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About DYF

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Dr. Mary Olney
Our Mission

The mission of the DYF is to improve the quality of life for children, teens and families affected by diabetes. The organization provides education and recreation within a supportive community, encouraging personal growth, knowledge and independence.

Our History

In 1938, Dr. Mary B. Olney, a physician from UC San Francisco, took 19 children with type-1 diabetes to camp to teach them how to better manage their condition. Dr. Olney believed that children with diabetes could live healthy and productive lives by learning how to care for their diabetes with a complex management system. Today, DYF still holds true to that philosophy, creating opportunities for children and teens with diabetes which are equal to that of their peers who do not have diabetes. DYF also recognizes the impact that type-1 diabetes can have on a family unit and is dedicated to supporting the parents, caregivers and sibling who are affected.

Current Activities

DYF serves more than 1,900 individuals annually (children and teens with diabetes, siblings, parents and guardians) through its resident camps, day camps, recreation programs and diabetes education seminars. Our most well-known program is our Bearskin Meadow Summer CampBearskin Meadow Camp (BMC) is one of the oldest wilderness camps for diabetic youth in the country. Since 1938 our camp program has provided children and families affected by diabetes health education services that enable campers to learn by experience to keep optimum health while participating fully in any activity. Approximately half (800) of our program participants attend our BMC program which is located in the Sequoia National Forest just outside of Kings Canyon Naitonal Park.

Beginning in 2011, we expanded our offerings of summer programs to include a week long kids and teen camp in Boulder Creek called Camp De Los Ninos.

During the rest of the year we host weekend programs at facilities around the Bay Area including Camp Arroyo in Livermore and Camp Jones Gulch in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In addition to these programs, we offer a variety of recreation and education programs including a mother/daughter retreat, ski weekend (Tahoe), surf camp (Pacifica) and one day kids camps.

And finally, in addition to our programs for children and teens with type-1 diabetes, DYF will spend a considerable amount of time at its Bearskin Meadow Camp facility teaching and working with medical students and dieticians needing intern experience in type-1 diabetes.


DYF is a founding member of the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) and DYF’s Bearskin Meadow Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association.


Historic Photos of Bearskin Meadow Camp

This collection was digitally reproduced by one of our camp families, The Gunzel Family, owners of Arizona Photo Solutions. He and his family participated in this year’s Bearksin Summer Camp, Family Camp 1. He was so inspired that he offered his professional services to bring to life all of the years that DYF has been helping families and the diabetic community. Thank you to Jon and Trina for making this possible!

Please click here to visit this amazing collection. Should anyone wish to order prints from his studio, the ENTIRE profit of the prints will be donated directly back to the DYF!

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