Allergy-free camp for children

Zajac Ranch offering unique camp experience in Mission from Aug. 25-29

Zajac Ranch for Children in Mission will be holding a summer sleep-away camp geared toward children with severe food allergies from Aug. 25-29.

Zajac Ranch, located at Stave Lake, has been running summer camps for children with disabilities and life-threatening conditions since 2004.

In consultation with Dr. Edmond Chan, BC Children’s Hospital pediatric allergist, the facility’s chefs will plan meals and snacks that are free of the top 10 allergens, and will also be able to accommodate children with celiac disease, a condition necessitating strict avoidance of gluten. Allergic children will be able to eat freely at mealtime, a welcome change from constantly asking questions about ingredients and food labels. In addition, camp staff will be specially trained to deal with any allergic reactions that might occur.

Over the past 10 years, Zajac Ranch has been providing enriching camp experiences to children and youth with conditions such as autism, diabetes, epilepsy, visual impairment, and Down’s syndrome. Utilizing specialized staff, facilities and equipment, the camp allows children to participate in rock climbing, canoeing, and archery, among many other activities, developing their social skills and self-confidence in a group of like-minded peers.

For more information about the camp, or to register your child, email james@zajacranch.com. Or visit http://www.zajacranch.com/camper-info/medical-camps/anaphylactic-camp-for-children-with-food-allergies/. The camp welcomes children aged 7-17, and can also accommodate non-allergic siblings and friends.

Individuals with severe food allergies must practise strict avoidance of allergic foods, making eating cafeteria meals at a remote camp location difficult, if not impossible, especially when multiple foods must be avoided.

The Metro Vancouver Anaphylaxis Group, created in 2009, is a volunteer parent-run group whose focus is to provide support for those at risk of anaphylaxis through building understanding, educating others and providing information and resources to its members.  The group is helping promote the camp.

For more information, visit www.VancouverAnaphylaxis.com or www.Facebook.com/groups/vancouveranaphylaxis, or email MetroVancouverAnaphylaxis@gmail.com.