By Arianna Goldstein, URJ GUCI Counselor
Camp can be stressful and intimidating when it comes to dietary restrictions. I have struggled with this problem for my entire camp career and have learned throughout the years that the salad bar is my best friend. This is my 10th year on camp and the food for dietary needs has come a long way and is still getting better. I have gone from not eating fried foods to becoming gluten free. The struggle is real at camp but have no fear, GUCI is in the trend. There are options for every dietary need! The only thing you have to do is let the cooks know. Camp is already nut-free 24/7. We have sunflower butter for every lunch and dinner as an option. If your child has a special dietary need here are the steps I recommend to follow:
1. On the first day, go to the kitchen and introduce yourself and your child to the chefs. They love meeting the kids and want to know what they need. They will do anything to make your child’s belly full by the end of every meal. Let them know your dietary needs and have your child meet them. The chefs are all amazing and super nice!!
2. Make your child feel comfortable with the chefs. They can go into the kitchen and ask them if the meal satisfies their needs. If not, our team will make a substitute meal for your child, granted they know their dietary needs.
3. If your child is scared to go into the kitchen by themselves, let their counselor about the dietary need and we will make sure they are fed!
Camp has come such a long way in the gluten free department. Now we have bagels, Udi’s muffins, bread and gluten free cereal for breakfast. Rumor has it the kitchen even might be getting gluten-free pancake mix this summer!!
GUCI will help your children with any dietary need they have. It’s most likely there are other campers in the same boat so yours is definitely not alone. We want to make everyone have the best summer ever and as Jews we know that good food is one of the greatest sources of happiness!