Summer Memories – Going to Camp with Allergies

Hi! My name is Andrew, and I have a severe peanut allergy.

This summer, I enjoyed a week away at camp in Ontario. It was my first sleepover camp. My time there was great, because not only were the activities fantastic, but the food was safe for me, and I could eat almost everything.

Two boys climbing on an indoor rock climbing wallMy favourite activities were rock climbing and knee-boarding. I liked the climbing, because it was both indoors and outside. With knee-boarding, it was a lot of fun doing tricks and getting wet. We zoomed around the kayakers trying to make them tip… but it didn’t work.

Another great thing was the food. It was really good and homemade in the camp kitchen. Almost everything was made without peanuts, even the snacks and desserts. The first night we had roast turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, and beans – that’s when I knew I was in for a good week.

I first heard about the camp a year earlier from my friend, Cam. We visited in September to see what it was like – 300 acres with cabins, kayaks, canoes, tether ball courts, dining hall, kitchen and more. During our first visit, we toured the activity areas and visited the kitchen, where we asked a lot of questions about the type of food they serve and how they prepare it. They were very confident that they could accommodate my allergy as they had done for others.

The following May, my friends and I visited again when they had an open house. I met the cook and got to see how they prepared the food. That day, they had a barbecue and snacks, and the cook assured me that it was all made without peanuts. It was delicious!

This July, while I was at camp, I checked with my cabin leader and the cook at every meal. There was only one thing that I couldn’t eat during the whole week – it was a salad with sesame seeds in it, and the sesame seeds had a “may contain traces of peanut” warning. There were tongs for each salad, and they watched to make sure that the tongs didn’t get mixed up. They also made cookies with soya butter – although I didn’t eat those, because they tasted too much like peanut butter for my liking. One of my friends who came with me to camp is a vegetarian. His meals were all made without peanuts too.

My time at camp was great, and I’m looking forward to going again next year!