Food Allergies at Summer Camp

2.16.16 by

More than 12 million Americans — including 1 in 13 children — suffer from food allergies.* They have become so prevalent in many families’ daily lives, it’s no surprise that camps have caught on and adapted their kitchen and food policies with the times.  Just as each camp is different, so too are their food allergy policies.

camp dining hall

If your child has a food allergy from mild to severe, rest assured there is a camp for you! Summer 365 is here to guide you through the process of finding the right camp for your child and his or her food needs. There are so many factors involved in choosing the right camp environment, and it can be overwhelming to start your sleepaway camp search. By working with us, you can cover all your bases and know exactly which camps handle which allergies, who to talk to, what to ask, and get our first-hand advice to help you find the best fit for your child. How do we know so much? During the summer, our team travels from camp to camp—meeting with directors, asking lots of questions, seeing the dining rooms, understanding each camp’s food policy, how they handle allergies, and what they can accommodate.

summer 365 camp sleepaway camp kids teens trips tours experts advice children allergies camp infirmary peanuts nuts trees pollen allergic reaction emergencies soy gluten dairy lactose asthma

summer 365 camp sleepaway camp kids teens trips tours experts advice children allergies camp infirmary peanuts nuts trees pollen allergic reaction emergencies soy gluten dairy lactose asthmasummer 365 camp sleepaway camp kids teens trips tours experts advice children allergies camp infirmary peanuts nuts trees pollen allergic reaction emergencies soy gluten dairy lactose asthma

There are many food allergies such as peanut, soy, gluten, sunflower, dairy, nuts, and egg to name a few. Depending on the type and severity of your child’s allergy, you need to know different things about the camp. Certain camps have become nut-free (typically meaning that they do not serve any nuts, nor purchase any food that has been processed in a facility that may contain nuts), and most are nut-aware / nut-sensitive (typically meaning they do not buy food with nut oils or those processed in a facility that may contain nuts, however, they do serve peanut butter in the dining room but may contain the area it is served in and might have nut free tables). Camps that are both nut-free and nut-aware can accommodate nut allergies. Many camps have also made a concerted effort to offer gluten free foods and options for any campers who have gluten allergies, sensitivities, or celiac disease, as this has become another prominent allergy among children.

We are here for you to sort out all of the options, learn about your child’s needs, and what is important to you in your search. When you work with us, you get to hear about camps straight from the source.  We are in constant contact with directors and head staff at camps, asking them about updates to their health centers, doctors and nurses on staff, closest hospitals, dining halls and food policies and protocols, and how food allergies are handled at camp (via kitchen, camp staff, etc).

Additionally, during the search process it is important to have an honest conversation with camp directors about your child’s unique needs and background in order for both sides to make a well-informed decision about which camp is the best fit for your child.

Summer 365 can assure you it’s possible to survive and thrive with food allergies at sleepaway camp. To find the best camp for your child, contact Summer 365, a free year round summer camp resource for parents nationwide. 

*CNN article: Surviving summer camp with food allergies


Some of the unique offerings from Summer 365 include:

• Hundreds of Options: With over 500 sleepaway camps and summer programs for children ages 7 to 18, Summer 365 has parents covered whether they are looking for a traditional sleepaway camp, are on a budget or have time restraints, have a child with special needs, food allergies, special talents and interests, and everything in between.

• The Experts: The Summer 365 “Counselors” have first hand knowledge of the top sleepaway camps and programs throughout the country and around the world. We spend our summers traveling from camp to camp, meeting directors, assessing programs and inspecting facilities. We know the latest industry knowledge and trends so we can provide our clients with the greatest options. Summer 365’s approach is completely unbiased. Our only goal is to make sure your child has a fantastic summer experience by matching him or her with the right camp.

• Personal Touch: Summer 365 tailors services and insights to each family and child. Through our client consultations and ongoing communications, each Summer 365 Counselor assesses and aligns prospective candidates based on interests, budget, location, timetable, and more.

• Invaluable Advice: Summer 365 is a must-have resource to parents on topics such as what questions to ask of camp directors, packing tips, parent anxiety about homesickness and sending their child away for the first time. We will help you through the whole search process and can help schedule tours and “rookie days” so you can meet directors and visit camps while they are in session this summer.

• The Gift of Summer: Summer 365 believes that every child deserves the gift of summer. GIVE SUM is a special scholarship fund for families who would otherwise not be able to afford to send their children to camp. For every child that we help place in one of our recommended camps or programs, Summer 365 will donate a portion of each commission they receive into this fund.

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