Ramah Allergy Protocol

Important Ramah Allergy Protocol for All Camp Families

May 2024

Dear CRNE community,

As we prepare for kayitz 2024, we would like to take this time to review our allergy protocols and expectations with you. Our camp is an inclusive community and as such we do our best to accommodate each camper’s needs. The number of campers who have food allergies has grown over the years. We strive to create an allergy friendly environment. Here is some information that clarifies our policies and protocols.

Please help us keep everyone safe! It is critical that no outside food is brought up to camp. Sometimes campers try to sneak food into camp and this presents a real danger for those with allergies.

Anyone with a food allergy should be sure to submit an “Allergy Action Plan” that is prepared by your physician (typically by a primary care provider or an allergist) during the off-season. This plan alerts staff, particularly the health center, to the types of reactions your child has experienced in the past, and how they are typically managed. A sample can be obtained here.

It is important that you do not list a food as an allergy on camp forms if there is simply a dislike for that particular food. We take allergies very seriously at CRNE. Please reserve the term “allergy” only for its medical indication.

We review camper health files with bunk staff to teach staff about each camper’s allergies. We train staff about the seriousness of food allergies, and the time sensitive nature of responding to an allergy concern. We review allergy protocol and multiple locations of epinephrine auto- injectors with staff.

We work very hard at CRNE to provide meals to campers that are free from their known allergens. Menus are created carefully for camp-wide use, based on lists of potential allergens that you have written on your form. At camp we serve only food that is peanut and tree nut free. Our chef also prepares foods to accommodate many different food allergies, such as egg free, dairy free, or gluten free, to name a few.

Since parents have asked about our policies and procedures, we are sharing this algorithm of care now:

Should there be a rare occurrence of vendor mislabeling, or other error leading to a camper ingesting a known allergen, or any complaint of possible allergic symptoms, the camper is promptly brought to the health center and assessed, and you will be contacted right away. If there is suspicion for anaphylaxis, the health center staff will administer an epinephrine auto-injector into the thigh muscle as per our health center protocol. We typically give diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) and steroid as well. The camper would then be transported via ambulance (with adult camp staff supervision) to the hospital for a period of monitoring. While these protocols are carefully developed and available for health center staff to utilize, our goal is to go summer after summer without any inadvertent ingestion of food allergens, such that the policy will not need to be implemented.

For any off-camp concern for anaphylaxis, EMS (911) would be activated, and the parents would be promptly notified.

Thank you for partnering with us and entrusting us to care for the health and safety of your child.

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Ed Gelb, CEO, Ramah New England
Talya Kalender, Director of Camper Care, CRNE
Laura Berger, RN, Nurse Director, CRNE