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Get to know our program

Camp Kakhamela, named after “the hunt” in a local Aboriginal language, was founded in 1962 by Dr. John Hunt. Since 1993, Camp Kakhamela has enjoyed a partnership with the Greater Vancouver YMCA’s Camp Elphinstone.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Diabetes Canada’s D-Camps requires that staff, volunteers and all D-Camps participants’ eligible (aged 5+) for the COVID-19 vaccine be fully vaccinated prior to their arrival at D-Camps for in-person programming. For D-Camps, fully vaccinated means two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine.

Diabetes Canada’s vaccination policy is based on the recommendations of D-Camps’ National Medical Task Force as one measure to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Participants will be asked to use their province’s verification systems as the means for demonstrating proof of vaccination. The D-Camps Medical Task Force is comprised of 11 individuals from across the country from a variety of health-care professions, including pediatric endocrinologists, ER physicians, registered nurses and certified diabetes educators.

D-Camps will accommodate all individuals who are entitled to vaccination exemptions. Thank you for your support in protecting the health and safety of our campers, families, employees, and community.

Leadership development program

Our Leadership Development Program (LDP) is designed for youth with diabetes who have an interest in developing their leadership skills. This program is the first step to becoming a D-Camps counselor—a lot of our staff have been through the program and it shows!

This program is divided into two segments (LDP 1 and LDP 2) based on age. Both segments will teach strong leadership skills through hands-on experiences, high quality coaching and guidance from trained staff, and consistent feedback.

The goal of LDP is for youth to return from camp with an increase in confidence, skills to lead a group and an increased understanding of the qualities of a good leader.

Camp life

Camp Kakhamela takes place on the shores of the Howe Sound on the beautiful Sunshine Coast outside of Gibsons, B.C. The cabins at Camp Kakhamela are situated in two groups – the boys’ side and the girls’ side. Each of these beautiful, rustic cabins is equipped with bunk beds, electric lights and counsellor sleeping quarters.


Location Details

Camp Kakhamela
1760 YMCA Rd
Gibsons, BC
V0N 1V6

Get Directions

About the Camp

Campers & Staff

Our campers

Aimed at teens ages 16 to 17, our program accepts 20 leadership campers per session.

LDP 1 session

LDP 1 is for youth who have turned 16 prior to June 30, 2019.

In this program, participants will be led by our LDP Directors. Our Directors will work with the participants (LDP 1s) to develop basic leadership skills like conflict resolution, communicating clearing, setting goals for yourself and others, leading by example among other important attributes of a leader.

LDP 2 session

LDP 2 is for youth who have turned 17 prior to June 30, 2019.

In this program, participants (LDP 2s) will be led by our LDP Directors. Our Directors will work with the LDP 2s to further develop leadership skills with a focus on being a leader in the camp community. Skills like camper care, dealing with homesickness, planning and leading programs and games and being a positive type 1 diabetes role model. LDP 2s will be spending a substantial portion of their time at camp shadowing counselors in a cabin group. They will have the opportunity to use the skills they are developing and receive feedback from the D-Camps staff team.

Our staff

Leadership development staff

The LDP are headed up by our Leadership Directors who complement the existing program and medical staff. Our LDP directors all have standard first-aid and CPR/C, as well as multiple years experience working in a summer camp setting.

Health-care team

Led by Dr. Brenden Hursh and Dr. Dan Metzger from BC Children’s Hospital, our medical staff team (“Med Team”) is a dedicated, committed group of health-care professionals who understand how important the camp experience is for children and youth living with type 1 diabetes.

There are 30 people on the Med Team at Camp Kakhamela each week. Each cabin group is paired with one group of medical professionals so they have the opportunity to get to know each other well.

Many members of our Med Team work in diabetes management full-time. Others have personal connections to type 1 diabetes and some even live with it.

The Med Team is always on hand for your camper and acts as a great resource, whether your child is newly diagnosed or approaching adulthood. They are a crucial element of the Camp Kakhamela experience.


Over the course of the leadership development programs, participants will learn to facilitate the following activities in order to develop hard-skills that are necessary to become a counselor:

Hard Skill Development 

  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Challenge courses
  • Outdoor living skills
  • Creative arts

LDP 1 program

Over the course of the LDP 1 program, participants will focus on the following skills to help grow as leaders at camp in the community:

Soft Skill Development 

  • Conflict resolution
  • Problem solving
  • Team work
  • Communication
  • Goal setting
  • How to be a positive role model

LDP 2 program

Over the course of the LDP 2 program, participants will be spending a substantial portion of their time at camp shadowing counselors in a cabin group. They will have the opportunity to use the skills they are developing and receive feedback from the D-Camps staff team. In addition they should expect participate in the following activities:

Soft Skill Development 

  • Camper care
  • Leadership
  • Team work
  • Problem solving
  • Shadowing counselors in a camper team


In the guide, you will find information on:

  • Packing lists
  • Directions and transportation for drop off and pick up
  • Glucose monitoring policy
  • Mailing address

2022 Kakhamela Leadership Program Information Guide

Rates & Dates

LDP 1 Session

Sunday, July 3 - Friday, July 15, 2022
Age Rate
Youth (16) $1500

LDP 2 Session

Sunday, July 3 - Friday, July 15, 2022
Age Rate
Youth (17) $1500

If this fee is a challenge for you and your family Diabetes Canada offers subsidies to those who qualify for financial assistance. These subsidies are made possible through the generous support of various donors. 

It is our responsibility to ensure that donations go to support families experiencing financial hardship that would make attending camp impossible. 

To determine eligibility for a subsidy, you will be asked to complete a financial assistance application. When reviewing applications, income will not be the only consideration in whether an applicant qualifies for subsidy. Our goal is to ensure that all campers have an opportunity regardless of their financial situation while using donations as prudently as possible. 

Who is eligible for financial support? 
You may be eligible for a subsidy if you:

  1. Receive financial assistance from an identified government program, OR

  2. Experience financial hardship and do not receive government financial assistance.

What does financial hardship mean? 
Financial hardship means that a person has difficulty paying for basic daily living expenses (e.g. food, shelter, clothing), and does not have access to savings or other financial resources. 

Note: Supporting documents will be required to determine eligibility. Please be prepared to provide a copy of your paystub, T4 or Notice of Assessment to accompany your application. 

Important to note: 
To ensure that we are providing equitable access to financial assistance we will not be able to consider you request until you have completed the financial assistance application form in full. This includes the requested supporting documents