Sun, camp, and summer memories

It’s been an amazing, fast-paced summer and -- it's hard to believe – exactly a year since I joined the Camp Kudzu Team and Family! I am so proud of the impact we have had with expanded programs: offering four summer sessions, growth in our family weekend programs, our Sprouts Day Camp, and the launch of our Junior Counselor program. "Thank you" doesn’t cover the gratitude all of us at Camp Kudzu have for our amazing and dedicated 400+ volunteers and, of course, our camp partners: YMCA High Harbour, Camp Twin Lakes, High Meadows Camp, and Camp Barney Medintz!

As we turn the corner and wrap up this fiscal year, we will have had a record 865 campers (and their families) participate in one or more of our programs with nearly 30 percent of these represented by NEW families to Camp Kudzu. We also surpassed our ambitious outreach goals for FY18 and had 121 families that otherwise would not have had an opportunity to take part in Kudzu programming join us, too! In 2018, we will award more than $200,000 in scholarships, which would not be possible without our generous donors and our committed Board of Directors. I want to collectively acknowledge our volunteer leadership and our Medical Advisory Board for their countless hours of supervision, input, and for giving shape to our best Camp Kudzu Summer in 19 years!

Additionally, this summer wouldn't have been possible without the year-round work of our Kudzu staff team, and I would be remiss if I didn't use this opportunity to thank Kat Shreve, Anna Albritton, Whitney LeHew, Anna Rambo, Doris Pierce-Hardy, Mandy Conroy, and Bianca Cato for their dedication to our mission. Way to go, Team!

Seeing Camp Kudzu in action is a unique and powerful experience, and one can't help but be affected in a profound way when considering the good work that we've accomplished these past 12 months.

The summer may be over, but I'm happy to say that Kudzu has programs throughout the year! Fall Family Camp is on the horizon: October 26-28 . Keep an eye out for registration information.

My sincere thanks to each of you that made this year and all our Kudzu programs possible! Camp Kudzu is a team effort, and everyone's contribution allowed us to provide another wonderful and successful summer! THANK YOU!

-Rob Shaw
Executive Director
Check out our latest camp pics!
As we finish out the summer and prepare for fall, take a look at some of our favorite pictures from Sprouts Day Camp and Summer Session 4:
Many thanks to all Camp Kudzu volunteers!
Camp Kudzu would not be possible without an army of volunteers, and we cannot THANK YOU enough! This summer alone, we had over 160 medical volunteers who worked with our campers to learn about all aspects of diabetes management. Additionally, we welcomed over 180 program volunteers, among whom were counselors, activity staff, logistics, and more, ensuring that our campers had the best camp experience ever! 

Save the Date
11th Annual
Left to right front: Stacey Kendrick, Co-Chair Melissa Zgonc, Co-Chair Jan Studdard, Sandi Ross, Cheryl Weiss, Kristi Moore, and Anna Rambo;
Left to right back: Robert Shaw, Doris Pierce-Hardy, 2018 Honoree Kathy Womack, and Bianca Cato.
Not Pictured: Ann Brumbaugh, Chris Cann, Alesandra Day, Cathie Doerr, Julie Economos, Consuelo Ecuyer, Jennifer Entrekin, Eloise Lamons, Jennifer Odom, Barbara Roos, and Amy Wethington
Create a Tribute Basket to Benefit Camp Kudzu
Camp Kudzu’s Annual Benefit Luncheon and Silent Auction will be held on November 13, and we need your help to make it a success! The Benefit Luncheon is Camp Kudzu’s largest fundraising event of the year, last year raising over $200,000 to support Camp Kudzu’s mission of educating, empowering, and inspiring children and teens living with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

The theme of this year’s Luncheon will focus on the Camp Kudzu experience and, most importantly, the campers who call Camp Kudzu home! The Silent Auction is always a huge hit, and we would love to include camper families by showcasing a former/current camper with a Camper Tribute Basket for which guests will bid. The basket should reflect the camper’s personality and can include items related to their hobbies and interests, favorite foods or sports, or even their favorite fun activities to do around Atlanta. Each Camp Kudzu camper is unique, and we hope the Camper Tribute Baskets will give those attending the luncheon a chance to “meet” our campers through their Tribute Basket.

How can your camper participate? 
  • Decide the theme of your Camper Tribute Basket! We ask that the minimum retail value of your basket be $100. We are always happy to help you with ideas! (Think about reaching out to local businesses for item donations, or even partner with another camper family to create a joint Tribute Basket.)
  • Tell us a little bit about your camper:
    1. Name, age, year that he/she first began attending Camp Kudzu
    2. Brief description about Camp Kudzu’s impact in the life of your camper (and family) in 3-4 sentences
    3. Quote from your camper about Camp Kudzu
    4. Photo of your camper
    5. Bring your Camper Tribute Basket and donation form to the Camp Kudzu office no later than Friday, October 26! (If you would rather have our wrapping wizards put together your basket, just bring your materials to the Camp office and we will take care of the rest!)
Upcoming Third-Party Events
On October 21st , Camp Kudzu will be riding in Spin For Kids. This event raises money that provides camp programs for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges, including Camp Kudzu.

Why We Ride
We're participating in Spin For Kids because we want to make a difference in the lives of CTL and Camp Kudzu campers. Camp gives kids an opportunity to build their confidence and capabilities without worrying about their extraordinary day to day challenges.

Why You Should Sponsor Our Team
A percentage of the funds raised will help supplement the overall cost associated with Camp Kudzu’s summer programs at Camp Twin Lakes. To support Camp Kudzu’s team or to get more information, please visit our team page .  

Buttapalooza (The Corner Pub)
Hosted by the Elrods, Buttapolooza is an event where individuals come out and “cook their butts off" – some of the best smoked butts in Decatur! Join the fun on November 3rd!  Visit their website for more information.  

For more details or answers to questions regarding third-party events, contact Doris Pierce-Hardy at .
Soak up that summer sunshine!
By Anna Albritton
We’ve all heard that the sun gives us Vitamin D, and it’s true! When sunshine hits our skin, our bodies make Vitamin D. This important vitamin could be considered Calcium’s sidekick, since it helps our bones stay strong. You may need as little as 5-30 minutes in the sun twice weekly to meet your Vitamin D needs. Getting your daily dose of Vitamin D can be as simple as walking the dog, watering the flowers, or walking to and from the dining hall at camp.

REAL impacts from volunteering
By Kat Shreve
"What is REAL?" the Velveteen Rabbit asked the Skin Horse one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

2018 Kudzu Partners