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.
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.
We recognize that our work takes place on traditional Indigenous territories across Canada. We also wish to acknowledge that Camp Kakhamela, hosted at Camp Elphinstone, is located on the traditional Indigenous territory of Coast Salish, territory of the Squamish Nation. Today, Gibsons, British Columbia, is still home to many Indigenous people, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work on this territory. We wish to express gratitude for the resources on this land we are using, and honour all the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people who have been living on the land since time immemorial.
Diabetes Canada knows that land acknowledgement is only a first step in the essential act of reconciliation and relationship building with Indigenous peoples.
About the Camp
Campers & Staff
Our junior session accommodates 90 campers per session, ages 7 to 11.
Our senior session accommodates 90 campers per session, ages 12 to 15.
Most of our campers arrive and depart from camp at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal where you will have the opportunity to meet the medical team, your camper’s counsellors and other members of the staff team. We also offer pick-up and drop-off from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). If you require this service, please contact the D-Camps team prior to booking flights.
If these options are not possible for you and your camper, please contact the D-Camps team during your registration process to discuss alternative arrangements.
Counsellors and instructors
The D-Camps team recruits, screens and trains a team of camp staff. The staff team all have standard first aid/CPR and attend a week-long on-site training with a focus on camper care, medical processes and procedures for managing type 1 diabetes.
Many of our staff team live with type 1 diabetes and are living in the cabin group with your camper. Because we provide 24-hour supervision, this creates endless opportunities for your camper to learn from and relate to a young adult role model living with type 1 diabetes.
We are proud of our staff team at Camp Kakhamela and they look forward to meeting you and your camper!
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.
Campers will have the opportunity to experience many activities on the waterfront at Camp Kakhamela. Activities include: sailing, canoeing, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing and beach exploring. All activities that take place in the water are led by trained staff and supervised by lifeguards.
There is always something happening on land at Camp Kakhamela! At any time, you might find campers enjoying the high ropes course, climbing wall, various sports, archery and the legendary Ga-Ga Ball (make sure to ask your camper about it when they get home!).
Campers can spend time focusing on arts-based programs like drama games, arts and crafts, talent shows and skit nights and learning about various cultures from around the world.
Outdoor living skills
While at camp, your camper will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature while hiking, day-long canoe trips, shelter-building, orienteering and taking part in campfires.
Every night at Camp Kakhamela, the whole camp community comes together to take part in activities like Capture the Flag and skit nights. Twice a week, everyone at camp gathers around a campfire where we sing songs, see skits and reflect on our time at camp. These campfires are a highlight of the camp experience. Make sure to ask your camper about their favourite song. You might even get to hear it on the trip home!
In the guide, you will find information on:
- Packing lists
- Directions and transportation for drop off and pick up
- Mailing address
Dates & Rates
|Senior (ages 12-15)||Sunday, July 3 - Friday, July 8, 2022||$1000|
|Junior (ages 7-12)||Sunday, July 10 - Friday, July 15, 2022||$1000|
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:
- Receive financial assistance from an identified government program, OR
- 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.