Camp Seale Harris is not just one place on a map. It’s year-round, shared experiences, and T1D community. At medically-supervised camps and events throughout Alabama and NW Florida, campers try new things, learn the latest skills and diabetes technology, and make life-long friends. Programs include:
Founded by Dr. Samuel Eichold in 1949 as the first diabetes camp in the South, Camp Seale Harris is now operated by Southeastern Diabetes Education Services (SDES), a 501c3 non-profit supporting children and families. Until there is a cure, Camp Seale Harris teaches kids to live well.
Diabetes Camp has been proven to:
- Increase self-care skills
- Facilitate lasting friendships
- Allow for a traditional camp experience
Onsite camp medical teams are led by licensed pediatric diabetes specialty physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and educators. Families connect year-round at overnight and day camps, family weekends, CSH1Day events, and the annual Diabetes Walk. There is something for everyone, and everyone is welcomed.
Camp is a place where having diabetes is the norm, where you can compare and share stories with peers, and where you don’t have to explain diabetes all the time because everyone there “gets it.” They understand exactly what it’s like living with diabetes because they live with diabetes, too. Kids and teens learn independence in managing blood sugar and medication, making healthy food choices, and being physically active. Trained, adult volunteer counselors who also live with Type 1 diabetes join the expert medical team to provide supervision and real-time feedback. Camps include fun activities that vary by location. Community programs include family-oriented recreation and networking throughout the year.
Camp Seale Harris is a founding member of the Diabetes Education and Camping Association and accredited by the American Camp Association, which means meeting up to 300 standards for health, safety, and program quality.
The Mission of SDES - Camp Seale Harris is to educate, encourage, and empower children with diabetes and their families to live well.
SDES was founded in 1949 by Dr. and Mrs. Samuel Eichold in Mobile, AL and was originally known as Camp Seale Harris. Since 1949, Camp Seale Harris has provided a medically supervised, fun camp experience for thousands of youth with diabetes. Camp Seale Harris is the primary program of SDES and began as an innovative way to teach healthy behaviors outside of the doctor’s office or hospital setting. Named for renowned endocrinologist, Dr. Seale Harris, Camp Seale Harris became a time-tested standard of care for children and teens with diabetes. Overnight, day, and family camps are now year-round programs provided at 12 camp sessions and 18 community event at program locations throughout Alabama and Northwest Florida. Visit us at our Main Programs Office located at 500 Chase Park S., Suite 104, Birmingham, AL 35244.
SDES-Camp Seale Harris is the only charitable organization in Alabama and Northwest Florida whose primary purpose is to provide direct residential, day, and local programs and services that educate, encourage, and empower children with diabetes and their families.
SDES-Camp Seale Harris is an independent 501(C)(3) non-profit and does not provide or receive funding from JDRF, ADA, or other advocacy or political causes. Caring individuals, civic groups, businesses, and foundations help ensure children with diabetes receive services each year.
Board and Staff
The SDES-Camp Seale Harris family includes generous and supportive individuals, families, alumni, volunteers, donors, civic organizations, corporate sponsors, and staff leadership who share the common bond of supporting children and teens living with diabetes and their families. Over 250 people volunteer each year to make our diabetes camps and community programs successful, including Board of Directors, physicians, nurses, NPs, certified diabetes educators, pharmacists, nutritionists, students, counselors, and activity leaders.
- Board Chair Emeritus: Katie Mapes Hester, RN, CDE: Clinical Manager: Medtronic Diabetes
- Board Chair: Terri Brennan, MAE, RN, CDE: Clinical Manager: Insulet Diabetes
- Board Vice Chair: Rebecca Lee, Pharm. D, Rush Hospital
- Board Treasurer: Kyle Crawford, US Government
- Board Secretary: Dora Hartsock, Insurance Manager, Whitehaven Insurance
- Kevin Astle, Pharm. D, Assistan Professor, Auburn University
- Wilbon Bolton, MD, Endocrinologist
- David Breland, Sr. Counsel, PNC Bank
- Taylor Caffey, MD, Medical Director Emeritus
- Jacob Edwards, MD, Dothan Pediatrics
- Christina Hair, RN, CDE, Endocrinology Nurse, USA Women’s and Children’s
- Rebecca Lee, Pharm. D., Rush Hospital
- Mary Oliver, Instructor, Gadsden State Community College
- Joel Sampson, Vice President, iHeart Radio
- Erin Turnham, Parent Representative, Sugar Rush Survivors
Advisory Committee (*Former Board Chairs)
- *Matthew Munson, Senior Trial Attorney, OPD Montgomery
- *Tip McAlpin, McAlpin Interiors
- *Gus Gary, Lions of Alabama
- *Dennis Pillion, PhD, Retired, UAB School of Medicine
- Richard Epstein
- Rhonda McDavid, Executive Director
- John Latimer, Camp & Community Programs Director
- Jay Dial, Communications & Events Coordinator
- Sarah Latimer, Registrar/Family Services
- Amanda Jordan, Assistant Summer Camp Director
- Jamie Nelms, Summer Camp Manager
- Maria Martin, South Alabama/NW Florida