The mission of the Camp Nejeda Foundation is to enhance the lives of people with type 1 diabetes and their families through education, empowerment, camaraderie, supportive programs, and fun.
In 1958, a group of insightful parents (the New Jersey Diabetes League) partnered with caring health professionals (the New Jersey Diabetes Association) to create a safe place for their children and patients to come together, have fun, and at the same time, develop their diabetes management skills.
The new camp was called Camp Nejeda, an acronym for NEw JErsey Diabetes Association. A few years later, when it came time to purchase the land where the camp is still located, the partnership evolved into the Camp Nejeda Foundation.
Camp Nejeda has grown from a “clinic in the woods” serving 20 children its first summer to a highly respected and specialized camp experience for children with diabetes serving nearly 500 campers and families each year.
Today, Camp Nejeda is the tri-state region’s only full-season residential camp to exclusively serve campers with type 1 diabetes and their families. As one of just a handful in the U.S. to own its facilities, Camp Nejeda is able to offer not only a full summer season of residential diabetes camping but other programs throughout the year.
Camp Nejeda continues to be operated by the Camp Nejeda Foundation, Inc., an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose volunteer Board of Trustees are committed to helping children with type 1 diabetes live healthier, happier lives. The Camp Nejeda Foundation is active in the Diabetes Education and Camping Association, an organization with members from across the U.S., Canada, and internationally. Camp Nejeda is accredited by the American Camp Association, which evaluates over 300 standards for health, safety, and program quality, and is fully licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health.
The Need for Camp Nejeda
At Camp Nejeda, youth with diabetes are given the opportunity to live, if only for one or two weeks at a time, in a world where having diabetes is the norm and where there is no need to explain blood sugar testing, finger pricks, insulin injections, ketones, 'lows' (insulin reactions), boluses or 'carb' counting. Everyone here already understands!
Here, children with diabetes are free to be just children. This normalizing of their experience combines with both formal and informal educational moments to promote good diabetes management and healthy, active living.
The addition of our Family Camps, Day Camps, Spring and Fall Weekend programs and Survive and Thrive Bootcamp for Adults with type 1 diabetes offered throughout the year expands the empowering fellowship and educational opportunities for individuals with type 1 diabetes of all ages and their families.
As the only facility of our kind in New Jersey and its neighboring states, Camp Nejeda hosts children, teens and families from across the region. While most are from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, we have regular campers from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and elsewhere. Diabetes does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, geography, or class and neither does the Camp Nejeda Foundation. We welcome our campers from all walks of life and all backgrounds.
The Camp Nejeda Foundation subsidizes the cost of camp for all our campers and provides additional financial assistance to approximately 30% of our campers each year. Campership awards range from 20% to 100% support. Most awards are for 100%.