Positive momentum at Camp Kudzu

The pace and momentum continues to build at Camp Kudzu. In February, I joined the Programs Team for a combined conference hosted by the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) and the American Camping Association (ACA) in Orlando. With more than 1,500 attendees, including 51 diabetes camps, I'm proud to say Camp Kudzu is truly among the largest and best diabetes camps in the country and our staff team members shined. It was also good to partner and meet some of the other outstanding camps in attendance. We all came back to Atlanta with even more great ideas on how to improve and expand our CK offerings.
Kat Shreve officially joined us in the CK Office as our Director of Programs, and she is already digging in and working with Anna Rambo by giving shape to our Junior Counselor (JC) program. Our initial JC interviews took place last weekend, and as one of our organizational key priorities we continue to enhance our leadership development and education offerings for our teens. In terms of expansion of our efforts, I'm also pleased to report that we hosted our kick-off meeting for our Outreach Committee in late February. Whitney LeHew continues to make progress on identifying and connecting with underserved families. We have 37 campers registered to date from this vulnerable population, with a goal of 100 new campers for FY18.

Our Spring Family Camp is set for April 20-22 and Mandy Conroy has been busy transitioning into her role as Camp Kudzu Registrar. We have 30 families already registered and 21 of those are NEW to Camp Kudzu!

I would like to give a special callout to Georgia Tech and our EPIC Intentions Project Team, who have been busy working on revamping our Camp Kudzu Website. Stay tuned as we make improvements to the look, functionality and responsiveness of the site. The timing of this project could not be better, as we just received confirmation from the Google Nonprofit Program that Camp Kudzu was approved for a special grant for Google advertising! With this generous contribution, and by strategically leveraging these Google ads, we will be able to:

  • Increase Camp Kudzu visibility and strengthen our online brand better than ever before
  • Reach and connect with new families without existing ties to the organization, including underserved communities
  • Recruit program participants, campers, and new stakeholders
  • Grow online donations

I can't help but be excited for the progress we have already made and the momentum we have built to tackle even more projects in the works – thanks to your continued support!

-Rob Shaw
Executive Director
Burst Into Summer!
If you haven't made your summer plans with us yet, now is the time to register your child for a life changing experience. We are more than halfway full for the summer, so save your child's spot today. Full and partial scholarships are available, so don't hesitate to ask! We are here to help.
Kicking off outreach efforts
As Camp Kudzu continues to improve the lives of children and teens with type 1 diabetes, we know we never want to stop growing and helping more kids. That's why we are so proud to announce that Camp Kudzu's community leaders, volunteers, board members, and staff have joined together and formed our first Outreach Committee! The committee will work to make sure that as many campers as possible have access to the variety of fun and educational Camp Kudzu programs.

"I'm thrilled to be a member of the Outreach Committee because it perfectly matches up my passion for Camp Kudzu and desire to be involved in the community" said Nikki Penda, Outreach Committee member, "As someone who grew up in inner city Atlanta and never attending a sleep away camp, I couldn't appreciate the invaluable experiences and bonds that happen in such a short time. As a woman with diabetes, the lessons and connections made at Camp Kudzu are truly priceless. I am honored to be a part of expanding exposure of Camp Kudzu to others like myself."

The Outreach Committee met for the first time on February 27 to discuss new opportunities and set goals for the upcoming year. While proud of the fact that Camp Kudzu reached almost 700 children and teens living with type 1 diabetes in 2017, the committee set a goal of 800 for this year. Thanks to the work of the committee, you can expect exciting new ways to see Camp Kudzu's influence in cities all over Georgia!

To suggest ideas for reaching more potential campers to the committee, contact Whitney Gillis LeHew at wlehew@campkudzu.org.
Special Request
While many diabetes supplies are donated to Camp Kudzu each year, there are still supplies that we must purchase to be able to provide to our campers. Blood ketone strips are crucial to managing diabetes at camp, and at $1 per strip, they can get pricy! Each year, Camp Kudzu uses thousands of blood ketone strips to be used during camp. How can you help? Since the strips are specific to our blood ketone meters, monetary donations to fund our upcoming order for summer camp would be extremely useful!
Donate Now!
Eat your peas: Varying your veggies
Tired of the daily struggle of getting kids to eat their veggies? Are you eating salad after salad in order to meet your veggie needs? I often find myself in a "veggie rut," continually turning to the same few choices when it comes to preparing vegetables. It's not a matter of preference-I love nearly every vegetable under the sun-rather it's a familiarity and ease factor. Try varying your vegetables to surprise your taste buds and reduce boredom at mealtime-for you and your family.

Read more!
Camp Kudzu Special Offering!
Register your child for Session 4 at Camp Barney Medintz (7/29-8/4) and receive a $50 deposit discount. Take advantage of this offering while it lasts!
Spring Family Camp 2018
Registration for Spring Family Camp, April 20-22nd is almost full. Click below to find out more about this program and register your family today!
Coming Up!
Kudzu Cup Fore! Kids
Save the Date: May 21, 2018
Not just for golfers
Kudzu Cup Fore! Kids is in less than three months and you don't want to miss the opportunity to join us at the Country Club of the South in Johns Creek for a fantastic day of golfing. But, it's more than that - Kudzu Cup Fore! Kids raises funds and awareness for the important mission of Camp Kudzu - educating, empowering and inspiring kids living with type 1 diabetes.

Kudzu Cup is not just for golfers. We offer excellent opportunities for companies and individuals who may not wish to field a foursome or who simply want to market your businesses. They include: Camper Sponsorship, Yeti Sponsor, Cart Path Sponsor, Contest Sponsor and Tee Sponsor.

If you would like information on these or other sponsorships, please contact Doris Pierce-Hardy.
Junior Counselor Program
We held interviews this past weekend for our new Junior Counselor program. As always, we were so impressed by the knowledge, maturity, and leadership skills exhibited by the young adults involved with Camp Kudzu. We will be selecting 30 Junior Counselors to participate with us this summer to elevate their leadership skills and diabetes management as they transition into successful adults and become new volunteer staff in the coming years!
Third-party events make a meaningful impact
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You may have seen announcements about Ironing Man, Buttapalooza, Party with a Purpose, and A Taste of Tucker during the year. We describe these as "third-party events," and they provide fun opportunities to engage friends, family, neighbors, colleagues and even customers to support Camp Kudzu without attending a formal event or sending a donation.

Third-party events are volunteer developed and managed. They provide more than $70,000 per year and help meet the need for scholarships and operations. They also broaden awareness about the seriousness of type 1 diabetes and the education, empowerment, and inspiration for children living with this incurable disease and their families that Camp Kudzu's Camp offers.

Here's the good part: you can also educate your community about type 1 diabetes, empower campers with scholarship support, and inspire your friends and family with your own third-party event! Third-Party events can be creative, like Buttapalooza and its annual cookoff competition. They can be annual events, and they can even be kid-driven like the Lego project a young man included with his bar mitzvah. It could also be a yard sale or a cookout or a party!

Reach out to Doris to get guidelines and get started. Spring is the prefect time to get to enjoy with your friends while you do something meaningful.
Questions about registration or the application process?

Contact Mandy Conroy, Registration Coordinator at mconroy@campkudzu.org or 404-495-4863.
Email Mandy
2018 Kudzu Partners