Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I register for the conference?
Registration forms are now online. There is a link called Registration at the bottom of the conference home page. Click on that link, and it will take you to the registration forms. Early registration (least expensive) extends until January 31, 2008. Regular registration extends until June 30, 2008. After July 1, you will need to register on site at the conference (please check to make sure there is space available, as the conference is expected to sell out).
- How do I register for childcare at the conference? What do the kids do in childcare? How will the staff take care of my child's diabetes?
To register for childcare, download, print, and send in the Childcare Registration Form. Childcare is limited to the first 100 children who apply because of space limitations, so register as early as possible. Childcare is for full days only and for children under age 6. Childcare is coordinated by Mary Babin, who is a CDE and an RN. Mary has coordinated the FFL childcare for the past 7 years and is quite good at it! Children will be in age and socially-appropriate rooms, with one room dedicated to K-kids (kindergarten or 5 year olds), one room dedicated to PreK-kids (roughly 3-4 year olds), and the 3 and under bunch. Parents may have input into which level is most appropriate for their child. CDEs are in each room to assist with diabetes care. This is above and beyond the staffing for activities. Kids Nite Out, the childcare provider who has partnered with CWD in previous years, will provide the staffing for the 3 and under children (and CWD will have CDEs in the room as well). The childcare schedule will be posted online by June 1, 2008.
- Can my child participate in childcare for partial days?
No. Childcare is for full days only. We need to do this for staffing reasons. Childcare will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday. Parents need to pick up their child at noon for lunch (90 minute lunch break). Childcare will close at 4:30 Thursday and Friday.
- What do I do about snacks in childcare?
You may leave a snack at childcare, in a container marked with your child's name on it. Otherwise, child-friendly snacks will be available in the refreshment area outside the childcare rooms. When you come to check on your child during the break times, you will need to get them snack (we will not allow them to graze in the snack area without you being there!) and bring it into the childcare room. We will have beverages with and without sugar, as well as water. We'll also have a supply of glucose tabs and juice boxes in each room to treat lows.
- Can you accommodate special dietary needs, such as celiac or peanut allergies?
Yes. As with past Friends for Life conferences, we take great care in trying to accommodate the special dietary needs of our conference participants. Please note that all food served at our conference will have portion size and carb counts listed in tent cards on the buffet tables (including the snack area by childcare). If you need special dietary accommodations (food allergies, kosher, gluten-free, etc.), there is a place on the registration form for you to note that. Note that you must alert us to allergies prior to the conference in order for us to ensure meals and snacks that work for you. Please note that all meals and snacks at FFL are nut-free.
- I want to volunteer. How do I sign up to help?
Laura Billetdeaux is in charge of the volunteer schedule. We have over a hundred volunteers each summer. We couldn't put on a conference without the help of these folks! Some jobs are quite big (coordinators of different areas, such as AV or moderators), others require less time (help out at the registration or first timers hospitality desk). Laura posts a Call for Volunteers on the conference email list around mid-May, and potential volunteers should email their interest back to her. Please note that Tuesday evening, we will have a social gathering for all volunteers and their families. This is where you'll get your volunteer t-shirt and assignment. If you are not on site yet by Tuesday, you may pick up these materials at registration when you arrive (make sure to tell the registration person that you are a volunteer). Mary Podjasek coordinates the volunteers on site at the conference.
- I read about the Tween Program for this year. My son is 13. Will he be a Tween or a Teen?
Because of insurance reasons, we must be very strict about kids staying within their particular age groups. Tweens are ages 10-12, elementary kids are ages 6-9, and teens are ages 13-18. If an 18 year old is already in college and would feel uncomfortable with the teen group, they may opt to simply attend the conference as a young adult. Note that there are special social events for the Young Adult group.
- Can you tell us a little bit more about Sports Central?
Sports Central is a little different this year. We call it Roving Sports Central! Since we are tight on space in this venue, we are bringing the athletes to the children in their meeting and activity space. The kids will get to interact with the athletes and play some games with them. If the weather cooperates, we may have some basketball on the outdoor courts. The Yellowtail room will be used for some of the sports and games sessions in addition to the children's meeting space. Many thanks to Novo Nordisk for sponsoring Roving Sports Central once again this year! It is a key component of a healthy conference.
- I see that the teens are scheduled to go a theme park on Friday. Will other age groups be doing this as well?
