Last week I asked you to check out the poll on our facebook page and weigh in, sharing your opinion with us. We have been looking at a variety of different things that we can do and we are looking at how best to focus our energies.
We only had the poll up for a couple of days but clearly the majority of people are interested in seeing outdoor adventure programs FOR people with diabetes guided BY people with diabetes! The initial conception of Project 365 was as a tool to raise awareness for the importance of adventure in the treatment of diabetes–and we think we made a good dent during the last year–but we have felt strongly inclined to be able to DO more with the community, to really get people with diabetes out here with us–ultimately motivating them to find their own expertise in adventuring independently.
Many of our readers know that I worked as a commercial climbing and canyoneering guide for several years before starting LivingVertical–and working with people in a technical environment (where ropes and special gear are necessary for safety) showed me how much a days adventure could change someones life. That is what I have wanted to share with other people with diabetes and now…that is what we will do.
I also feel like it adds to the empowerment message to stress the role of people with diabetes in a leadership context outdoors, not just as participants guided by non diabetics who have only a peripheral knowledge of the condition we live with. Beyond running small trips for families living with diabetes and camps for PWD who want a taste of adventure, we will be offering mentorship clinics where PWD who want to become proficient on their own can come and learn to lead!
Many steps need to be taken to make this vision a reality, and we are in a transitionary period–but we are excited and we want to share the process of development with you as we bring this all together! Here is the information we have so far, that we would like to offer for your consideration:
What: Diabetes family adventure weekend (group camping for the family, two days of guided technical programs for the kids-climbing, hiking and canyoneering and one day of guided family exploration–and a last day wrap up meal followed by the premiere showing of the Project 365 documentary “In the Blood”!
Where: Springdale UT/Zion National Park (a scenic 2 hour drive from the Las Vegas Airport, this small town is one of the best places to take a vacation–LOTS to do and see and Springdale is small enough that you can park your car once you arrive and walk or take the free shuttles through town and into the park!)
When: July 25th (arrive thursday PM)- July 29th (depart monday AM)
Who: I will be leading all activities with assistance from one or two other guides depending on total enrollment. We will have a nurse along on all trips who is also a Type 1 Diabetic/adventure athlete. All guides will have Wilderness First Responder certification or higher and years of experience working with PWD and technical guiding in and around Zion National Park.
How: Very carefully. I have personally led over two hundred people (as young as 4 years and as old as 79 years) through these canyons over the years leading up to Project 365 and these are the places that I learned how to take my diabetes management to the next level. I know these canyons and climbing routes thoroughly and I am proud that I will be able to share them with you.
This announcement will hopefully spark some interest as we continue the process of getting the details sorted out and finalized. It will also raise many questions: Is this safe? Is this activity suitable for a 8 or 9 year old child with no experience in a desert environment? How will accommodations work? What is the cost? Is it too hot in July? The good news is that most of these questions have very simple answers and those that don’t soon will–over the coming weeks we will be addressing these and other questions by putting together a formal website dedicated to our diabetes adventure programs and registration! In the meantime, please let us know if you have interest or questions!– firstname.lastname@example.org. or leave us a comment here!