Camp 101: Being a Peanut and Tree Nut Free Summer CampMarch 20, 2015
Dear Camp Parents,
Welcome to the latest installment of our Camp 101 blogs! This week we’d like to highlight some important policies and behaviors that contribute to the positive and safe Kenwood & Evergreen community, with particular emphasis on our Peanut & Tree Nut Free campus.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
NO PEANUTS OR TREE NUTS
As you are undoubtedly aware, over the last decade there has been a significant increase in peanut-related allergies throughout the United States. Peanut allergies in children increased two-fold over a five-year period from 1997 to 2002. The hardest hit group seems to be male children of camp age. Nut allergies are also particularly unforgiving. Exposure to even tiny or trace amounts can produce anaphylaxis in allergic individuals, which is life threatening unless immediately treated.
At our summer camp in New Hampshire, we have seen our number of campers with life threatening peanut and tree-nut allergies follow the national trends. Each year brings us new campers, sometimes younger siblings of established Camp families, who are living with these allergies every day. As this has impacted more of our camp families, we have found it necessary to tailor some of our practices to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community.
Our mission as a Camp has always been to create a safe and caring community for each of your children, and for our staff. That is why summers ago we chose to become a peanut and tree nut free summer camp. Our goal was to make the necessary changes while having the least impact on our entire population. We believe that most families found that these changes had only the slightest bearing on their child’s summer, if any at all.
Here is what we ask:
• Please do not send your child on the Camp bus with any peanut or tree-nut products, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, snickers bars, or peanut M&Ms, as well as products made in facilities that are not peanut and tree-nut free.
• Please do not send your child to Camp with any toiletry products that contain any tree nuts.
• Please continue to respect our no food in packages policy, as most families have done for years.
• On Visiting Day please refrain from bringing products into Camp that contain peanuts or tree-nuts, or were produced in facilities that are not peanut and tree-nut free, even if you are positive that there are no campers in his or her cabin with a peanut allergy.
We do have some picky eaters at Camp, and we know that for some the traditional PB&J sandwich is an important alternative at mealtime. As an office we have spent a lot of time researching viable alternatives, and felt that we came up with one in Soy Nut Butter. It looks like peanut butter, it spreads like peanut butter, and thankfully it tastes like peanut butter. We taste-tested most of the brands on the market (including a couple that can be found in your local grocery store) and found one that everyone seemed to really enjoy, in both crunchy and smooth varieties. It is a huge success with our campers! We will again have jars of it on every table this summer, and campers and staff will continue to have the option of making sandwiches at most meals. In addition, we will continue to offer the same array of “alternatives” to our main meals.
BEING A MEMBER OF THE KENWOOD & EVERGREEN COMMUNITY
We ask that you read and discuss with your camper the following description of our community and the behaviors we expect from all of its members.
As a member of the Kenwood & Evergreen community, I will strive to always:
• Care for others
• Be a good friend
• Have a positive and healthy attitude
• Fully participate in all aspects of the Camp program
• Cooperate with others
• Be sensitive to the needs of others
• Commit to improving upon new skills
• Treat everyone with kindness and respect at all times
• Recognize that I am one member of the Camp community, and I must be accepting of differences and inclusive in my friendship and relationships
• Stand up for what is right
• Confront disrespectful or hurtful behavior when I see it
• Use appropriate language in my conversations with others
The Kenwood & Evergreen Camp community is much more than just our seven weeks together in the summer, and for that reason we ask that all of our campers also:
• Remember that as a part of the year-round Kenwood & Evergreen community I must be a good friend to other campers inside and out of Camp, including in all of my electronic communications
• Be inclusive of all of my peers. This means that I will not form or be a part of cliques that intentionally exclude others, including social media groups that include some but not all of my unit mates.
While we all aspire – and support and encourage each other – to practice the behaviors listed above each day, there are also some rules that must be followed with no exceptions. Please be sure that you and your campers understand the following important policies.
As a member of the Kenwood & Evergreen community, I will:
• Unplug for the summer from cell phones, internet use, video games, movies & TV, and other wireless capabilities
• Respect others’ right to gender privacy and the physical boundaries of each Camp and living area
• Refrain from bringing drugs, alcohol, tobacco products or weapons into Camp
• Keep all medications inside the Infirmary
• Never harass, use physical aggression, bully, or intentionally hurt the feelings of others
• Not use threats to control someone or their friendships, or to scare or intimidate others
• At no time participate in rites of passage or secret initiations
If a camper does not abide by these rules and behaviors there will be consequences, up to and including immediate dismissal from Camp without return or refund. Campers who are disrespectful or hurtful to other campers during the school year may also face consequences, including the cancellation of their enrollment at Camp before the start of the Camp season.
First time visitors to Camp often comment on how pristine our buildings look on both the inside and out. We have been close to 100% free of vandalism over the past 40 years. We hope to keep it that way for future generations. Writing on cabin walls, ceilings, cubbies, mattresses or dressers is not a Camp tradition, and is strictly forbidden. Every bunk has the opportunity each summer to create a bunk plaque that proudly displays the name of each member of the bunk without breaking the graffiti rule. We hold campers, counselors and parents accountable if someone breaks this rule.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK:
Camp 101: Bunk Requests & Camper Confidential Forms
MISS CAMP 101 PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS? CLICK BELOW TO VIEW!