Food Safety, Allergies and other Special DietsSafe and Healthy Eating at Camp
Our Commitment to Special Diets
Many children today have medical concerns that lead them to eat a modified diet. Point O’Pines has a special chef dedicated to the campers with these special food requirements. With a large and growing population eating gluten free, dairy free or with allergies we put tremendous effort into these meals. Making meals nutritious and tasty for campers without dietary restrictions is a challenge in itself, but to have the same high standard of cuisine for special food needs is even more challenging. Our directors and staff discuss these special needs with parents before and during camp and provide direction to our kitchen on a great selection of fresh and nutritious food for all campers.
Please let us know if you have any food concerns as soon as possible so we can discuss them with you, help you feel comfortable with a plan, and prepare for a great and delicious summer experience.
A Nut Free Camp
As many of you may be aware, food allergies are a growing concern across America. Millions of children must watch what they eat or risk suffering a severe or even life-threatening reaction. At Point O’Pines we have an increasing number of campers with peanut and tree nut allergies. A major health issue such as this one needs to be taken very seriously, and it has always been our policy to make the safety and well being of our campers our top priority.
To help protect the health of the campers and staff in our camp community, we have a nut free policy.
This policy means that no peanuts or tree nuts (including cashews, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, coconuts, etc.) should enter our camp environment. We will read ingredient labels on food served at camp. We will not serve items where a label indicates that the food contains peanuts or tree nuts and we will use due care to satisfy ourselves that responsible decontamination procedures have been followed where products are produced in a factory that may also, upon occasion, produce products that may contain nuts. Foods that contain nut products will be considered unsafe. Please note that shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and other skin care products that contain nuts will also not be permitted.
Given this change in policy we would like to emphasize that we cannot promise families that children with allergies will not come into accidental contact with these foods while at camp, but we want to assure you that we will have taken precautions to hopefully prevent contact with these allergens. We want you to understand that nut products are not always obvious ingredients in foods, and many foods are not clearly labeled.
In addition to the above guidelines, we ask you to help us implement the following measures for the safety of our campers.
- Families of children with nut allergies must inform camp of the existence of said allergies and work with camp to develop an appropriate medical response for their child in the event of an allergic reaction. We will request an Emergency Action Plan for each child with nut allergies that must be completed and signed by the child’s physician and provided to camp before the season starts. To the extent possible, children with known allergies should be taught how to self-administer their own Epi-pens.
- Families (including those whose children do not have allergies) must never send any packages that contain nuts or nut products.
- Families (including those whose children do not have allergies) should never bring food on camp property that contains nuts either for themselves or their children.
- Staff should never bring food onto camp property that contains nuts (backpacks and pockets included).
In addition, camp will be taking the following measures:
- Staff will continue to be trained to recognize symptoms of a severe allergic reaction and will be taught how to use an EpiPen as per protocol.
- We will educate the camp community regarding food allergies and teach our staff how to keep children safe with a view to making our community totally aware of the presence of allergens and precautions to avoid contact even when outside of our camp community.
- As always, we will be hyper vigilant in monitoring campers when we are out of camp in public places that are not nut free. We ask families, however, to recognize that our best efforts will be greatly affected by the diligence of their daughters on trips out of camp.
We appreciate that we may be asking families to change something that is an everyday part of your children’s lives, and that these changes are often hard to make and may even be unwelcome. We want to make Point O’Pines as safe as possible for all of our campers and we hope that you will understand this policy. We are grateful for your understanding and trust that you know how very important it is to respect and adhere to these guidelines.