I\'m about to cry

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 1:44pm
NCPeanutMom's picture
Joined: 07/22/2004 - 09:00

I just need to "talk", and I know you all can sympathize with this.

My ds is 7, and this week began his first venture into Day Camp. I spoke to the director before I enrolled him, and they seemed very aware, had dealt with it before, etc. This is a Cub Scout camp, so today they had some kind of "cooking" lesson. On the way home, I was asking ds about his day, and he told me about this lesson.

He said they made pizzas, and then peanut butter & jelly sandwhiches. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] I asked if he ate one, and he said no, but that he "had to" make one. It was someone's Dad (a volunteer) manning this station, and I asked ds if he had told this man that he was allergic. He had, and was told that he "had to make one, but didn't have to eat it". DS, being the timid kid that he is, did it, but was very careful with it.

I have since called and emailed the director, but haven't heard back from her yet. I explained to her that this was like handing a loaded gun to one of the kids...maybe nothing would happen, but who wants to take the chance?

I couldn't cry when he told me, because I had to drive, and then I was visiting with family from out of town, so now I'm ready to just break down. We had a long talk with ds tonight, telling him that NOBODY could force him to do anything when it comes to dealing with pb. If they want him to do anything else with pb, he is to first say "No, thank you, I'm allergic". If they insist, he is to say "NO! I will NOT do that!", and he is to ask for the camp nurse. If they still insist, he is to insist that they call me. He was quite shocked that we were giving him permission to stand up to an adult like that. We assured him that we would NEVER be mad at him for standing up for himself when it comes to his allergies.

I'm going to go have some ice cream, and a good cry now....

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 2:05pm
Lori Jo's picture
Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

Oh, I'm so sorry. That is just horrible! Poor baby. He probably felt like he was holding a loaded gun.
WHERE was the person in charge? Did NO ONE think that a food activity would be an issue???? WHAT were they thinking???? I could go on, but don't want to offend anyone.
It is so hard to get your child ready for the real world when bombs like this are lobbed at you. Have a good cry and then plan how you will address this with the camp tomorrow.
Lori Jo,
Rose, 7-31-02, PA
Noah, 7-29-05
Beatrice & Georgia, 8-14-99

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 3:08pm
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Oh, how terrible! How's your son taking it? I know with my son when stuff like this happens to him oftentimes at first he seems okay, but then a day or two later it's clear it really stressed him out.
But I guess a silver lining is, he knows now that it's okay to speak up. A learning experience for everyone.
Sounds like you have a really great kid there - you should be very proud of him.
[This message has been edited by Greenlady (edited June 20, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 4:10pm
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Wow how dare they? You will give him the words to use next time and he'll remember them the rest of his life. You'll be fine. It IS sad and you will teach him to move on and grow.
Good luck

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 9:38pm
patsmommy's picture
Joined: 10/31/2001 - 09:00

where was the cooking teacher???she should have been aware of his allergy and told that volunteer father about it and they actually shouldnt have made peanut butter and jelly hmm ever hear of cream cheese and jelly its so simple its sickening
I hope you talk to that director
thank God your son is ok. I think you told him a good way to handle that in the future.

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 9:57pm
ACP's picture
Joined: 10/10/2006 - 09:00

Yikes! What a horrible experience for both you & your son!
I think your advice to your son to know that he can always refuse any peanut related activity & to ask for the nurse is a great lesson for him to learn. My PA child had a mildly bad experience at a sleep-away Girl Scout camp 2 years ago (after *years* of having very positive experiences -- bummer!) & after many days of her allergies being ignored/not handled quite right, she said to some adult "I don't feel safe here." That sentence was like magic... they put her on the phone to me immediately (this was not allowed previously) & they made me drive 3 hours to go get her (even though camp would be over in 32 more hours). I don't know if the phrase "I don't feel safe here" would work in all cases, but my daughter certainly has it squirreled away in case she is ever in a similar situation!

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 10:00pm
seanmn's picture
Joined: 10/01/2003 - 09:00

Oh, my!! My blood would be boiling right now!! I just hate this day and age where children are forced to do activities because of a loudmouth parent.
If it were me, and this is just me, I would find out who that man was and give him a piece of my mind.
I have told my 7 year old time and time again, no one can tell him or make him do anything he doesn't want to do when it comes to food, of course other things too, but mainly food. You know, my mom always wants my kids to "hug your uncle" or those kinds of things. I tell her if they don't want to they don't have to. I am not going to force them to do something they don't feel comfortable doing. I know I hated it.
Anyway, I hope things are better for you today and try not to take it too hard. It is just unbelieveable how many people in this world don't give a **** about the next person. It seems that all these organizations, schools, churches are set in stone with their rules and heaven forbid someone suggests a change.
Sorry, I really feel for you.

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 10:01pm
Lindajo's picture
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

After you have a good cry and some delicious ice cream, pat yourself on the back! You were calm when talking with your son and reassuring to him that it is OK to speak up and stand up to someone when his safety is involved. I probably would've gone ballistic at first when my child told me, but you stayed calm. You are teaching him a life lesson on how to keep safe. I tell my DD the same thing. When it comes to your safety, be like a broken record and repeat that you can't do or have something regarding PA. If the person in charge has a problem with it, tell them to call me.
How dare they demand that he had to do it? I bet if it was that Dad's son, he wouldn't have to do it. Gather up the right words to say to the director and let them have it!

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 11:51pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Just horrible. I'm sending a lot of empathy and hugs to you and your son.
I was just thinking the other day about how kids with food allergies must feel inside. Spending every day dodging a common staple in american diets and just wishing for one minute that people could put themselves in a position of having to avoid it for survival.
I would let the director of the camp have it. BUT, I would do it in a way that your anger and concern is apparent, but not cross the line of being hysterical. (not that you would be, but I know that I can become emotionally charged when dealing with this and I have to redirect my anger, anxiety etc to something positive).
I would do the following...ask that all activities be approved by the camp director, that all volunteer parents etc. be educated about the risks of pa, contact reactions, airborne reactions, actual ingestion.
It also highlights the problem with children and the dilema they are in with food allergies. Most children are not going to argue with adults who are in charge of them. Many of us have to give our children permission to defy adults when their allergies are involved. I have given my son this permission and a couple of times, he hasn't been as outspoken as I'd expect.
I suppose it would be like a normally law abiding adult defying a police officer or someone in command and with power. It's hard to do.
Let us know how this is handled in the camp and again, I'm so sorry this happened.

Posted on: Tue, 06/19/2007 - 11:53pm
NCPeanutMom's picture
Joined: 07/22/2004 - 09:00

Thanks for all of your encouraging words.
I heard back from the director this morning, via email and phone, and she said that there was no peanut butter involved, at all, and that they have not even bought any this year. They were using bread with jelly, and frying it over the fire to make fritters. She felt that maybe ds just associated pb with the jelly. She also stated emphatically that no boy would ever be forced to do anything they were not comfortable with.
Now I don't know what to believe. I am definitely going to have a long talk with ds when he gets home, to see if I can get some more information out of him. :::sigh::: This thing just doesn't get any easier, does it?

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 12:19am
maphiemom's picture
Joined: 12/01/2005 - 09:00

Wow , that is incredible , so much stress, I am sorry he felt in danger, we had similar confusion my daughter was convinced a boy in her class had peanuts , turns out she was mistaken looked like it but it was a cereal, but she too was to shy to make a stink about it , so much pressure on our kids, not all kids are equiped with the strength to speak up and center themselves out.
I hope the rest of the camp experience is great.



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