FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Core Facts You Want To Know
Camp Celiac is for kids ages 9 to 17 years old who have been diagnosed with celiac disease, a condition that requires life-long adherence to a gluten-free diet. Given limited space, we can only accomodate those who have been diagnosed by a physician with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance. Campers ages 16-17 who will be entering 11th grade and up can only attend as junior counselors. 16 year olds entering 10th grade or lower may choose to attend as a camper or a junior counselor. Junior counselors assist the adult volunteers.
Check-in: Please see the "Calendar" on the left hand side of the website for details about each camp. Please do not arrive early.
Check-out: All campers must be checked out by the stated time so camp can be prepared for the next group, see the "Calendar" for date information.
The only required cost is a $25 non-refundable registration fee. The physical costs of the camp facility, food, and camp support staff (kitchen and maintenance staff, lifeguards, trainers for the ropes course/zip line, bus transportation to the lake, etc.) are covered by the incredibly generous support of the Taylor Family Foundation, the East Bay Regional Parks District, and the YMCA. Additional financial and administrative support are also very generously provided by the Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California. Additional donations, if you are able, are needed to cover the additional costs of Camp Celiac (art supplies, medical supplies, camp director, registration, some activities, general and medical insurance, etc.).
Camp Celiac is at Camp Arroyo in Livermore, California. Set amidst the rolling hills of the San Francisco Bay Area, Camp Arroyo is a spectacular facility managed by a joint public and private effort between the East Bay Regional Park District, The Taylor Family Foundation, and the YMCA. Together, they created a Summer Youth Camp and Environmental Education Center on a 138-acre parkland near Livermore, California. Camp Arroyo, built and operated on the principles of an ecologically sustainable community, provides a safe haven for children with illnesses or disabilities that make it difficult for them to attend most camps.
Families must arrange their camper's transportation to and from the camp. If requested, we will try to provide information to connect families traveling from the same areas so that they can arrange carpools. For directions to Camp Arroyo, please look at the "Camp Watch."
Camp Celiac is dedicated to providing children who have medical doctor diagnosed celiac disease or gluten intolerance with a worry-free summer camp experience. We recognize, however, that some campers with celiac or gluten intolerance may suffer from food allergies. We can accommodate campers with dairy, soy (other than soy lecithin) and nut allergies. If your camper has food allergies other than dairy, nuts or soy please contact email@example.com at the time of Camp registration to discuss whether Camp can address the camper's needs. Unfortunately we cannot serve campers with allergies to corn or soy lecithin as these ingredients are ubiquitous in gluten free foods.
Campers will sleep in gender-specific cabins; each cabin sleeps 12 persons on beds with mattresses. Campers need to bring their own sleeping bags and pillows.
Meals are served family style in the spacious dining hall. All meals and snacks will be gluten free (no need for your camper to ask, "is this gluten free?"). Elaine Taylor, of the Taylor Family Foundation, is herself on a gluten free diet and is excitedly planning a delicious gluten free menu. The kitchen will be cleaned twice before our kids arrive.
The 3500 square foot pool is the heart of summer camp activities and is large enough for wading, games, and team sports. The pool was designed to allow campers in the shallow area as well as in the sports area. All campers will be required to take a swim test before being allowed in the pool. No campers will be allowed in the pool area without a YMCA Camp Arroyo approved lifeguard on duty.
The Challenge Course consists of multiple challenge elements facilitated by the Fort Miley Adventure Challenge Course staff. There is a 36' X 36' rock wall, a 210' zip line, as well as other high and low climbing elements.
Camp also includes a trip to Lake Del Valle for boating and swimming; a day-long "Olympics" with different activities; an arts and crafts center; bocce ball; basketball; archery; soccer and other field sports; a talent share; and a campfire amphitheater (with gluten-free s'mores!).
Camp Arroyo is jointly staffed by the YMCA of the East Bay, members of the Taylor Family Foundation, the East Bay Regional Parks District, and the adult volunteer counselors recruited by Camp Celiac. In addition, there will be a medical staff member (i.e. a doctor or nurse volunteer) for emergencies.
Camp Celiac is the volunteer organization that puts together much of the camp's organization including the registration, recruitment, camp director, counselors, medical staff, website, and much of the camp's activity program. Camp Celiac works with Camp Arroyo, the Taylor Family Foundation, the Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California, and our other sponsors to put the Camp together. If you are interested in helping to continue making camp a reality, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal is to provide children restricted to a gluten-free diet with a "safe" opportunity to relax and have fun with kids their age, without having to worry about social acceptance or what foods they can eat. At Camp Celiac, kids find themselves in the company of other kids on a gluten-free diet, counselors with celiac disease, and a staff familiar with food sensitivities. Celiac Camp has been a memorable and life-changing event in kids' lives (see What People Say).
A main idea behind the camp is to provide a safe and self-reliant environment for kids, where they can relate to other kids with celiac, have a camp experience without the worry of food choices, and have fun! To enhance the development of independent decision-making, we generally discourage visits or calls from parents during the camp session and we request that campers not bring cell phones or other electronic devices to camp.
There is a medical infirmary on site, and there is a physician or another trained medical person at the camp for medical emergencies. The counselors will also provide emotional and social support at all times.
Adults and campers will need to bring all essential medicines with them to check-in. To minimize disruption to the camp schedule, we request that non-essential substances (e.g. vitamins and herbal supplements) be kept at home. We require that all essential medications be pre-sorted into a seven-day pill sorter in advance, along with a printed schedule of when the medications should be taken. All essential medications (including over-the-counter medications) will be handed to the medical staff at check-in, stored in the infirmary and given to the kids at the required schedule. Our medical facility is also stocked with over the counter medicines that may be needed for minor colds and aches.
The pre-packaged foods are all selected from well-established providers of gluten-free foods, many of whom generously donate their products. Foods prepared on site are made from gluten-free mixes, use gluten-free ingredients, and are not prepared alongside any gluten-containing products. The menu is prepared by persons on gluten-restricted diets (including Elaine Taylor, of the Taylor Family Foundation). The kitchen is cleaned thoroughly prior to the start of the camp to minimize the possibility of cross-contamination.