In 1938, Dr. Mary B. Olney, a physician from UC San Francisco, took 19 children with type-1 diabetes to camp to teach them how to better manage their condition. Dr. Olney believed that children with diabetes could live healthy and productive lives by learning how to care for their diabetes with a complex management system. Today, Diabetes Youth Families still holds true to that philosophy, creating opportunities for children and teens with diabetes which are equal to that of their peers who do not have diabetes. DYF also recognizes the impact that type-1 diabetes can have on a family unit and is dedicated to supporting the parents, caregivers and sibling who are affected.
The mission of DYF is to improve the quality of life for children, teens and families affected by diabetes. The organization provides education and recreation within a supportive community, encouraging personal growth, knowledge and independence.
DYF serves more than 1,900 individuals annually (children and teens with diabetes, siblings, parents and guardians) through its resident camps, day camps, recreation programs and diabetes education seminars. Our most well-known program is our Bearskin Meadow Summer Camp. Bearskin Meadow Camp (BMC) is one of the oldest wilderness camps for diabetic youth in the country. Since 1938 our camp program has provided children and families affected by diabetes health education services that enable campers to learn by experience to keep optimum health while participating fully in any activity. Approximately half (800) of our program participants attend our BMC program which is located in the Sequoia National Forest just outside of Kings Canyon Naitonal Park.
Beginning in 2011, we expanded our offerings of summer programs to include three day camps (East Palo Alto, Marin and Oakland) and a week long kids and teen camp in Boulder Creek called Camp De Los Ninos.
During the rest of the year we host weekend programs at facilities around the Bay Area including Camp Arroyo in Livermore and Camp Jones Gulch in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In addition to these programs, we offer a variety of recreation and education programs including a mother/daughter retreat, ski weekend (Tahoe), surf camp (Pacifica) and one day kids camps.