Thursday, July 15, 2010

Camp's Around the Corner....

So after MUCH back and forth with the Girl Scouts they decided to put ALL the allergic girls in B's grade level in my unit (including B - which is unheard of apparently). 6 out of 15 girls have a food allergy (and ALL include a peanut/nut allergy).

So I'm leading a unit with the following allergies:
  • peanut
  • tree nut
  • milk
  • eggs
  • honey
It's definitely going to be interesting!  I'm going to be able to carry epis/benadryl for the girls in my pack (something the other leaders wouldn't do) and I'm working with the moms to ensure that the meals will be safe (it may require the moms to supply a substitute ingredient - like honey free graham crackers - is that too much to ask of them?).

As for meals, the camp leaders wouldn't let us ask the other unit's moms NOT to pack peanut/nut products (!), so we're going to have LOTS of hand washing before and after and we'll be setting up buffer zones for the girls - so if there's another girl with a PB&J, we'll make sure the girl with the ham sandwich is next to the allergic girl instead.  It'll be a juggling act for sure!

But ultimately, I'm doing what I had hoped that a group like the Girl Scouts would have taken upon themselves to do in the first place without a fight.

The funniest thing is:  I feel very nervous about this.  I'm in a strange position of watching after another mama's allergic girl.  I'm worried that I'll make a mistake and a reaction will occur. I'm worried that I wont read a label properly and slip up out in the woods no less.

Isn't that silly?

If you all have any suggestions/ideas about any foods to watch out for with a honey allergy, let me know.  We cookout on 3 of the days and our meals are: Tacos, Hot Dogs, and Pizza.  Desserts are homemade ice cream, watermelon, and s'mores.  I immediately thought of the graham crackers for s'mores having honey, but is honey in bread?  Suffice it to say, I'll be reading A LOT of labels in the coming weeks. I've got alot of homework to do.

When the contact at camp sent me the menus, she kept saying in her email things like "oh its veggies and ranch dip so all your allergic kids will be able to have it".

Uh, no they wont.  Last time I checked, Ranch had MILK in it.


If this camp thing isn't spectacular, then there's NO WAY we're going next year.

What have I gotten myself into?

UPDATE:  Good news!  I spoke to the mother of what i thought was an allergic camper.  Turns out that a girl who's file said she needs to avoid peanuts, honey, and eggs isn't actually allergic - i thought she was allergic or possibly vegan - but her mom just avoids them (not sure why as she's had all three in baked goods, but I didn't even want to ask why she had to put this on the health form - oh well). That makes just peanuts/nuts and milk to work with - that's a cakewalk!


geena said...

Some ranch dressings also contain egg.

jennyalice said...

That's a lot of responsibility for you to take on..
I hope it goes well for you and the girls!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

you'll do great! :-)

Joelle said...

Really cool that you are doing this, and I'd love to hear how it goes. My daughter just turned 5, so things like camp are just around the corner for us (the very scary corner!).

Libby said...

*Just* peanuts, tree nuts and milk are a cakewalk? I almost snorted diet soda out my nose and onto my keyboard!

The moms of the other food allergic girls must be incredibly grateful to you. You are apparently the only one who truly understands the danger AND is willing to take on the responsibility of keeping them safe.

Honestly, the other scout leaders should be ashamed. They wouldn't dream of this kind of blatant exclusion of a child with an obvious physical disability.

Good luck!

Gab said...

Even better news - no milk allergy either! I honestly feel like the universe is on my side!

Although at a final training yesterday, one of the first aid trainers told them group that kids with allergies all know how to self administer epi's. Oh, and she threw in "so many of these kids aren't REALLY allergic anyway".

Let's just say that she was corrected!

Gabs aka peanut free mama

Claudine said...

We have a milk allergy at our house and discovered that Kraft makes a CUCUMBER RANCH dressing with no dairy. It's weird, really. Ranch with no dairy?!? But it's true, and for what it's worth, my 6 year old loves it as a veggie dipper!

Hope that helps. :)

Anonymous said...

Here's a petition to support a ban on peanuts on airlines.

Rosalie said...

Thanks for being a great example to the others! Can't believe they would even suggest not attending camp. What age are the girls? My PA daughter is 4 1/2 so we haven't had a real camp yet - but when we do, I will be sure to volunteer and have the other allergy kids! These kids shouldn't have to miss out on a fun camping experience because of other peoples ignorance!