Camp Eagle Hill, a sleepaway camp for children located in Elizaville, NY, recently introduced its gluten-free kitchen. The new kitchen, which will serve all the same foods as the regular kitchen only gluten-free, was implemented to keep campers from feeling separated.
“We help children to understand and appreciate the value of friendships gained through living together and sharing in our camp community,” says Jesse Scherer, director of Columbia County’s Camp Eagle Hill, whose winter offices are in Scarsdale. This camp season, Scherer is going the extra mile to cater to each camper, quite literally, with a separate kitchen for gluten-free meal preparation that will serve to accommodate campers diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten allergies.
Last year, more than 12 campers benefited from the new gluten-free kitchen. “The best way to assure parents that their children would be receiving a gluten-free menu was to create an entirely separate kitchen. Our main goal is to cater to the needs of those campers and staff in need of this type of diet with a facility that would provide a worry-free summer experience,” Scherer says.
The gluten-free menu will include the same food choices offered to the general camp community with a salad bar, side dishes, main courses, snacks, and desserts, all sans gluten. “That feeling of separation from others based on the need to eat different foods at camp is eliminated,” Scherer says. “This is a great thing.”