Season of Gratitude and Hope
As we look ahead at the Thanksgiving holiday, our team is incredibly thankful for the continued support Zebra Crossings received this year. Our sponsors and donors have helped to sustain our mission, despite these difficult times. We have tightened our belt and spent our time working to strengthen our infrastructure behind the scenes, while providing virtual communities for our youth. We are looking at next year with a sense of hope that we can reconvene in small in-person communities, while maintaining continued vigilance in our actions to be safe and healthy.
 
We continue to adapt because we know that our programs have a lasting impact through the stories of our participants. We are proud that our teens and young adults are able to articulate their successes simply and clearly.

“As a former camper and Leader-In-Training I’ve learned so much.
I’ve become a much more confident person,
and I’m less afraid to try new things.
I would like to thank you for all your support of Zebra Crossings
and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today
without this amazing organization.” - Lila
 
We keep looking for the bright spots that are around us and we wish you a healthy, happy, and safe Thanksgiving holiday.
Partnering For Strength
This month Zebra Crossings and the American Youth Foundation (AYF) extended their partnership in a creative way. The AYF is a nonprofit youth development organization that engages thousands of youth year-round through community and school programs, summer camps, and leadership conferences at our beautiful properties, Merrowvista in New Hampshire and Miniwanca in Michigan. Since 1925, they have welcomed young people from around the world to their campuses to discover the richness of our outdoor environments, the fun of interacting with a positive community, and the challenge of self-discovery.
 
Astrid worked 14 years for the AYF prior to founding Zebra Crossings. For the past 9 years both organizations have collaborated on delivering programs and serving our youth & families. As both organizations are working to explore program options for the 2021 program season, they identified an opportunity to share human resources. Astrid will continue her part time role of Executive Director of Zebra Crossings while also serving part time as the Senior Health & Safety Director for the American Youth Foundation. Both organizations will need to wrestle the same questions and concerns over the next few months. The Zebra Crossings board is currently taking on a scenario planning process, which includes if/when the organization can safely offer in person programs.
 
For Astrid and Zebra Crossings, it will be a gift to collaborate with the AYF staff team this upcoming year to review regulation and guidelines to determine feasibility of running safe programs supported by strong COVID protocols. Thinking together with the AYF team will support Zebra Crossings in better decision making for the same questions and health & safety concerns.

Some of Astrid’s responsibilities will be shifted to Meg Arnold, our part time Administrative Assistant, who is eager to increase her hours. Kim Strout will continue to serve as our Program Coordinator and be the smiling face of our programs.
New Asthma Pilot Program
Education and Self-Management

We are excited to be working with the NH Asthma Control Program to run an “Open Airways for Schools” curriculum as developed by the American Lung Association
 
This pilot program, for youth ages 10-12, includes six skill building sessions on asthma education. Within these six sessions your camper will learn about asthma and how it affects them, how to recognize their triggers, know when to get help, set up an asthma action plan, and learn how to relax during an attack. At the end of the program they will receive a certificate to show that they are ready to carry their own quick relief inhaler at school, or at any of their programs, with confidence. An asthma action plan will be filled out, so everyone will be able to work together to better care for your child's wellness.

This first pilot will be held via Zoom. It will have some hands on interaction and open discussions to share ideas and ask questions if you need more reassurance. It is geared for a camper who knows about their asthma but would like to be more in control of it and is ready to take the next step to self-reassurance.

We will be running four Zoom sessions in the month of December from 3:30-4:30pm.
·        Tue Dec 08: Basic Information & Feelings About Asthma
·        Thu Dec 10: Recognizing & Managing Asthma Symptoms
·        Tue Dec 15: Finding & Controlling Asthma Triggers and Healthy Choices
·        Thu Dec 17: Doing Well at School and Certificate celebration!

This pilot program is free. We ask families commit to attending all four sessions.
Contact meg@zebra-crossings.org for more information.
Zebra Zoom Thursdays
Our monthly Zebra Zoom time for all ages (6-17) continue to connect and support our youth! Tomorrow we will be playing a creative game of I-Spy with Kim.

Join us the 3rd Thursday of the month
Next session is tomorrow, November 19th
Zebra Zoom meets from 7:00-8:00pm

Please email meg@zebra-crossings.org if you would like to join these sessions. New families and siblings are welcome!
Diabetes Awareness Month
Share Your Story

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, an important time to reflect on successes and struggles of our campers with diabetes and their families. Zebra Crossings strives to provide resources and support to all of our families, even when we can’t physically gather together at camp.

It’s difficult to imagine what it’s like to grow up with diabetes if you haven’t experienced it yourself. This article “What Kids With TID Want Their Parents To Know” features things kids with Type 1 Diabetes wish that they could communicate to their parents, from “Tomorrow is another day” to “Try not to let me grow up too fast.” It could be a helpful starting point for meaningful discussion, or something to reflect on over time.

On the other hand, this article “Diabetes Small Talk (And The Things We Don’t Say)” addresses the difficulty as a parent to discuss your child’s diabetes with people who are unfamiliar with the condition. It offers meaningful perspective on having productive conversations about diabetes, whichever side of the conversation you are on.

Would you like to share your family’s diabetes success stories from the past year? We would love to hear them! Email meg@zebra-crossings.org with something your camper (or whole family!) is proud of to be featured on Zebra Crossings Facebook page and help us raise awareness about diabetes.
Food Allergy Management Resource
Planning Ahead This Holiday Season

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time to manage food allergies. Sharing meals with loved ones is a tradition many of us treasure, but can lead to stress and anxiety if there isn't a plan to address allergies in place. Check out these helpful Tips For Celebrating Thanksgiving With Food Allergies to help you plan ahead this holiday season.
Zebra Crossings
PO Box 411
Dover, NH 03821
(603) 312-2052