership and volunteers intact. Camp directors and program leadership have been sourced from long-attending alumni. Operating as an independent not for profit organization, in partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Lions Clubs of Canada, and the Bonnenfant YMCA-YWCA Outdoor Education and Leadership Centre, we’re looking forward to celebrating our sixty-sixth anniversary on the shores of the Ottawa River in August.