The Rotary Club of Webster-Dudley was pleased to welcome to its February 1st club meeting, Brendan Duffy, Program Director for the Barton Center for Diabetes Education.
The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, Inc. is one of the largest, independent camping and educational programs in the country dedicated to children who live with diabetes and the people who care for them. The Barton Center is a year-round camp where more than 2,000 children and their families participate in their programs annually, including 1-3 week residential programs at the Clara Barton Camp for girls in North Oxford and Camp Joslin for boys in Charlton, and other day camps in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Campers come from all over the world, including Spain, Puerto Rico and Eastern Europe.Brendan was diagnosed with type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes on his 3rd birthday in 1993. When he was 7 years old, he was disappointed that his siblings were able to go to adventure camp but he couldn't because of his diabetes. Brendan's grandfather paid for him to go to Camp Joslin, which changed everything for him. He kept telling his family that all he wanted to do was to be a camp counselor, so as soon as he could, he did just that.
This past summer, Brendan was promoted as the new program director for the Barton Center, where he has 15 people on his staff. In December, he finally turned 21.The mission of the Barton Center is to improve the lives of children with insulin-dependent diabetes through education, recreation, and support programs which inspire and empower.Brendan shared with the Rotarians, and visitor to the club Chief Tim Bent (who will be club speaker on February 8th) about his time when he grew up at Camp Joslin. He said he experienced many "firsts" while there, including doing his first injection himself. New campers are always observed all upset the first day they arrive to camp and that by two days in they can't wait to call home to tell their parents they want to stay longer. The kids all talk about the new things they've learned.
Interestingly, a high number of staffers have been campers there themselves.The cost to attend one of the two-week sessions at the camp is $2500. No child is ever turned away. If a child or parent applies for financial aid or help, they will receive it. Brendan explained that the Barton Center does all their fund raising themselves, which includes doing an auction, a motorcycle ride and their annual 4K St. Patrick's Road Race/Walk. They rely heavily on volunteers, which also are used during their spring cleanup in May to spruce up the cabins.
The Rotary Club of Webster-Dudley will be on-site during the St. Patrick's Road Race/Walk handing out water to the participants.
Anyone interested in entering the event or volunteering can go to: http://bartoncenter.org/bcsite/node/726 or call (508) 987-2056.The Rotary Club of Webster-Dudley meets weekly on Wednesdays from 5:00-6:15 pm at Point Breeze in Webster.
Meetings are open to the general public - and highly encouraged! Check us out on Facebook for our upcoming speakers - www.facebook.com/websterdudleyrotary.
For more information regarding being a speaker, membership, or our upcoming projects, contact club PR chair Cheryl Rosen at (508) 791-9283 or
.Rotary is a global humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders with a shared commitment to make the world a better place through humanitarian service. Rotary’s top priority is the global eradication of polio.
- Wednesday, 08 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Region