Food Allergies at Summer Camp: How ISTC Handles Special Dietary Needs


With roughly 325 campers at ISTC each week of the summer, different allergy and dietary needs are inevitable. We understand that campers need both delicious and healthy food to have the energy needed to enjoy our sporty schedule. In turn, our Food Service Team heavily prioritizes making sure dining is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

chefs and staff at ISTC

Prevention is a major part of our allergy plan. We eliminate more widespread allergies like nuts, peanuts, and nut based oils to provide peace of mind for campers and families. This is not only consistent with our dining hall meals, but also with our canteen food as well. Specifically, the canteen features a fryer that is used exclusively for gluten free French fries as well as dairy free soft serve.istc female campers eating breakfastOur chefs have gone through extensive training to ensure our camp cuisine is safe for everyone. They are certified through the National Restaurant Association in a variety of specializations. Namely, they have earned certificates in the ServSafe Allergen and Allertrain Lite programs, which are designed at helping food service staff deliver safe meals for those with dietary needs. They have also completed the Beyond Celiac concentration to better serve gluten free meals and eliminate cross contamination. All food is prepared in our onsite kitchen to allow our chefs to put their expertise in practice as well.

campers at nacho bar

Furthermore, we label the items in our main serving line and salad bar by their main ingredients (contains egg, gluten, milk, vegetarian, vegan, etc.) to help campers make informed choices. For our campers that are confident with the items they can or cannot have, this extra step allows them to move through the food service areas seamlessly.

The most noticeable thing for campers with special dietary needs is that there is designated serving area in our dining room just for them. It places a large emphasis on vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options. It changes each week given our camper demographic. Since our chefs are onsite year round, they’ll review the allergy needs for each camper, each week, and prepare and order accordingly.

cafeteria at sports camp

Between the preventative and onsite steps to keep things safe and provide as many options as possible, we strive to make camp accessible for all children with special dietary needs. We encourage any families with specific questions to reach out to our office directly, as we can organize a time to speak directly with our Executive Chef if needed.