The Camp Office is all excited for Halloween! As is our tradition, we want to remind our friends that many of the trick-or-treaters coming to your door will have serious food allergies. Starting a few years ago the Food Allergy & Research Education Foundation made it really easy to identify which homes were offering safe alternatives for people allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten, or other ingredients. By posting a teal pumpkin on your front door you are letting every parent and child know that your home is offering something that they can safely enjoy.
I was really hungry. I had been at a fantastic trade show for people with food allergies for 6 hours and had forgotten to pack a lunch. As the crowd of potential summer camp parents and campers at my booth began to thin I went on a walk, hoping some of the vendors had some gluten free and peanut free samples to tide me over.
Our summer camp in NH is known for many things, and thankfully, one of them is for being a safe summer home for campers with food allergies and sensitivities. For more than 15 years we have proudly been peanut free and tree nut free, and have served safe meals for children who need gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free or even garlic free meals.
Thursday's are special days here at our overnight camp in NH. Most of the chefs have off, but that doesn't mean we are without delicious meals. At lunch time the entire community has a massive picnic on the lawn around our dining hall. The kitchen staff today put out an amazing feast of different deli meats, a few types of salads, grilled meats, veggies and cheeses for make-your-own-nachos, and an array of fresh fruits and homemade cupcakes.
Our summer camp in New Hampshire has proudly welcomed children with food allergies and sensitivities for more than a decade now. It's an important part of our mission that we are a safe summer home for people who need are avoiding gluten.
How do you know that the camp you have chosen for your child is really aware of how to keep children with food allergies safe? It's a pretty important question, and one that isn't necessarily easy to answer. As an overnight camp that has been recognized by the FAAN and publications like Living Without Magazine for our innovations in this area we field a lot of phone calls from parents who really aren't sure what questions to ask camp directors.
Our chefs work really hard to create meals that our campers and counselors will love. As you can imagine, we have many different types of eaters, including carnivores, vegetarians, kids who prefer sandwiches, those who need to eat gluten free, egg free or dairy free, those who live on pasta, and of course, our picky kids who really prefer to only eat chicken fingers whenever possible. Thankfully, our team of 5 talented chefs (and one amazing baker) find ways to make delicious camp food for everyone, and our campers and counselors tell us that they love our meals!
Earlier in the summer I used our blog to answer an important question: so what do you guys do at your overnight camp when it rains? The short answer is that in the absence of thunder and lightning we play outside, and it's fabulous fun. But there are moments in the summer when the sky rumbles off in the distance, and we have a totally different set of protocols. Tonight was one of those nights, and it helped us have a fantastic, memorable evening.
It's a question children and parents ask me all the time: so what's the first day like at Kenwood and Evergreen? Implicit in the question is the concern how do I know that my child will be ok in this new community? Will she make new friends? Will he be glad that he signed up for this adventure? Well, let me share with what our opening day was like.
I love that our overnight camp is such a safe place for gluten free eaters (and peanut, tree nut, dairy, egg and even mustard free eaters, too!), and has been so more than a dozen years now. When we started accommodating our friends with special dietary needs we really were one of the only places out there doing it. Certainly, we were one of the only sleep away camps.
It was wonderful seeing so many of our camp friends this past Saturday. Almost 100 campers, staff and parents joined us for our annual camp reunion at the Longfellow Sports Club in Natick, MA! Many of our campers and staff had not seen each other since our closing day of the summer, and you could see how happy everyone was to be together. While most at the reunion live locally, a number of campers and staff traveled from New York, New Jersey, and even Georgia!
We are a great summer camp for a child with food allergies!
We were very excited to see that our brother-sister summer camp in NH has yet again been recognized for providing a safe home for our campers with food allergies and intolerances. Yesterday afternoon, Staples.com wrote an article about the trend of summer camps providing a peanut and tree nut free environment. The word is clearly out about how happy we are to provide our community members with meals that meet their dietary needs, including gluten free, dairy free, egg/albumen free, and more! We are also honored to be one of the first camps listed on the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network's Safe Camp list.
We love being a peanut and tree nut free summer camp!
With the start of the summer quickly approaching, one of my favorite pre-camp projects is to look at altering and revising our camp’s menu. Throughout the winter I have been searching websites like epicurious and food.com, and building a pinterest board with as many delicious new meal ideas as I could find! This summer we will have four full-time chefs on staff, and as often as possible they will be serving homemade meals with ingredients plucked fresh from farms around New England. As with previous summers, most of dairy products will be anti-biotic free.