About Camp

Camp Sandcastle - Family Retreat

Rockport, TX

Igniting Change, Endless Possibilities

About ADA Camps


Since 1949, the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) has connected children living with diabetes to adventure, education, mentors, and fun. Our overnight and day camps, and family retreats are led by counselors and licensed medical staff trained in ADA's Standards of Care in Diabetes; all ADA camps adhere to the highest standards, policies and procedures set forth by the American Camp Association, ensuring a safe, healthy, and fun experience!

ADA Camp is a lifeline for children with diabetes to develop the critical skills needed to thrive while managing their diabetes. Attending summer camp helps children develop social skills, self-respect, and life-long friendships. Kids can meet others just like them while fostering independence, building self-confidence, and gaining an awareness of a healthy lifestyle through education, nutrition, exercise, emotional well-being, and glucose control.


  • About Camp

  • Dates & Rates

  • Camp Staff

  • Work at Camp

Camp Sandcastle Family Weekend
October 25-27
Rockport, TX

Camp Sandcastle is a family retreat. Enjoy a 3-day/2-night getaway for families who have a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This fall, we'll host families in Rockport, TX at Camp Aranzazu. Families will enjoy a fun and relaxing atmosphere to connect with other families, share experiences, gain valuable information, skills, and tools while having loads of fun. Family retreats offer a unique experience that goes beyond medical care, providing emotional support, education, and the chance to create positive and lasting connections with others who understand the journey of living with type 1 diabetes.



Program TypeDatesAgesADA Sponsored Price
Family Camp10/25 - 10/27All AgesFree


Camp Pricing 

Due to a generous donor this camp is Free to all participants.  Camp has a limited number of spots so please register as soon as possible.  Registration is open now. 

Camp Director

Emily Madison


Emily Madison is a Senior Camp Director for the ADA currently living in Philadelphia. She has previously been a camp director at YMCAs in the Northeast, the JCC of Long Beach, CA, and Concord, MA Recreation. Emily’s background includes a Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Vocational Rehabilitation from University of Arizona. She is a previous speaker at the American Camping Association’s Tri-State Conference on the impact of mental health in the summer camp world.When Emily isn’t watching the Eagles or Sixers, she loves spending time with her family and friends on walks, finding good sushi restaurants, and collecting too many water bottles.

Tyler Lehman

Tyler Lehman

Tyler Lehman is a Camp Director currently living in Englewood, Florida. A California native, Tyler graduated with a degree in Recreation and Parks Management from Sacramento State. She has over 15 years of experience in camping and out-of-school programs including Disney Cruise Lines, a family camp near Yosemite National Park with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, and the YMCA in Washington DC and Southwest Florida. Tyler's passions include long-distance running, hiking, and traveling. A podcast listener, crafter, and self-proclaimed "plant parent", Tyler now resides in a small beach town, accompanied by her partner Manny and their two canine companions, Keta and Brinley.

Medical Director

Jim Penn

Jim Penn has worked with Camp Sandcastle for a number of years.  He practices as a Nurse Practitioner at Children's Health/UT Southwestern Pediatric Endocrinology clinic. Jim started as a registered nurse in the ICU in 2001 and transitioned to the diabetes educator role in 2004 and then to the Nurse Practitioner role in 2007.  He loves his job and working with the pediatric population and their families as they navigate the journey of living with diabetes. Jim has been navigating the personal journey of living with type 1 diabetes since 1982, along with his older brother, nephew and brother-in-law. He's inspired and encouraged everyday by the people he sees. 

Fueling Futures at Camp, Where Work Feels Like Play

Camp staff applications are NOW Open! Camp is not just life-changing for our campers, you’ll gain valuable skills too! 

If you’re passionate about making a positive impact and want to create an unforgettable camp experience for children living with diabetes, you’d be a perfect fit to join us!

As a member of our camp team, you’ll play a vital role in:​

  • Making camp a safe and enjoyable environment
  • Helping campers learn independent diabetes management skills
  • Fostering personal growth to empower our campers with confidence both at camp and in their everyday lives​

We have volunteer and job opportunities for licensed medical professionals and students along with non-medical opportunities. And, you don’t have live with diabetes to get involved.

Apply Now

Note: Not all positions are available at each camp. The safety of our campers is our number one priority. All volunteers, staff and medical personnel must complete an application, interview, and background check before being hired. Must be 18 years or older to apply. Download our job descriptions for roles and responsibilities details. Click on Apply Now to find positions available at your camp.


When does registration open for ADA camps?

Summer camps registration is open. Fall camps registration opens on May 1, 2024. Should you need specific information regarding a camp in your area, email campsupport@diabetes.org. Please allow 24–48 hours for a response.

What information do I need for ADA camp registration?

So that you are best prepared for the registration process, it will be helpful for you to assemble the following:

  • Child(ren)’s height, weight
  • Medical immunization information
  • Insurance information (carrier, policy number, name of primary insured)
  • Emergency contacts with phone numbers (other than parent/guardian)
  • Type(s) of insulin used, includes pre-mix insulin, if applicable
  • Make/model of insulin pump, if applicable
  • Make/model of continuous glucose monitor (CGM), if applicable
  • Dexcom login/password if applicable
  • Daily regimen of non-diabetes medication

How much does ADA camp cost?

ADA camp registration prices vary at each of camp locations across the country. You will find camp pricing on the “Dates & Rates” tab above. To accommodate families’ various financial situations, during registration you will be given three pricing options. Simply select the one option that best matches your financial means and continue with the checkout process as usual.

