In 1953 Kiwanis Club of Ottawa forms Camp Banting

In 1953, one of our former members, Gordon Currie, who was a diabetic, talked the club into operating a camp for young people with diabetes since they could never attend a summer camp as other kids did, because of their special dietary and insulin needs.  He approached one of our members, Dr. Ralph McKendry, then Head of the Endocrinology Department at the Civic Hospital, and Ralph agreed to organize the first camp for diabetic children in Canada, which we called Camp Banting.  Counselors, a Program Director, as well as all the cooks, were hired by Kiwanis. Kiwanians helped set up the camp and made regular visits there during the two-week period.  18 youngsters were registered the first year.  When CHEO was built (with our own Sid Lithwick, as the Architect) the staff took over the medical part of the camp and operated it until it was finally turned over to the Canadian Diabetes Association in 1987.  Our club operated Camp Banting for 34 years; there were over 100 young people attending the camp then and 13 Diabetic Camps were operating in Canada at that time.  One of our club’s greatest projects!