What Camp TAG Means to Me

What Camp TAG Means to Me

As I ended my fifth year at Camp TAG, three of my campers ran up behind me to give me a hug. “See you next year, Emery!” one girl shouted as we embraced. I smiled, because a year wouldn’t really be that long. A year is not long when the parents and kids you meet want to stay in contact with each other until the next summer rolls around. Camp TAG is not just a camp – it’s a family.

Camp TAG is everything I never had but always wanted, which is why year after year I choose to come back as a counselor. I have been afforded the special privilege of seeing these kids grow up. Campers from my first year as a counselor are now counselors too, and together we help the next generation of anaphylaxis warriors have some much-needed fun. The family that Camp TAG has created grows every year. The people are empathetic, accepting, and understanding because they are all going through the same thing. The people you meet become people you can count on for anything.

At camp, the common ground we all share is having food allergies, but at Camp TAG, our food allergies by no means limit us. We play hockey. We play wall ball. We zip line. We even eat in an environment where we feel safe because everyone understands what it is like to be allergic to a food or have a sibling with a food allergy. Camp TAG is about being a kid and having fun at a camp just like anyone else. That’s the beauty of it. It’s a special thing to be around people who understand you in this way. Having food allergies finally doesn’t make you feel “different.” In fact, food allergies here are CELEBRATED.

And the kids aren’t the only ones who make lasting friendships. Parents gain a lot as well. It’s amazing how many miles parents will travel for their kids. From Canada to Colorado, families came for a magical and fun-filled week. Giving your child a safe camp adventure is priceless. It all comes together on family day when kids and parents alike are grinning ear to ear. Every day without fail, campers wanted to come early in the morning and didn’t want to leave when the day was done. One week can really make a difference, and I shouldn’t be sad, because in just 362 more days we can all see each other again. We truly are “The Allergy Gang!”