ADA Pricing Options Include:

  • Full Price. This is the actual cost for a child to attend camp, families with the financial means to pay the full price of camp may select this option.
  • ADA Sponsored Price. ADA subsidizes 50% of the full price of camp through the support of sponsors, partners, and donations.
  • Financial Assistance. When selecting the “Financial Assistance” option, you will be prompted to answer a series of qualification questions and then you will be contacted by ADA camp staff once financial assistance has been awarded.

Is there Financial Assistance available to attend ADA camps?

Yes! Regardless of your ability to pay for camp, the ADA is committed to providing a camp experience to all children living with diabetes. Financial assistance is available for qualifying families as a reduction of the full prices of registration fee. Families MUST be registered for camp to apply for financial assistance and provide acceptable "proof of income” documentation.

How do I pay to attend an ADA camp?

A NON-REFUNDABLE registration deposit will be required at the time of registration. Registration deposits are applicable to total camp fees. You can contact campsupport@diabetes.org for deposit and payment questions.

Upon checkout through our online registration, you can:

  1. Pay the balance in full with a credit card (Discover NOT accepted).
  2. Pay the deposit up front and set up automatic withdraws for the remainder of the balance (credit card required).
  3. Apply for Financial Assistance.

Can I pay with a check?

Yes, if you choose to pay with check, please make your check payable to: “American Diabetes Association.” Be sure to add the camp name AND your camper’s name in the memo line .

Where do I send payments?

American Diabetes Association Service Center
Attn: ADA Camps
P.O. Box 7023
Merrifield, VA 22116-7023

IMPORTANT NOTE: All payments and final paperwork are due 30 days before the start of camp.

What is your refund policy?

The ADA strives to control the costs associated with providing camp in order to keep the fee families pay as reasonable as possible. The ADA underwrites the cost of every camper by at least 50% of the price that is charged to families. The refund policy can be found in the ADA Camper Handbook. For our detailed refund policy, please contact campsupport@diabetes.org . Please allow 24‒48 hours for a response.

I do not have a computer. How can I register my camper?

We will be happy to mail you a paper application. Please send an email to campsupport@diabetes.org . and include your name, mailing address, and name of the ADA camp you are interested in. Please allow 24‒48 hours for a response.

I tried to register my child for camp and it says they are not eligible?

Please make sure you are entering your child’s birthdate correctly. If the problem continues, please contact campsupport@diabetes.org . Please allow 24‒48 hours for a response.

Can my child attend more than one ADA camp? If so, can they get a discount?

Yes, your child may attend more than one ADA camp in a summer, however, there is no discount for registering for more than one ADA camp.

My child is going to overnight camp, can we request that they bunk with their friends?

All cabin groups are made based on the ages of your camper at the start of each program. Friend/cabin requests can be made at the time of registration but are not guaranteed.

How do I access my camper’s registration?

You can access your camper registration by visiting your camp page and clicking on the registration button. Once on the registration site, enter your username and password.

How do I cancel or switch my registration?

Make sure to review our refund policy in the ADA Camper Handbook before attempting to switch or cancel. To cancel your registration, please send an email to campsupport@diabetes.org . Please allow 24 ‒ 48 hours for a response.

I registered my child for the wrong camp/session?

Please contact campsupport@diabetes.org . Please allow 24‒48 hours for a response.

I forgot my password/username?

Please log in to the registration site to access registration information. If you forgot your password, use the “reset password” link and enter the same email used previously. A password reset email should arrive momentarily and contain a link to set a new password, follow the prompts to reset and login.

I need to update my email.

Contact information can be updated when logged into the registration site. If unable to login and the email is no longer valid, please contact campsupport@diabetes.org with both the old and new emails. Please allow 24‒48 hours for a response.

I am not receiving your emails? Who should I contact?

Please ensure you are adding campsupport@diabetes.org as a contact. Also, make sure to check your spam/junk folders. If the problem persists, contact campsupport@diabetes.org . Please allow 24‒48 hours for a response.

Are there 24-hour medical staff at ADA camps?

Yes. All health professionals working at ADA camps are licensed in the state where the camp is held. The majority are also involved in diabetes care in their local community on a year-round basis. The safety of our campers is our number one priority. Our camp team of clinicians provides round-the-clock care, so families have peace of mind, while their children are at camp.

Can my child bring their cell phone for use with diabetes technology? (Example, for use insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, etc).

The ADA recognizes the evolution of diabetes technology, and we encourage campers to grow in their diabetes care and support and management of diabetes using the tools and technology used at school and home.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Mobile devices used ONLY as medical management tool will be supported at Camp. General cell phone usage that is not connected to diabetes technology (I.E. Dexcom, Omnipod) will not be allowed.

Mobile devices include: cell phone, smartwatch, tablet, or other similar device. As mobile devices are used to track the information from continuous glucose monitors (CGM) at school and home, they may similarly be used at camp. We respectfully ask that parents disable share functions while campers are in the care of ADA medical staff and that parents do not contact their camper directly or make medical decisions while at camp as the data may be delayed due to wifi connections.

What are your COVID-19 guidelines?

The COVID-19 vaccine will not be required in 2024 but is highly recommended at all camps.

What do I need to pack?

Once accepted, parents will receive a parent manual which includes a detailed list of suggested items to bring.

Who should I contact for additional questions or concerns regarding ADA camps or other youth programs?

Feel free to send any additional questions or inquires to campsupport@diabetes.org . Please allow 24‒48 hours for a response.

kids enjoying at camp

National Sponsors