Tucked away in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, lies a beautiful and modern 200-acre summer camp in Elizaville, NY. Home each summer to more than two hundred boys and girls, Camp Eagle Hill has been in the business of making memories, building lifelong friendships and providing each camper with an unforgettable summer for more than fifty years. With its well-balanced program, new facilities, small camp groups and highly qualified staff, it’s easy to see why the camp has had great success since its first summer in 1963. Now, Eagle Hill sets foot down a new trail with the addition of a dedicated and separate gluten free kitchen.
For Camp Eagle Hill, the decision to build this gluten free facility was an easy one. With the rapidly growing population of children that will need this type of food service (including his own daughter), Camp Eagle Hill Director Jesse Scherer felt strongly that building a kitchen of this type was an essential camp offering. Says Scherer, “the best way to assure parents that their children would be receiving a committed approach to their food choices, was to create an entirely separate gluten free kitchen. Our main goal was to cater to those campers and staff in need of this type of diet with a facility that would provide an issue and worry free summer experience.” To top it off...in a business climate where customers are continually faced with upcharges for specialized services, Eagle Hill offers this service to its gluten free families at no additional fee.
Though societal awareness of the need for gluten free food options is on the rise, it is still difficult to find a summer camp that will go to the kind of great lengths as does Eagle Hill, to accommodate a gluten free camper. Parents with gluten free children are faced with the decision of choosing a camp dedicated to only gluten free children, or simply not choosing a camp at all. Now, with this new addition at Eagle Hill, parents can be assured of knowing that their child will be well cared for and provided with a food service program specifically for their individual child.
From homemade chicken fingers to pasta to brownies, the Eagle Hill kitchen staff has carefully designed a full menu for its gluten free population. What is even more remarkable is the fact that Eagle Hill’s gluten free menu mirrors the same options featured for the camp’s general population of campers. In doing so, this helps to ensure that everyone enjoys a cohesive dining experience. According to Scherer, “that feeling of being treated differently than other campers based on the need to eat different foods at camp, is eliminated. This is a great thing.”
By opening the door to gluten free families, Camp Eagle Hill is now able to give an unforgettable gift to even more campers — a truly wonderful sleepaway camp experience. The combination of a great sports program, extensive creative and performing arts programs and a beautiful waterfront with both a lake and two pools, all contribute to the fun and excitement of each camp day. Hiking, go karts, climbing tower/zipline, woodworking, video, horseback riding, water skiing, music (guitar/keyboard/drums), tennis and even gaga (an international version of dodgeball), are some of the many options that Eagle Hill has to offer its campers program-wise.
So far, the results have been amazing! Scherer comments, “There was nothing better than watching my own daughter smiling as she sat at a table with friends at camp, enjoying her meals without the pressure of worrying about what she was eating. We are looking forward to providing this same experience for other children, their parents and our staff members, for many summers to come.”
Scherer states that the camp experience should be “a fun, relaxed and meaningful experience in a child’s life. Providing children in need of our new gluten free food service, allows these children to have this type of camp experience.”