Thursday, July 14, 2016

Boy Scout camp with food allergies

I hope all my U.S. friends had a wonderful and safe Fourth of July.  We pretty much stayed here and just relaxed and had a low key weekend.  It's rare that we get one of those so I was loving it.

Hubs and Middle Man left for a week of Boy Scout camp.  Is it a food allergy friendly camp?  Nope.  Not really.  But we are working with it.

We decided that there is no way Middle Man can go to camp without one of us (and I don't camp).  That pretty much decided that if he were to go that my husband was going to have to go too.  He went two years ago with my older son so he kind of knows the layout and how dining works.

He called there a month ago and spoke with the person in charge of the camp and he put Hubs in touch with the camp chef.  We could tell by the first conversation that they were not that food allergy aware.  He explained to the chef all about Middle Man's allergies, what they were, and how his food would need to be prepared.  The chef just kept saying that they have gluten free food that Middle Man could pick from.  Well, that doesn't work.  He is not Celiac, he's anaphylactic to wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts and also allergic to barley, rye and oat.  Just having food be "gluten free" does not mean that it's safe for him and his food also has to be cooked separate.  So after the initial conversations, we decided that it would be best if he took all our own, safe food.  We put a menu together and I cooked and froze things last week for them to take.  The chef did say that they have a microwave to heat things up in, so if most things were precooked, he should be fine.

The following is the menu we used and Middle Man gave us a lot of input:

Breakfast:
Safe cereal
heat and eat breakfast sausage
precooked bacon
yogurt
fruit

Lunch:
lunch meat
Ener-G GF bread
2 packs of Energ-G tapioca hamburger buns
pepperoni
string cheese
Live GF pizza pockets from Aldi

Dinner/Lunch hot meals (sent frozen and to be thawed the day before eating and heat in microwave):

3 prepackaged containers of Cowboy Casserole
3 prepackaged containers of chicken tacos
3 prepackaged containers of The Poorman's meal

Odds and Ends:
Enjoy Life Cookies
Enjoy Life Coco-Loco Bars
Marshmallows
A pack of safe hot dogs
An extra pack of shredded cheese
Safe Crackers
GF pretzels
A 20 pack of individual bags of Lays Potato Chips

Then wipes, paper plates, napkins, extra baggies for open boxes of food

We also sent a 5 gallon container of our own water for refilling water bottles.  They supply water in large gatorade containers but we can't be certain of what was in there before.

I think he has a enough food to get him through the week. But if he runs out of anything, there is a Super Walmart near by.

We also sent 3 two packs of Auvi-Q.  Middle Man will carry a set, Hubs will carry a set, and a set will be kept in the infirmary where they are keeping the rest of his daily meds (mostly for asthma) and Middle Man is also carrying his emergency inhaler and Benadryl tabs.  Both Hubs and Middle Man are carrying their Auvi-Q's in a case similar to this one with the water proof bag (1 water proof bag for each Auvi-Q) and there is room for Middle Man's emergency inhaler.

Although there is no way to plan for EVERYTHING, we think we have things under control as much as you can.  We also discussed that if there is any time that things appear not to be safe, they are coming straight home.  But so far so good.  The biggest hiccups were trying to decide how to store the food safely in the freezer (I sent a big box but Hubs left it in his car.  It's taken care of now) and the fact that the camp microwave broke a few days ago.  They had to have the Camp Manager bring his office microwave to the dining hall.

This doesn't mean that I'm not totally nervous.  But Hubs is texting me several times a day with updates and it appears that this is a great learning experience (food allergy wise and responsibility wise) for Middle Man.

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