“Mom, you forgot to pack extra socks,” says my 10-year-old son accusingly. We have just picked him up after a week at camp. Socks, I muse, mentally searching through the gear I had packed over a week ago. I remembered making an extra trip to the store for the hiking socks requested on the camp list. Had I not packed them? “Do you mean the hiking socks?” I inquire.
Attending summer day camp is often a rite of passage for kids. But when you have a child with life-threatening food allergies, camp is more complicated than filling out forms and dropping your kid off each morning. But with planning, cooperation and communication, day camp can be a great experience for food-allergic children.
When we were kids, summer camp meant something different to us than it does to our children. For us, camp meant camp: cabins or tents, canoeing, hiking, singing songs around a campfire and general camaraderie. Children today are much more active, much more schedule-oriented and generally just busier. Consequently, the very dynamics of summer camp have changed. Camps offered now are much more focused and detail-oriented. There’s soccer camp, art camp, violin camp, space camp, leadership camp, palaeontology camp, etc.
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