Food Allergy Summer Camp 2011
by Lilly Byrtus, Regional Coordinator, Prairies/NWT/Nunavut Region, Allergy/Asthma Information Association
AAIA’s eighth annual Food Allergy Summer Camp held July 18 to 22, 2011 was an awesome week of memories for twenty-one campers from across Canada and the United States. The campers enjoyed a fun-filled week of swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, zipline, high ropes, climbing wall, hiking, archery, campfire, games and more. Some memorable events and features included:
- an overnight out-trip adventure,
- an evening of entertainment provided by musician Kyle Dine,
- campers were integrated into the regular camp program for activities,
- campers with food allergy restrictions had their meals prepared separately by Wendy, our dedicated dietician, and a team of volunteers in the kitchen. The menu was carefully coordinated ahead of time to ensure that our campers were eating a similar meal to the other campers while meeting their own particular dietary requirements.
Added precautions making this camp safe for those with food allergies included:
- a volunteer paramedic who circulated through the dining room during meal times,
- a pediatric allergist from Edmonton who was on-call for the week of camp,
- hands-on training for camp counselors prior to the food allergy camp to allow them to quickly recognize symptoms of anaphylaxis and administer epinephrine if required,
- training of kitchen staff in food safety specific to food allergies.
Special thanks to:
- all of our campers, especially those who traveled from as far away as Chicago, Ontario, Saskatchewan, BC, and throughout Alberta to participate in Food Allergy Summer Camp 2011.
- YWCA YoWoChAs Outdoor Education Center and all the dedicated camp staff for welcoming the allergy team and helping to make this camp possible.
- Wendy, our dietitian, Rachael, our paramedic, Paula and Kristina who helped in the kitchen, and our allergist on call, Dr. Carr. Without all of them, this camp would not succeed.
- The Alberta Society of Allergists and Clinical Immunologists for providing a grant to allergy camp for an evening of entertainment with Kyle Dine.
YWCA’s YoWoChAs Outdoor Education Center on the shores of beautiful Lake Wabamun, 80 km. west of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Who can attend?
Campers aged 6 to 15 years are welcome to attend
When is the next camp?
- July 23 to 27, 2012
- New for 2012 … AAIA will be partnering with the Sherwood Park Celiac Support Group to offer Food Allergy and Celiac Summer Camp July 23 – 27, 2012 .
- Registration for summer camp opens in February. Register early as this week of camp fills up quickly. Please indicate that you are registering for the allergy or celiac camp. For more information about registration go to www.ywcaofedmonton.org or phone (780) 892–2660.
Contact Lilly Byrtus by phone 1-866-456-6651, e-mail , or visit AAIA’s website aaia.ca