Q. We need to cancel. What's your refund policy?
A. Riding On Insulin adheres to a strict refund policy.
In order to confirm registration and secure your family’s spot at Riding On Insulin, a nonrefundable $50 deposit must be paid upon registration.
If the family cancels more than 30 days before the camp date, the entire amount paid can be refunded, less a $50 deposit for the entire family.
If the family cancels less than 30 days but more than 15 days before the camp date, the entire amount can be refunded, less $50 fee per cancelled participant. (E.g. For two cancelled campers in a family, the total due is $100—anything paid above that can be refunded)
If the family cancels less than 15 days before the event, the participation fee for each canceled camper cannot be refunded. Additional purchases (parent lift ticket, parent rental, etc.) may be refunded on a case by case basis.
Q. What will my son/daughter be doing all day at Riding on Insulin?
A. Participants go through the day in groups, which have been divided by ability level, whether they ski/ride, and their age. Each group is assigned a coach (many of which who either have experience with T1D or have T1D themselves, and a medical volunteer). While all groups are not always the same age, we try to work with the ages we have and put kids together who we think would get along. To date, we’ve never encountered an issue with participants not getting along with their group mates. For the beginner skiers and riders, the day is primarily spent on the beginner slopes, learning the basics. For more intermediate and advanced riders, the day is spent exploring the mountain.
Q. This sounds like a lot of money. Why do you charge so much?
A. We provide an experience—not simply a day on the mountain. Our camp fees not only cover the high costs of hosting a ski and snowboard event, but they help make our nonprofit a sustainable organization. If you have concerns about being able to afford the camp fee, please note that we do offer a fundraising option. You pay a $50 deposit, and then raise the equivalent of the camp fee (typically $250) through our easily online fundraising platform! You’ll be surprised how quickly the money comes through.
Q. Can siblings without T1D participate at events?
A. Yes! Our events are open to kids with T1D, as well as their siblings. We believe that diabetes is truly a group/family effort, and we teach those siblings (or as we call them: type 3′s!) that they have an important role in their family too. As Sean Busby’s wife and the ROI Executive Director, Mollie Busby maintains that Type 3′s have a very important job. She says, “As Type 3′s, our job is to support our family members during their journey with type 1 diabetes. We should challenge our loved ones to take care of themselves, while still encouraging them to do anything they dream of. Anything is possible with type 1 diabetes—especially if those kids, teens and adults have a positive support system like us.
Q. Are there food accommodations for kids with celiac/gluten intolerance?
A. Absolutely. Please confirm this information in the designated “dietary needs” comment box on the registration form.
Q. Will my child be testing their blood sugar on the mountain?
A. ABSOLUTELY. This is a cornerstone of the ROI program, and at the very foundation of Sean Busby’s objective as a snowboarder with T1D. It’s imperative to test often, especially when learning a new sport that deals with altitude, humidity and climate. Kids will be checking constantly through “group checks.” The coaches and medical volunteers have been instructed to keep tabs on their group members and make sure that kids falling below 100 are watched will speak to the medical representative about possibly getting some sugar to keep their levels up during strenuous physical activity. Kids over 200 are flagged also, and will speak with their medial volunteer about possibly making a correction based on the child’s individual plan that they’ve made with their endocrinologist.
Q. What should my child carry with them on the mountain?
A. If they wear a pump, of course have that on, as well as their testing kit and a form of glucose that they like to eat. Coaches will have backup testing kits and many different forms of glucose on them, should the kids need it. Just be careful with granola bars and energy bars, as in the cold weather, they become like rocks to eat. Sean recommends softer snacks like honey and goo. Kids can carry glucagon if they wish, but more often than not, kids choose to leave it in a bag at “home base” or with their parents. Our coaches do not carry glucagon and do not administer corrections for the kids; the only people who can make corrections for the kids would be parents or the kids themselves. This is why it is imperative that kids at camp have a keen understanding of their diabetes and how to manage it. Our medical volunteers will help give guidance to the kids while their learn how to manage their diabetes in a winter environment.
Q. Do I need to do anything different with my child's insulin on the day of or the night before the event?
A. This is a great conversation to have with your doctor BEFORE the event. Mollie and Sean Busby, as well as all the coaches are not able to give medical advice at camp—this is why we have medical volunteers! Professionally trained as nurses, doctors, EMTs, etc., our medical volunteers are there on Friday night to answer questions from the parents about how to manage their child’s insulin during the day on Saturday. As mentioned before, they are also dispersed throughout the groups on Saturday to make sure kids have a medical resource to direct questions to. This preparation aspect is why we recommend all families come to the optional orientation on Friday night, especially if they don’t have experience skiing or riding with diabetes.
