Taking Food Allergies to Camp

Speakers: Gina Clowes, Eleanor Garrow-Holding & Sandy Rubenstein

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


The slides from the presentation can be viewed here.

As summer approaches and the school year comes to an end, many families will soon be sending their children to summer camp. Camps provide wonderful opportunities to learn kindness and compassion, build self-confidence, and develop friendships that can last a lifetime. But not all camps are created equal for children with food allergies. From day camp (half to full day) to sleepaway camp, every camp is different, and having campers with food allergies requires an extra level of preparedness and prevention. 

In a webinar pre-recorded on June 5, 2019, Gina Clowes, FARE’s National Director of Training, is joined by Eleanor Garrow-Holding, President & CEO of Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) and Founder of Camp TAG (The Allergy Gang), and Sandy Rubenstein, Owner and Director of Camp Wingate*Kirkland to discuss the importance of proper planning, training and safety. Gina provides a foundation of helpful tips and considerations for parents who are planning to send their child with food allergies to camp, while Eleanor and Sandy answer some of the most popular questions that FARE receives from members of the community about accommodating children with food allergies at camp.

About the Presenters

Gina Clowes

Gina Clowes is the National Director of Training for FARE and former Program Director for a CDC initiative where she developed educational tools and trained on national guidelines for food allergy management in schools. She also participated in the development of state guidelines for managing food allergies in schools in Pennsylvania. She currently serves on an international panel developing evidenced-based global guidelinesfor food allergy management in schools. A well-known trainer and coach, her advice has appeared in numerous print, radio, and television features including CNN, People magazine and ABC World News. She is also a columnist for Allergic Living magazineand author of a best-selling book,One of the Gang: Nurturing the Souls of Children with Food Allergies. 

Eleanor Garrow-Holding has worked, educated, and advocated in the food allergy community for 15 years. She was inspired to start this work after her son, Thomas, was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies to tree nuts, peanut, wheat, and sesame; eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) triggered by milk and wheat; asthma; and environmental allergies. As CEO of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), Eleanor provides leadership, development and implementation for all of FAACT’s initiatives and programs, including Camp TAG (The Allergy Gang) – a summer camp for children with food allergies and their siblings that Eleanor founded in 2009. Eleanor has a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. She worked in hospital management for 16 years in Chicago and surrounding suburbs prior to working in the nonprofit sector.

Sandy Rubenstein was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Cinema & Photography from Ithaca College in 1995. Following graduation, Sandy moved to Hollywood to work as an agent’s assistant at Gold Marshak Liedtke, a talent and literary agency. After two years in Tinseltown, Sandy married her college sweetheart. Following her heart to Baltimore, she worked in marketing and public relations, promoting brands such as Old Bay, Planned Parenthood, Baltimore Ravens Stadium and McDonald's. In 2000, Sandy and husband Will, both life-long campers and counselors, decided to follow their dream to own a summer camp. They spent the next four years working for various camps as they obtained directing experience, networked, and searched for a camp to call their own. In 2004 their dream became a reality when Sandy and Will purchased Camp Wingate*Kirkland, a co-ed residential camp in Yarmouth Port, MA, founded by the Wolfson and Silverman families in 1957. Along with their daughters Mia and Sarah, two dogs, twelve hens and a teacup pig, Sandy and Will live and work at Camp Wingate*Kirkland full-time.