FAQs

FAQs

How can you ensure that the food is safe?
As parents of children with food allergies, our number one priority is the safety of the food and the kitchen. We purchase any prepared food from vendors with allergy safe kitchens that guarantee their food will not have “illegal” ingredients or cross contact with the top ten allergens. Our cooks cook most of the food from scratch, using fresh ingredients. The kitchen is thoroughly cleaned before Camp Blue Spruce begins. No snacks or food from home are allowed in the cabins, including in the staff quarters.

Do the counselors have food allergies, too?
Many of the counselors have food allergies, and we are proud to provide role models for the children.

How do I become a counselor?
We are looking for qualified applicants for counselors, program and kitchen staff to make a difference in the lives of children with food allergies! Applicants must have a desire to work with children, be a team player, attend staff training (August 17 – 18 in Portland), have current certification in CPR, First Aid, AED, and be reliable and dependable. Applications will be available in January 2018.

Will there be medical care?
Yes! A professional team of medical staff from Columbia Asthma and Allergy will be on hand – 24 hours/day throughout the camp session. Camp Tapawingo, where we are holding camp, has an excellent relationship with the emergency responders in their area, who will be apprised of the presence of children with food allergies well in advance. First responders can be at the camp in ten minutes and the camp is just 30 minutes from the nearest hospital.

What are the camper accommodations?
Each cabin group has its own cabin, which sleeps 8 – 10 campers and counselors. Some cabins have bathrooms inside the cabin and others are near the shower houses.

What if my child becomes ill?
Every effort is made to keep campers free from illness or accident. In the event of injury or illness, a professional team of medical staff is on hand – 24 hours/day throughout the camp session.

What if my child becomes homesick?
When a child is away from home, family, and friends, it’s only natural to feel a little sad. The truth is, most campers go through times when they miss their family or friends back home. Campers can bring a reminder of home to camp. When a child starts to miss home, it can help to have a photo of her or his family or pet or a special token from home. We also encourage letters from home. Receiving mail from home can perk up a child’s spirits. We also encourage campers to talk to their counselor. Sometimes, the counselor may be able to match up campers who are feeling the same way or set up a mentor situation with an older camper.

What if my child is allergic to citrus or has another food allergy? Can they attend? Can you exclude other foods from the camp?
Camp Blue Spruce is free from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, gluten and sesame. It may be difficult to accommodate other life threatening food allergies, but please call us to discuss how we can work with your child’s allergy or sensitivity.

What if I can’t pay the whole camp fee? Do you have scholarships?
Camp Blue Spruce is proud to be able to offer financial assistance through the Dan DeMerell Campership Fund. Applications are available on the campership page.

Can’t kids with food allergies attend regular camp?
Many children with food allergies attend regular camps. However, not all camps are able to accommodate campers with Celiac Disease or severe and multiple food allergies. Camp Blue Spruce gives children with food allergies the opportunity to spend a week not worrying about their food allergies and having fun with kids who understand the struggles they live with daily. For many kids, attending Camp Blue Spruce is the first time they feel truly “normal”.

Is Camp Blue Spruce a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation?
Camp Blue Spruce is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization.

If my child doesn’t have food allergies can they attend Camp Blue Spruce?
Friends and siblings of children with food allergies are welcome to attend, although priority is given to children with food allergies.

Will parents have an opportunity to meet and talk about their experiences coping with food allergies with other parents sending children to the camp?
Camp Blue Spruce believes that connecting families facing similar food allergy challenges is valuable. Parents are encouraged to talk with other parents and share their experiences. We will facilitate these conversations through a “meet and greet” at drop-off or pick-up at camp, at a holiday party, through events with Food Free Fun for Everyone and through the exchange of camper contact information for those who choose to share that information.

Why is it called Camp Blue Spruce?
The name invokes Oregon and its natural wonders.

Are you looking for support or volunteers?
Camp Blue Spruce is organized by a fantastic team of volunteers. Contact us by email at info@campbluespruce.org if you are interested in joining our team.

How do campers get to and from camp?
Camper pick up and drop off will be explained in your Camper Information Packet.

If my child is younger than 9 can they apply?
Children 9 years old and entering 4th grade through age 13 attend the general camp. High school teens 14 – 16 are in the Teen Explorer Camp. Teens 17 and older can apply to be a Counselor In Training.

How soon will I be notified that my camp application has been accepted?
You will be notified of your camp status within 4-6 weeks of your application submittal.

Will you maintain a waitlist once the slots have been filled?
Yes. Once the slots have been filled, we will maintain a waitlist. If we experience cancellations, we will call campers on our waitlist to notify them of the openings. We will reach out to waitlist campers in the order that applications were received.