Congratulations to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) for launching their first camp for children with food allergies – Camp TAG (The Allergy Gang). This camp has been a longtime dream of Eleanor Garrow who is their Director of Education at FAAN, and something I support 100% as I am a big camp guy! I spent five summers working at a camp which made me realize how much I wish I went to camp when I was young.
I was invited to perform at their first camp in Williamstown, New Jersey on a hot Friday morning at a beautiful venue – Tall Pines Day Camp. There will also be one more Camp TAG Aug. 15-19th in Sandy Spring, Maryland.
From the moment I arrived on Friday morning, there was a buzz in the air. It was the last day of camp and the kids were excited for a big morning filled with games, a bouncy castle, and of course, a food allergy concert!! I also took part in some of the programming for the camp by running two sessions for the younger and older campers. For the younger ones, I read them a great educational food allergy book titled The Bugabees. This is a really great resource, especially if you are looking for a book that a teacher could read to a classroom about food allergies. For more information, see the cute Bugabees website.
For the older campers, I put on my Alex Trebek persona and ran a game of Food Allergy Jeopardy which I have created for Anaphylaxis Canada’s teen program. The kids did a great job with the questions which ranged from symptoms, allergens, epinephrine, as well as an tricky daily double about allergies around the globe.
The morning wrapped up with the big concert where I performed an interactive food allergy concert for the campers. My set list was:
1) I Wrote a Song About my Allergies
2) I’ve Got Allergies Under Control
3) The Symptom Shakedown
4) My Epineph-Friend
5) Stop! Please Don’t Feed Me
6) Food Allergies Rock!
7) Camp TAG Theme Song
Yes….there was a Camp TAG Theme Song, or maybe it’s considered a jingle, either way it is a catchy little song I wrote for Camp TAG that I have not been able to get out of my head this weekend!!! Please click on the big “Play” button above to hear the song with all 50 children singing it. Hearing a choir of kids singing a song that I wrote blows me away – it puts a big smile on my face each time I hear it.
I hope these two Camp TAG’s are only the beginning for this initiative. Hopefully someday this camp will be all over the country allowing kids with allergies everywhere to enjoy the full summer camp experience together. Way to go FAAN!
PS – Here are the lyrics to the “Camp TAG” Song
Camp Tag, you’re itCamp TAG, you’re there
Where friends and fun are everywhereCamp TAG, it’s me
Camp TAG, it’s you
Where no one worries about food
Camp TAG, we’re the allergy gang (x3)
So give me a T (T!), A (A!), G (G!) what’s that spell? TAG!