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Yes, there is still snow on the ground and frost in the air, but it's never too early to dream about summertime... and summer camps for your kids.
Sending our kids to their first sleep-away camp is stressful enough. Add dietary concerns and that just may be enough to keep your kids in a local day camp again this year (which in my opinion is still a fine option - my almost 12 year-old son has yet to go to a sleep-away camp).
Luckily, there are an increasing number of camps available that cater to children on gluten-free diets.
The national celiac disease support groups all run or help sponsor summer camps:
The Gluten Intolerance Group is running two kid's camps this year-- GIG Kids Camp East at Camp Kanata, NC (June 21 to June 27, 2009) and 2009 GIG Kids Camp West at Camp Sealth, WA (July 28 to August 7, 2009). For more information visit www.gluten.net and click on "events" and then "kids camps."
The Celiac Disease Foundation helps sponsor Camp Celiac at Camp Arroyo in the San Francisco Bay area (July 26 to July 31, 2009). For more information visit www.celiaccamp.com.
The Celiac Sprue Association/Celiac Support Group for Children (CSA Chapter 72) runs Camp Celiac at Camp Aldersgate in North Scituate, Rhode Island (August 9 through August 14). For more information, visit www.csaceliacs.org.
Many of the R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) groups also run summer camps:
The Twin Cities R.O.C.K (Raising Our Celiac Kids) group is holding their Gluten Free Fun Camp again this year at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN (August 4 to August 7, 2009). For more information, visit twincitiesrock.org.
The Dallas R.O.C.K. group is holding their Great Gluten Escape Camp at Camp Gilmont in Gilmer, Texas (June 14 to June 19). For more information, visit www.dallasrock.org.
To locate a R.O.C.K. group in your area, visit www.celiac.com and scroll down. Contact the group and ask if they are sponsoring a camp. You also can Google "Raising Our Celiac Kids" for the websites of various other R.O.C.K. groups.
Tricia Thompson, M.S., RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill) and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin Group). For more information, visit www.glutenfreedietitian.com.
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