Research has now confirmed what anyone with a gluten-free child probably already knew: being around other kids with the same dietary restrictions helps GF kids feel normal. Kids who attend dedicated gluten-free summer camps are buoyed even further. They leave the experience with a more positive outlook and self-perception, as well as an improved sense of well-being and emotional outlook.
“All seemed to benefit from camp, no longer feeling different from other kids or feeling frustrated with a restricted diet,” reported researchers in the journal Pediatrics. While all of the children enjoyed the camp experience, those who had been on a gluten-free diet for less than four years benefited the most. These children left camp no longer feeling embarrassed or isolated from other kids because of their restricted diet. Campers also learned new coping mechanisms from others in camp who had been living gluten free for a longer time.
All this is to say that gluten-free camp is a worthwhile endeavor; luckily many camps around the country are answering the call!
To hear more about Gluten-Free Summer Camps, tune into The Gluten-Free Voice podcast
interview with Marilyn Geller of the Celiac Disease Foundation, talking all things camp!
San Francisco Bay Area (Livermore, CA)
Week 1: July 23, 2013 and Week 2: July 27, 2013
Camp Celiac is at Camp Arroyo for its sixth year — a 138 acre site where campers, counselors, and volunteers eat delicious gluten-free food and enjoy traditional camp activities. A ropes course, rock climbing, ziplining, boating, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, skit night, and outdoor sports fill campers’ days, and three gluten-free meals a day will keep them going! The experience of not having to ask if any of the foods are gluten free is life changing for many campers and staff!
Near Big Bear, CA
July 15th July 19th, 2013
This is the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF)’s first ever Children’s Celiac Camp. Camp Nawakwa is in the beautiful Barton Flats area of the San Bernardino Mountains and is a gorgeous backdrop for children aged 7-17 to enjoy archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, cookouts, drama, hip hop dance, nature lore, swimming and wall climbing.
Camp Twin Lakes – Camp Dream in Warm Springs, GA
June 23-28, 2013
The Georgia Celiac Foundation annually organizes this week-long, kids-only summer camp for children aged 8 to 17. Children with celiac disease and gluten intolerance focus on development and practice of independent living skills and coping skills in a fun camp format, using games, group activities, workshops, sports and spirit. Camp activities include swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing, archery, ceramics, and more! Meals and snacks are, of course, entirely gluten-free.
June 26th 9am to June 29th, 2013
5:00 pm pick up
2001 Bridgeport Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46231
For Gluten-Free kids, age 9-14. Can also accommodate the gluten free casein free diet (GFCF) and other food allergies and sensitivities upon request. Parents need to let the camp know about the camper’s specific dietary needs two weeks prior to the camp date.
The kitchen/facility will ONLY be catering to the kids at Camp Gluten Freedom during this week and this greatly reduces the risk for cross-contamination issues since the only food served during this week will be gluten-free. Campers will be able to participate in activities like hiking, swimming, archery and fishing and more!
This year’s Camp Gluten Freedom is being held at Camp Jameson. There is room for 48 campers. Boys and Girls are welcome – there will be an all girls cabin and all boys cabin.
Price to attend is $250 per child. Please RSVP by payment via paypal or check by June 18th.
Limited sponsorships available if you qualify.
For additional information:
Contact: Shelia@glutenfreelivingnow.org or Tina@glutenfreelivingnow.org
Western Massachusetts, approximately 3 hours from Boston and New York City.
Girls and Boys – age 7-15.
2, 4, and 6 week sessions, summer of 2013
Camp Emerson supports ALL food allergies and special diets. Camp Emerson is completely NUT FREE. Celiac campers have thrived here, with a gluten-free kitchen area and professional chefs trained in cross-contamination and segregated preparation. There is also a Registered Dietitian on staff to prepare each child’s menu.
Sue Lein, Director and Owner of Camp Emerson, understands food allergies and special diets because she is allergic to eggs. Sue will want to speak with you personally about your child’s allergies and dietary needs to make an individual plan for every camper.
Camp Westminster -Higgins Lake, MI
June 16-23, 2013
For campers with food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances — Camp Westminster has served almost every dietary need. Food preparation will be handled by people with experience in special foods cooking. Open to children ages 7-18.
At Camp Westminster, trained counselors provide safety nets for campers to take healthy risks through fun, challenging and adventurous activities. From tackling the Lighthouse Climb to sailing to Treasure Island to splashing in crystal-clear Higgins Lake, we provide challenges which will help any camper stretch and grow in a safe Christian community. Children and youth are less at risk when they have a sense of community.
There are also opportunities for campers to connect with the outdoors. At Camp Westminster, we believe each person is a steward of the environment. The camp tries to build intimate relationships with the natural world on land and in the water.
