If you are a camper with food concerns, the most important first step you can take to prepare for your week at camp is to clearly indicate those food concerns on your registration card. This way, we can work with you to make sure your concerns are met while you are at camp. If you happen to have food allergies that are diagnosed or develop after you have turned in your registration card, you should notify your stake leader. She will then contact the Women’s Committee member over the Oakcrest kitchen and inform her of these changes. If a food concern is indicated on your registration card, you will be contacted by a member of the Women’s Committee a few weeks prior to your scheduled week at camp in order to discuss your concern.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for that contact:
- Find the menu for the week you will be attending camp under the “Menu” section on the Oakcrest website. (Menus are published two weeks in advance.)
- Go through the menu thoroughly with your parents, noting any food concerns you may have.
- Read through the standard accommodations outlined below that are provided by the kitchen staff at Oakcrest to accommodate your specific food concern.
- Decide what additional measures, if any, you feel you may need and prepare to discuss your plan with the member of the Women’s Committee member when she contacts you. This information will be relayed to the Head Cook who will help to implement your food plan during your week at camp.
After reading the standard procedures outlined below for each specific food concern, if you determine it would be helpful to bring additional food to supplement your food plan while at camp, you are free to do so. You may keep snacks with you in your cabin, but any other food should be prepared as follows:
- Food is to be packed in a container that will keep it cold for the bus ride to Oakcrest. (Coolers will be transported to camp in the bus’ luggage compartment.) Upon arrival at Oakcrest, the food container will be stored in the kitchen refrigerator.
- The container must be clearly labeled with the camper’s name.
- Food for the same meal is packed together and labeled with what meal it will be used for (i.e. Wednesday lunch, etc.), as well as with a list of items that are to be used for that meal.
- A detailed description of the camper’s special menu should be placed inside the cooler. The description should include any food preparation instructions, as well as which food items go with which meal. Campers will coordinate their food plans with the Head Cook through their counselors.
Below are the common food concerns and the standard accommodations that are made by the Oakcrest kitchen staff:
If after reviewing the menu you decide that additional food or substitutions need to be made, please follow the guidelines above for sending additional food with your camper. If you have additional concerns, please communicate these to the Women’s Committee Member when she contacts you.
There are some common gluten-free options available at camp (i.e. bread, pasta, cereal, salad bar). Some meals may provide an additional gluten-free substitute that will be listed as such on the menu page.
We do use cheese, butter, and dairy products in our cooking at Oakcrest, but most campers find that they can deal with their lactose intolerance with their own medication. Dairy free substitutes (such as lactose free cheese) will be used in individual meals when possible upon request. Dairy free milk is also available for the camper’s use.
We do not use nuts in our meals at camp because so many campers are allergic to them. We do, however, offer a peanut butter and jelly station for lunch and dinner to accommodate those campers who are vegetarian, vegan, or have other dietary concerns. This station is located in the lodge where campers eat. If a camper is so severely allergic to nuts that they cannot walk by an open jar of peanut butter, she will need to avoid that area. For campers with severe nut allergies, we recommend that they request to stay in the “Nut Free” cabin. You can find more information about this under the “Campers” tab on the website (oakcrestcamp.org) in a document called “About Oakcrest.”
Normally, those who follow these diets will be fine at Oakcrest. For breakfast, there is food in a “hot” line, and there are cold bars with items like cereal, yogurt, fruit, etc. There is also a peanut butter and jelly station, as well as a salad bar available for lunch and dinner. Because some type of meat dish is generally served for dinner, supplementary food may be sent with the camper. Please follow the instructions for sending food to camp as described above in this document.