Our Summer Camp Win with Food Allergies [Allergy Mom Video]

in Food Allergy, Parenting & School
Published: August 22, 2023

For years, Megan Lavin’s church has run a summer camp for teen boys and tweens. It’s a special annual week for youth members, and something of a rite of passage. The boys learn skills and gain some independence.  

Yet, as Megan candidly shares in this video for Allergic Living followers, “I have been dreading this sleep-away camp.” Her eldest son, you see, has multiple food allergies. “I couldn’t fathom how it would be possible for him to eat anywhere that I wasn’t the chef,” she tells viewers.

But if you’ve followed the Megan’s Minute video series, you’ll know that our food allergy parenting contributor is not one to shy from a challenge. When it comes to her two sons with multiple allergies, Megan is all about solutions.  

Knowing this camp loomed in the distance when her son was little, Megan and her husband Claudy worked with their allergist on oral food challenges. When her son’s allergy scores improved with a certain allergen, he allergy-tested by eating a small, then increasing, amount of a food.  

As she explains, her eldest son over the years did grow out of some allergies. He gained several more foods that he can now safely eat. This makes life easier all round – and it made that special camp a possibility.

Camp with Food Allergies: Megan’s Method

Some parents send their kids off to one of the camps that specialize in managing food allergies. But the camp Megan considered is different: it is for all youth congregants. Could Megan and her son rise to this challenge?  

In the video, Megan, who’s well-known for her AllergyAwesomeness.com recipes website, explains how they pulled it off. The process included:

  • Meeting early with those leading the camp and training them about food allergies and epinephrine injecting.
  • Working closely with the camp on menus for allergy safety. (She shares the resulting daily menu options.)
  • Just in case and to ease her son’s nerves, Megan’s husband took off work to also attend the camp.
  • Plus, she has more camps and allergies tips.  

So was it all worth it? Megan certainly thinks so. “My son had a great time. There were no accidents and he really felt grown up and ‘normal’ to go away to this camp like everyone else,” she says in the video.  

She proudly adds: “I look forward to him doing it every year until he turns 18.”  

Related: Gina Clowes: Finding the Right Summer Camp for Food Allergies

Megan’s Minute Series

Join Allergic Living monthly for a new installment of Megan’s Minute with Megan Lavin, the creator of the Allergy Awesomeness blog, which features great Top-9 free recipes and articles. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Following are some previous Megan’s Minute videos:
Dealing with Hurt Feelings over Allergies
Creating a School 504 Plan
Self-Carrying Epinephrine at School: Why It Matters
How to Host/Attend Big Parties with Allergies
How to Plan Meals with Food Allergies
Going to Birthday Parties
Eating Out Safely with Allergies

See more of the series on Allergic Living’s Youtube channel or Instagram page.