Girl Scout Camp 2007

Last year I got the menu for Girl Scout Camp really early so I had plenty of time to prepare.  This year, I wasn’t as lucky.  In fact, I just received the menu last night.  But that’s okay, camp doesn’t start until tomorrow and I have a plan!  I am volunteering again this year, so that will make the food situation easier for my daughter.  And although I am looking forward to the day she will be taking this all over for herself, part of me will still hope she wants me to hang out at camp too!  Where else will I be able to make groovy crafts and sing Girl Scout songs?

Wednesday

morning snack- campfire snack (See below.  We had this last year.)

lunch- turkey hot dogs, potato chips, carrots and dip, watermelon. (We are bringing our own hot dogs.)

all p.m. snacks are Freezies since it will be so hot.  (These are GFCF, so we are set!)

CAMPFIRE SNACK/EDIBLE FIRE

EQUIPMENT: napkin (1 per camper)

Cooking Method: No Cooking

Preparation Time: 10 min

INGREDIENTS:                      GFCF Ingredients:

Miniature Marshmallows       GFCF mini marshmallows (such as Jet Puff)

Chow Mien Noodles                 GFCF shoestring potatoes (ie:  Pik-Nik sticks)

Pretzel Sticks                             GFCF turkey or beef stick

Braided Pretzels                   GFCF braided pretzels (such as Glutano or Ener-g)

Cinnamon Candies (red hots)   GFCF Ret Hots/candy corn/red Skittles

Chocolate Chips                        GFCF chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Use this snack time to teach campers the basics of fire building.  Each camper builds their own ‘fire’ by following the guidelines below.

1.    Ground = Open up a napkin and lay it flat

2.    Fire Ring = Arrange miniature marshmallows in a circle

3.    Tinder = Lay 5-6 chow mien noodles/pick-nik sticks in the center of the fire ring

4.    Kindling = Layer pretzel sticks/turkey stick on top of the tinder

5.    Fuel = Braided pretzels on top of the kindling

6.    Flame = To ‘light’ fire, add cinnamon candies for flames

7.    Coals = As the flames die down, add chocolate chips to resemble coals that are ready to cook over.

Thursday

morning snack- graham crackers wither large goldfish kind or Scooby snacks in singles.  (We are bringing GFCF pretzels.)

Lunch- Chicken Hoboes (foil Dinners)Made with precooked fajita chicken, potatoes, frozen green beans, corn and carrots; french bread and s’mores.  (We are bringing our own precooked chicken to go with the camp’s veggies and GFCF chocolate chip cookies and our own marshmallows for the s’mores.  The marshmallows are most likely gluten free, but not after everyone grabs in the bag after breaking up their graham crackers!)

Dinner-Spaghetti, salad, garlic breadsticks, Ice cream sundaes with toppings (We are bringing Tinkyada pasta, sauce, a gluten free breadstick, coconut sorbet and chocolate sauce.)

Friday

breakfast-cereal, fruit (We are bringing our own cereal and GFCF “milk”)

am snack- gorp (bring a cup of ingredient to share.) (We are bringing our own mix in a small bag.)

lunch- Girl scout Gumbo, carrots and dip, salad, dirt cups.  (We had the gumbo last year.  See below.  Dirt cups:  Zen Soy chocolate pudding cup, crushed GFCF chocolate cookies and a gluten free gummy worm.  Now doesn’t that sound yummy?)

GIRL SCOUT GUMBO

EQUIPMENT: Kettle, knife, cutting board, long handled spoon

Cooking Method: fire

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cooking Time: 30 min

INGREDIENTS:                                    GFCF Ingredients:

Ground beef                                       pre-cooked ground beef with onions,

Onions                                                           green pepper , and tomato added.

Green pepper (optional)

Water (as needed – use soup can)       didn’t need

Condensed vegetable soup                  a bit of Tofutti sour cream

Cheese                                                     SKIPPED

Corn chips                                              Used Fritos Grab Bag for portability

DIRECTIONS:

Heat ground beef. Chop onion and green pepper and add to meat.  Add soup and any water that is needed.  Bring to a boil, cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in cheese. Serve over corn chips.

***    ***    ***    ***    ***

**Edit – Well, it didn’t go as well as last year.  Different camp directors do handle things differently…  This year’s camp director (different from last year) wanted me NOT to bring all replacements, as we could eat the fruit, some of the meat, etc.  Apparently she was either trying to be ‘nice’ and she also didn’t want it to be so obvious to the other girls, etc.  However, being as we have been doing this for awhile, I KNEW the chance for cross-contamination was VERY high.  I asked if that was the case, could we please have the nurse or camp director to ask the caddies to let my daughter pick her veggies and fruit out first before it got cross-contaminated.  I was told this was okay to do.  I also asked if the girls could wash their hands after eating.  This was also told this was not a problem.

I also offered to do a little talk or really low key training on food allergies for the caddies training  just so any information they had questions on could be answered and there would not be an over focus on the whole food allergy thing by having too many questions asked during camp.  I am sure my daughter will not be the only one to have allergies that these girls would ever meet!  Also, I feel if the caddies have the information and just know to let a kid with food allergies go first, to wash their hands and not to put foods on the food allergic girl’s plate it will minimize problems and concerns.  If they have this information before hand it will not  be an extra thing dumped on them on the first day of camp when they are trying to do all of their other duties too.  The year before at camp the lady doing the caddy training thought this would be a great idea, however did not do the caddy training for our camp.  She e-mailed me to contact the camp my daughter was going to for this year which we did.  For this camp, I was told this was not appropriate as the caddies were barely teenagers and not dietitians.  Really.  Gee, I don’t think I expect them to be dietitians…just wash their hands and have basic info so it won’t be a big deal at camp.

