Proud to Be a Peanut and Tree Nut Free Summer Camp CommunityJanuary 7, 2014
Proud to Be a Peanut and Tree Nut Free Summer Camp Community
Over the weekend I dropped one of my kids off for a neighborhood play date at a new friend’s house. As I was leaving the dad casually asked “any allergies we should be aware of at snack time?” The kindness of this question totally caught me off guard. What a thoughtful question to ask, and how nice that he was willing to make whatever simple and reasonable accommodations we might need. As I walked home I thought to myself “how nice that we live in an era where people think to do such things”. Continuing my walk home it occurred to me that this may not be the norm around the country, and for the rest of the afternoon I pondered what it must be like for parents whose children do have life threatening food allergies and intolerances.
What level of fear must they live with when their children are out and about in the world? What if the adult in charge of the birthday party, the classroom, or the sleepover isn’t as vigilante as is necessary? On behalf of the parents of allergic kids I found the entire notion to be incredibly unsettling.
I speak with parents whose children have food allergies or intolerances on a regular basis. Our summer camp in NH has been peanut and tree nut free for more the past decade, and has welcomed those who eat gluten, dairy, or albumen free meals for almost as long. At the time that we made the decision for our community to go nut free our camp administration felt that this was really a civil rights issue. How could Camps Kenwood and Evergreen, a summer camp focused on tolerance, friendship building and emotional safety exclude a child or staff member because of that person’s need for slight modifications in our food service?
The members of our leadership team unanimously made the choice for our camp to become peanut and tree nut free, and we have been proud of it ever since. We hope that someday every overnight camp in America is a safe place for people with food allergies and intolerances. Until then we hope that campers with peanut and tree nut allergies, Celiac Spru, and other food-based needs know that we are here and happy to welcome them into our camp family.
We invite you to learn more about our allergy safe summer camp in NH