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 contamination. 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. Other counselors are long-time employees of Gales Creek Camp and offer their camp expertise. We are expecting to have several young adults and adults with food allergies work at the camp. It's great to provide role models for the children.
Will there be medical care? Yes! A professional team of medical staff will be on hand - 24 hours/day throughout the camp session. A Medical Advisory Team made up of prominent allergists is developing the medical protocols, and camp staff will be thoroughly trained in identifying allergic reactions and treating them. Gales Creek Camp, where we are running the 2013 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. The camp is just 20 minutes from the nearest hospital.
What are the camper accommodations? There are two cabins on site, one for girls and one for boys. The counselors sleep in the cabin in a separated area. Younger children sleep closer to the counselors. The rest rooms and baths are in separate buildings close to the cabins.
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. The camp is just 20 minutes from the nearest hospital.
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. At this time, we are not able to accommodate other life threatening food allergies.
What if I can't pay the whole camp fee?
Do you have scholarships? Tuition for five nights of camp costs $525. Camp Blue Spruce is working now to receive foundation support for scholarships. Please check back for more information about paying for camp.
Can't kids with food allergies attend regular camp? Many children with food allergies attend regular camp. However, some parents and kids worry about exposure if food that they are allergic to is served at the camp. Many institutions accommodate special diets, and attending a camp open to working through food allergy concerns is another option for families. Camp Blue Spruce's goal is to give kids, and parents of kids with food allergies, a summer camp dining experience free from the top allergen causing foods, allowing the campers to eat anything available without fear of exposure.
Is Camp Blue Spruce a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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? Yes! 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, 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 email@example.com if you are interested in joining our team.
How do campers get to and from camp? Camp Blue Spruce is located near Banks, Oregon, less than 30 miles from Portland. Campers need to be dropped off and picked up from camp. Directions will be sent in your Camper Information Packet.
If my child is younger than 9 or older than 14 can they apply? Children younger than nine may apply for Camp Blue Spruce, although priority is given to children between 9 and 14. Children older than 14 may be eligible to be Cabin Assistants. If you are interested in being a Cabin Assistant, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 56 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.