Q. Will I still need to think about adjusting my child's diabetes management after the event?
A. Yes: Talk to your doctor about post-exercise hypoglycemia. This is something kids and teens (anyone with diabetes, really) are at risk for hours after they’ve participated in a strenuous activity.
Q. Are we required to come to orientation?
A. No, you’re not. Of course, we recommend it to families, especially those who don’t have experience skiing or riding with diabetes. But, we understand if it’s too much of a time commitment to be there Friday night AND all day Saturday. Bottom line: Don’t stress if you can’t make it. Just be sure to have a conversation with your child’s doctor about a plan for insulin injections/pump corrections before, during and after the event.
Q. Does my child have to know how to snowboard to attend?
A. Nope! If he doesn’t know, we have great coaches who will teach him what he needs to know, from start to finish.
Q. Can my child ski instead of snowboard?
A. We are a ski AND snowboard camp, so absolutely. We accept skiers and riders of all ability levels and we cater our groups to the participants’ needs.
Q. Will my kid be in Sean Busby's group?
A. Chances are, at some point your son or daughter will get to ride with Sean Busby. Sean sticks to the beginner slopes in the morning working with the first-timers and beginners. In the afternoon, he transitions to the more advanced groups. Sean makes every effort to ride with every participant, whether they are a skier or snowboarder.
Q. What if my child is already an extremely talented skier? Will the event still be catered to them?
A. Yes, there is even something for our more advanced riders. They will be in a group together exploring the mountain beyond the bunny hill.
Q. What do the parents do all day?
A. The parents are free to do as they please, but at most camps we hold a parent round table on Saturday morning after the kids have ventured onto the mountain. This session typically takes place at the ROI “home base,” so that if a child does come in with a high or low sugar, the parents are there to be a part of the management if they want. If the parents want to keep their distance, that’s OK too. We have experienced coaches and medical volunteers on hand at our home base to manage blood sugars should issues arise.
Q. Can I watch my child on the bunny hill?
A. Absolutely! While we encourage parents to keep their distance, we want parents to see their child’s transformation is on the mountain. Kids are capable of incredible things, diabetes or not. If you want to capture that on film, or with a camera, please feel free… we just ask that you respect your child’s time at ROI and keep your distance if that’s what you feel they need.
Q. We're having a rough winter-- are you sure there will be enough snow for the event?
A. We can’t blame you for wondering, as this is a common question. Please rest assured that we do everything we can to have good communication with the resorts we work with (and we work with many of them for events throughout the world!). They allow us to schedule events because they’re confident they can hold up their end of the bargain and have snow on their mountains. Even if there is no snow in the valleys and cities, the resorts are making snow on the mountains to assure they can stay open for people like us! If there was truly an issue with there not being enough snow, we would let you know. Thanks for your concern
Q. What is the age range for participation?
A. Ages 7-17. Teens 16 and up who are experience skiers or riders can also apply to be a junior coach (ages 16 and 17) or coach (18 and up) by emailing Mollie at firstname.lastname@example.org. (It's a strict age range-- our insurance policy hold us to it!)
Q. What happens in the event of an emergency on the mountain?
A. All coaches and medical volunteer are connect with walkie talkies in each of the groups. Should an issue arise, the group leader will radio home base, and either the volunteer at home base, or Mollie will contact ski patrol if necessary. Ski patrol is always full aware of Riding On Insulin and our unique needs as an organization. Additionally, all participants will wear a signifying arm band or jersey to show that they are part of ROI, should ski patrol need to identify someone in our group.
Q. What about kids under age 7?
A. We don't have organized activities for kids under 7. If you’d like to bring your younger kids, that’s fine—they will just be in your care all day.
Q. Can my spouse or I ski with our child?
A. Our goal is to never keep parents from their children at ROI. However, as mentioned previously, we encourage all parents to allow their kids to be just that: Kids! ROI is all about empowering kids with T1D and their siblings, and we hope they can do that without their parents hovering nearby. Rest assured each group is in the hands of talented coaches and medical volunteers who understand the ROI protocol for testing often, using the walkie talkies to communicate, and facilitating an atmosphere for FUN!
Q. What are good things for my child to eat before, during, and after the event?
A. According to livestrong.org, “The Joslin Diabetes Center recommends snacking on bananas, apples, peanut butter, cheese or a juice box before you start exercising. Feed your body during breaks in the exercise with sports drinks or high-fiber fruits, and be sure to eat something when you stop exercising.” Riding On Insulin provides snacks, including fruits, sports drinks, juice boxes, etc. for the kids which are stored at home base. These snacks are always at the kids’ disposal. If you’re attending the camp where Riding On Insulin provides meal voucher instead of a catered lunch, encourage your kids to eat a well-balanced meal at lunchtime. Although it’s tempting, we encourage them to NOT choose pizza in the cafeteria, as based on our experience, that sends blood sugars haywire for the afternoon!