Friday, June 26, 2009

Camp Kanata: My Day at Gluten Free Camp

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of visiting Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, NC. As you may know, this week is a special week for the camp as it offers the chance for Gluten Free kids to attend a summer camp. This camp is one of two in the nation sponsored by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG).

This year's camp featured about 30 GF kids from all around the country. These kids would not normally be able to attend a summer camp due to their dietary restrictions. But thanks to Camp Kanata, the GIG and the great folks involved in running the camp, these kids can have a normal summer camp experience.

The camp does a wonderful job of making the GF kids feel normal. From my observations, they are mixed in with all the other kids (there were 200+ kids this week total), not only at eating time but also living arrangements. I sorta expected all the GF kids to be completely separate, but this just wasn't the case.

I spent the afternoon helping Trevor from Bella Monica Flatbread Company cook a couple dozen of their Gluten Free Margherita pizzas - which Trevor graciously donated. The camp does feature a separate kitchen to avoid cross contamination. After the pizzas were cooked, they were taken to the main dining hall to be served. It was an amazing experience to see the GF kids come up and be able to eat pizza like the non-GF campers! A huge thank you to Trevor for donating his time and pizzas to this great cause. FYI - click here if you'd like to follow Trevor and his Gluten Free Pizza adventures on Twitter.

Another huge thank you must go out to Alanna Conder who is the local GIG volunteer running the Gluten Free portion of the camp. Alanna has been doing this for six years running! It takes a lot of heart, dedication and organizational skills to coordinate something like this. I was told the cost to feed these GF kids runs around $500 per day. Alanna is also lucky to have a dedicated group of volunteers to help her out - there were four of them there during my afternoon visit. Also, a special thanks to Debbie Jongkind who serves as the GF Dietitian during this week of camp. Debbie is also the blogger behind Gluten Free Durham.

I know some other folks from the Raleigh area were also involved in donating their GF products and services including Twin Cakes Bakery, Rosie's Plate and The Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse. I know there are others out there - thanks very much for your support of this week of summer camp. Also, a huge thanks for those of you involved in the Gluten Free Raleigh Run/Walk Fundraiser held this past June 13th, which raised $915 for this camp.


Trevor Chambers said...


It was a pleasure to rock out the pizzas for this kids! Thanks for all your help.

Founder, Bella Monica FlatBread Co

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