The camp experience for kids is so exciting and so scary for both kids and their parents! Imagine the thought of a new and totally unfamiliar environment with children and food/ environmental allergies added to the equation!!
Even children with no allergies and their parents will have some fears and doubts…. Non-the-less, with the proper checklist, the camp experience can be exciting and stress-free for everyone!
Here is a CHECKLIST to ensure that all necessary measures have been put into place for a safe and memorable camping experience:
1. Camp meets provincial/national guidelines.
Accreditation will ensure critical standards, including
accomodations, equipment, staff qualifications & reputation
2. Established operation, number of years in operation with
experience and reputation.
3. Allergy-friendly” foods and preparation;
4. Hospital accessibility – is there a medical facility less
than one hour away?
5. Staff qualifications including training in emergency and
medical health, youth activities/education;
6. Staff qualified for handling food allergies and are able to avoid, recognize and respond to allergic
7. Written policy for the management of food allergies along with guidelines to ensure safety is taken care
of in food preparation, food offered and seating arrangements for eating.
8. Staff knowledge of epipen and proper administering in case of severe allergic reaction.
9. Contact with management of camp to go over the critical needs and the ability of the camp to meet these
10. If possible, visit the facility and speak with camp management to ensure that all necessary safeguards are in place
Our family has always been well aware of the potential obstacles to adventures that take us away from the safe and well-planned life that we enjoy. There have been times when safety and adequate measures have not been present. There is always another alternative to provide a safe and fun outing. Adventures, such as a camp or special outings, remind everyone that a new environment can make for fun activities and an enriching learning experience when needed safety measures are in place.