Well, as I expected, there WERE issues.  We had caddies who had obviously not been informed about letting my daughter go first, who were SUPER chatty and over focused on asking questions about her allergies.  We just want to have fun at camp, not do an allergy symposium.  I would answer questions that I thought would help to diffuse the conversation and try to redirect the conversation back to Girl Scouts.  At our last meal, we had cooked meat that was naturally gluten free and the caddies were going to dump a dairy and gluten containing soup in it.  After SEVERAL attempts on my daughter’s part to try to get any of our caddies to notice that she needed to get some meat before the soup was added, I felt I needed to let them know she was trying to talk to them.  At that point my daughter asked if she could get her portion of the meat before the soup was added.  The caddie said “sure, no problem” then promptly dumped in the soup.  My daughter froze.  She then said “I have no food now!  I can’t eat!” and started to cry.  The caddy offered to pick the meat out for her and it would be okay she could even wash it, she had food and didn’t have to cry.    I told the caddy (while holding my crying daughter who is pretty hungry at this point and knows washing off ground meat doesn’t remove an allergen) told the caddy that doesn’t work with food allergies and, no, it wasn’t okay for my daughter.  And, no, she really didn’t have food to eat at the unit now.  I told them I would go to the kitchen and see if we could find something else to eat for her. <<Okay, at this point, I know, I know, I should never have trusted the camp to actually have had a handle on this.  It’s not the camp’s responsibility, it is mine and my daughter’s to bring our own food.  I caved on this because the camp director seemed to really want to try to work it out for her and kept insisting (read being really, really PUSHY about it), even though all I wanted to do originally was get the menu to bring our own food.  The director also has food intolerances in her own family and I guess I trusted in that too much and that it would be taken more seriously with more of a heads up done before camp incorporated into the caddy training information so it wouldn’t be an issue.  Yeah….I don’t think so….  No, I do NOT blame the caddy, she is just a kid who hadn’t been given any sort of information on what to do., though it would have been helpful if she made the choice to listen when my daughter spoke to her…  I’m  sure the caddy felt bad about it, but that could have been avoided with a bit of knowledge ahead of time, and, barring that, with us just having our own food and not letting the camp try to provide it in mixed in with everyone else’s food.>> I got something else from the cook (precooked chicken that was gluten free) but it took about 30-45 minutes to go down to the kitchen, find something and get back to the unit.  It really was a bummer for us, but lesson learned.  DON’T trust the camp to take care of it, even if they really. really want to, especially if they are hoping it will “just be fine” with no training to information to their caddies or staff.  Sometimes people “being nice” aren’t really being helpful in this type situation.  (I think the camp director wanted it to just work out somehow, but it wasn’t really well thought through. Also, it was pretty obvious that she just didn’t want to have someone that looked like they had something “different”, but then also didn’t want to do any of the thought our effort to make it work out SAFELY.  Just didn’t want to have to think about it at all.  Hoping things will just work out, does NOT make things happen – just an FYI!)  Bring your own and also bring extra in case someone contaminates your first one (caddies tossing crackers on your gluten free plate are not helpful – that happened also.  Fortunately, I was there and she just ate my food – I had an apple instead…)  Mistakes can still happen even when you have been gluten free for a while and you think you have all the bases covered.  And I obviously need to help my daughter realize we can try to have food for her if something gets contaminated, but she needs to be calm in order to make a plan…

I DO think that caddy’s should at least be trained on knowing that girls with health issues know better than they do about what is safe for their own bodies.  Telling a girl to just get over it and eat the contaminated food anyway is a HUGE problem that should NOT have happened.  My daughter KNOWS she will get sick and that should have been respected, period, AND they need to be trained to listen better.  Learning to tell everyone to at the very minimum keep their own food to themselves and to have everyone wash their hands doesn’t seem like a tough thing for caddies to learn either, but I digress… (apparently it is for this camp director…)

Next year we will bring everything on our own, even if the camp director pushes us not to.  I will have my daughter and myself  politely ask the caddies to stop asking us about our allergies and ask the camp nurse if they want information, or tell them they can talk to us later about it. There was really too much curiosity on one of our caddies part (then we had to hear about illnesses and surgeries and someone else’s vegetarianism, etc. etc. Too, too much.  We just don’t want it to be a big deal.  Also, one our our sweet caddies knows us and so know about our allergies and wanted to share her information too…  Too, too much….)  I for one do not want to create a situation that the caddies or my daughter will find difficult.  I also want my daughter to just bring her little sack lunch so everything is self contained.  At this point, I do not believe she will have even basic support to manage her allergies at camp (especially under this director) as I doubt the adults with her unit (unless it is myself) will be told to watch out for hand washing and I don’t think the hand washing or not giving her food even if she says “no, thank you” will be respected.  I just have serious doubts with this particular group of staff….    We will see how next year goes, I guess.

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