Camp Manitou-Lin, Middleville, MI
June 30-July 5, 2013
This gluten free camp is organized by Michigan Capital Celiac/DH Group, Lansing, MI. MCC/DH works with Camp Manitou-Lin to provide a gluten-free diet. Campers will spend their days in the great outdoors with age appropriate activities designed so campers can look forward to new challenging adventures each day.
This camp is for girls aged 7-16.
This camp is for boys aged 7-16.
July 14-19, 2013
A partnership between Twin Cities R.O.C.K. volunteers and Camp New Hope, Gluten-Free Fun Camp allows the food part of a celiac lifestyle to become secondary to having fun. All of the food is gluten-free and carefully prepared to ensure safe eating for the campers, leaving no reason for the campers to wonder, “Can I eat this?”
In addition to a safe, gluten-free environment, Gluten Free Fun Camp offers all the usual parts of camp, including cabins and swimming.
July 23-25, 2013
The Celiac Center of Minnesota in Bloomington hosts a 3-day camp for Gluten Detectives each summer. This day camp is an option for gluten-free kids who are not ready to sleep away from home, divided into groups for ages 3-17. Activities include cooking classes, skits, dancing, learning relaxation and coping techniques, and creating a coping box to help them deal with frustrations they may experience while living gluten free.
Multiple Sessions beginning June 23, through August 10, 2013
Camp Eagle Hill is a co-ed overnight camp for kids ages 6-16 years old. It’s beautiful, 200 acre facility, is just 90 miles from NYC in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. The camp has a dynamic sports program devoted to the fun-minded and action-oriented camper.
New for 2013, is a dedicated gluten-free kitchen space. This dedicated area includes a salad bar, desserts and main courses, all prepared by a chef specializing in gluten-free food.
Lakewood & Milford, PA
May 31-June2, 2013 Family Camp Weekend
Since 1920, NJY Camps has offered summer camp programs for the Jewish community. Several of the camp programs offer gluten-free food, and staff members have completed gluten-free training through NFCA’s GREAT Schools, Colleges & Camps. Food service accreditation through GIG.
Celiac and gluten sensitive campers who attend Nah-Jee-Wah, Cedar Lake or Teen Camp will enjoy gluten-free and Kosher meals and snacks from a dedicated gluten-free kitchen. During pre- and post-camp programing, any family camp or visiting rental will have access to gluten-free food, too.
The Gluten-Free Camp Program at NJY Camps was created in partnership with the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center and accredited in Gluten-Free Food Service by the Gluten Intolerance Group.
Camp Kanata, Wake Forest, North Carolina
August 4th- 10th, 2013
Set on 150 rolling, wooded acres outside of Wake Forest, North Carolina, Camp Kanata offers an exciting camp experience for kids from 6 to 15.
Kanata combines an array of opportunities for skill development and an emphasis on character growth with a mighty mix of fun and adventure – and then wraps it all up in a safe, protective environment that both kids and parents can feel good about.
North Scituate, RI
August 11-16, 2013
Camp Celiac is a one-week summer camp for children and youth with Celiac Disease, ages 8-16. It is located at the site of Camp Aldersgate in beautiful North Scituate, Rhode Island. The property is situated on 230 acres of woods, fields and trails, and includes a lake, waterfront cabins, woodside cabins, dining hall, solar bath house, waterfront bathhouse, a retreat center (including a great hall, two kitchens, sleeping areas, and four lavatories with showers), and a health lodge.
Camp Celiac and Camp Aldersgate have developed layers of safety measures over the years to ensure a safe gluten-free environment. Camp Celiac provides two full time, registered nurses who handle all non-emergency medical needs, including administering medications. Emergency medical transportation is available within seven to ten minutes.
June 16-21, 2013
This 6 day/5 night summer resident camp has been designed for youth ages 7-15 with dietary restrictions related to Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, and/or Gluten Sensitivity/Intolerance. This is the camp where you can escape from the gluten loaded world we live in. For one week you will no longer have to worry about gluten!
Camp Gilmont located in Gilmer, Texas approximately 2 hours east of Dallas , Texas . The camp comes with all the normal camp events and activities. Each camper will experience all of the excitement of a summer resident camp, including S’mores by the campfire!
Siblings who are also of the age 7 to 15, but who are not diagnosed with Celiac Disease, DH, or Gluten Intolerance are welcome, however, only gluten free food will be served during camp.
Session #5 – July 31st – August 5th, 2013
Session #6 – August 6th-9th, 2013
Session #5/6 – July 31st – August 9th, 2013
Camp Sealth, Vashon Island, Washington
Campers with gluten intolerance or celiac disease are professionally supported by the volunteers and staff of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). Dietitians handle food preparation to ensure nutritious gluten-free meals and snacks. Campers will enjoy archery, touch tanks, arts and crafts, waterfront activities and more.
Children attending Camp Sealth may have both gluten intolerances and diabetes, as this camp is also sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Camp Sealth is peanut-free and has specially trained staff for children with special needs.