female climbing a climbing wall

August 17, 2021

SIU invites youths with diabetes to register for Camp BETA

by Christi Mathis

(Editors note: This camp was canceled for fall 2021.)

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Camp BETA, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s free camp for youths with Type 1 diabetes, is returning to Touch of Nature Environmental Center this fall.

The camp features two October one-day camp sessions rather than the traditional overnight camps. Each session is for a different age group and special COVID-19 precautions and guidelines will be in place.

Both camps take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The camp schedule is:

  • Oct. 2 — youths in grades 3-6.
  • Oct. 3 — youths in grades 7-10.

Full camp experience

Organizers will incorporate a wide variety of authentic camp experiences into each day including hiking, arts and crafts, archery, scaling the climbing wall, team building activities and more. It all takes place at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road.

Sponsors include Touch of Nature, Southern Illinois Healthcare, the Diabetes Resource Team and the SIU Dietetic Internship program.

Sign up now

While there is no cost to participate in the camp, pre-registration is required no later than Sept. 1. Space is limited. Registration is available at


For additional information or details, contact Jasmine Cave at jcave@siu.edu or by calling 618-453-3950.

The name of the camp itself is significant for two reasons. It’s an acronym for the camp motto:

  • Believe in yourself – a positive attitude helps with diabetes management.
  • Empower yourself – you are in control, not the diabetes.
  • Talk – ask for help, share needs with appropriate people.
  • Act – be proactive, eating healthy, staying active and taking prescribed medications.

The name is also a reference to the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce and secrete insulin, the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the body.