No, this is a special event just for the teens, and is sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis. As part of the sponsorship, the entrance ticket to the park is provided, as well as lunch and snacks. The teens will bus over to Islands of Adventure on Friday morning on chartered buses. They must meet to board the buses by 8:45; information about this will be given to teens on Thursday. Note that teens must participate in all four sessions on Thursday in order to go to Islands of Adventure on Friday.
- Can children come into the adult sessions?
They may, although we encourage kids to be in their age-appropriate sessions. The material presented in adult sessions is on an adult level. Often, some of these same topics are discussed with the children within the context of some of their other learning activities - and the material is at an age-appropriate level for their group.
- Can you share any tips for traveling with diabetes?
See our page about Traveling with Diabetes and Flying with Diabetes for advice.
- I'm confused about where all the meals and sessions are. Can you please explain?
All of the sessions and all of the meals are held right on site at the Renaissance Orlando Resort. The Crystal Ballroom and the adjacent Atrium Space will be utilized for breakfast, lunch, and the Family and Friends banquet.
- I received a confirmation form in the mail. Do I need to keep this?
The confirmation form verifies what you paid for, i.e., how many banquet tickets you purchased, if you have extra adults participating with you, if you ordered extra shirts, etc. It is a good idea to bring it with you to the conference. When you pick up your registration packet on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can double check that the tickets in the envelope and the shirts you've ordered are what you received. Also, if you choose to participate in focus groups, you will need the confirmation number from this form in order to complete the online registration.
- I want to add tickets to the Banquet and the Universal Studios Education for CWD Foundation Benefit. I didn't originally sign up for them. How can I add them?
Each of those meals requires a ticket, and both events tend to sell out. To see if there is availability, go to the registration form online. Print out the form and include the tickets you'd like to add. Fax or mail it to Laura Billetdeaux, along with a check or payment information. If the event is sold out, it will say so on the form. Note that you must send payment for the tickets when you order them. CWD cannot hold tickets for you for later payment.
- Our family is planning to arrive a few days early, stay at the hotel, and visit some local theme parks. Is there a way for us to hook up with other CWD families ahead of time?
There are usually 100 or more CWD families at the hotel from Sunday on. CWD families are pretty easy to recognize pool-side; we're the ones with the diabetes t-shirts, the glucose tabs and juice sitting out, the blood glucose meters on the pool chairs, and pump tubing hanging out of swim trunks! Also, there is an email list for all families participating in the conference. If you provide an email address on your registration form, you are automatically added to the list. As a list member, you may send a message to all other participants. You might ask, for instance, if other families with a 7 year old would like to go to a theme park with you on Monday. Or if anyone with preschoolers would like to meet at the kiddie pool at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The address to send an email is [email protected] You need to be registered and part of the list in order to send a message.
- What is a focus group? Do I have to sign up for them?
Focus groups are offered on Wednesday only. These are small group discussions or presentations, hosted by the sponsors of the conference. It is their opportunity to interact with you on a more personal level, to get your ideas and insights, present some of their new concepts, and perhaps get your feedback on new products they are developing. The groups are small - some have only a few people and others have up to 40. But they are not large like the regular conference sessions on Thursday or Friday which may have several hundred people in each. You do need to pre-register for them. See the summary of Focus Groups and the Focus Group Sign Up Form.
- We cannot afford the conference. Are there scholarships available?
The Education for Children with Diabetes Foundation offers conference scholarships each year. Please refer to the ECWDF website for more information. Note that the ECWDF is an entirely separate organization from CWD, so you do need to contact them directly in order to discuss scholarship questions.
- Do I sign up ahead of time for the sessions on Thursday and Friday?
No, you do not sign up for the Thursday and Friday sessions. Just go to them. Please be on time, as the seats do fill up.
- I'm coming from outside the US. Can CWD help me get a visa?
CWD is unable to provide any assistance with obtaining a visa. Visitors from outside the US are encouraged to submit a visa application well in advance of their anticipated travel date. Note that you will also need to make your own hotel reservations using a credit card. CWD cannot help with that either.
- I work with a non-profit diabetes organization in my community and was wondering if it's ok for me to hand out information about it at the conference.
CWD receives literally hundreds of requests from organizations such as yours. The only companies and organizations which are allowed to hand out literature and demonstrate their products at CWD conferences are the ones who are in the Exhibit Hall. There are a number of lower-cost exhibitor tables in the exhibit hall that are specifically reserved for smaller organizations.
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