Camp Q & A

These questions were asked the Camp Info Session held on 3/6/23. Please contact Jake at or call 503-726-8886 if you have any questions!

How many kids are in each cabin?

  • Each cabin has 5-7 campers and there are bunk beds in each cabin. Each cabin building also has its own bathroom.

Can we send our camper mail?

  • Mail is great and loved by campers. It can be dropped off along with your camper at camp

What age do they have to be a counselor? My kid is 17 and a Teen Mentor with the Allergy Pals.

  • 18

Can you talk about the Counselor in Training program? What age do you have to be?

  • Counselors In Training is an amazing course. It is for teens entering their senior year or who are 17 and are ready to take on more of a leadership role. Each morning they gather as a group for learning sessions and follow a curriculum covering things like group facilitation, conflict management, etc. In the afternoons, they put their training into action. In the evening they have reflection time to consider what they’ve learned.

How old do you have to be to be in TXC?

  • The Teen eXplorer Camp is for teens entering 9th grade in September 2023.

Are you able to serve picky eaters?

  • Meals are served buffet style so campers can choose what they would like to eat from the offerings. Counselors will also keep an eye on campers, especially at the beginning of the week to make sure all campers and especially picky eaters are getting enough to eat

How are campers supervised?

  • Every cabin has at least one counselor within the cabin and campers are never left unattended

Is there any sort of hand washing protocol after meals/snacks in place?

  • Hands are to be washed or wiped before and after meals

What do you do about bugs and mosquitos?

  • we recommed campers bring bug wipes for mosquitos in the evening, but thankfully they have never been an issue (I personally don’t even wear bug spray). There have been bees, but we talk about safe practices around bees and Brad (one of the campsite owners) will hang bee traps immediately where we see bees. The new dining hall should also alleviate the bee issue since we will no longer being outside where the bees smell the food

Do campers sleep co-ed?

  • No – they will stay in gender-segragated cabins and will be placed with the gender in which they identify.

Do the counselors have food allergies?

  • Many of our counselors have allergies and became involved as campers!

Will there be photos for the parents?

  • yes! we do out best to capture all the best moments and photos. There are also photos shared on the facebook group throughout the camp week

Dates we should arrive in Portland

  • If you are in for week 1, arrival at camp will be early afternoon on August 7th and departure will be morning of August 12th. If you are in week 2, arrival at camp will be early afternoon on August 14th, and pickup will be the morning of August 19th. If you are flying, many families like to come into Portland the Sunday night before check-in and depart after 3:00 PM on Saturday to allow for plenty of time to get to the airport.

Is there a packing list?

  • Yes, you will get a packing list from me this summer via email! probably late June/early July

Do you know the percentage of campers have celiac?

  • Roughly 20%!

If we have siblings in the same camp can we stay in the same cabin?

  • If they are in the same age group, yes. If not, they will be in different cabins but can see each other during program block and meals

Is there air conditioning in the cabins?

  • There is not air conditioning in the cabins, but the Oregon mountains are lovely and it really cools down at night.

Is there a place to change clothes privately?

  • Shared bathrooms with single showers and bathroom stalls, so you do have some privacy.

How many kids will be at camp?

  • We have around 90 for our first week and looking to have at least 60 for our second week!

Does staff remind campers about drinking water, using sunscreen, etc?

  • Absolutely!

Do campers sleep on bunk beds or twin beds?

  • Bunks

I’ve applied to volunteer- when do we find out if needed?  If selected, where do we stay?

  • Stay on site – you will find out in the next couple of months!

Sheets provided or do they need to bring sheets/sleeping bags?

  • no sheets or blankets provided so we recommend campers bring a sleeping bag or blankets and a sheet to cover the mattress.

What are the safety measures around swimming?

  • The kids are required to wear life vests at the pond at all times and have to pass a swim test for the pool, but don’t have to wear a life vest at the pool. Camp Tapawingo lifeguards are at the waterfront at all times.

Are there formal background checks of all staff?

  • Yes!
General News

Star Talk March 2023

By Astronomer Jim

March is one of the very best months of the year for bright stars constellations. Orion is plainly visible in the southwest and the bright constellations of Canis Major (the Big Dog), Canis Minor (the Little Dog), and Gemini (the twins) are also visible in the southern sky. Plus, we have some bright planets to observe! Here are details:

  • March 1: At dusk and in the southwest, Venus and Jupiter are a mere ½-degree apart! This will be their last close “conjunction” until 2027.
  • March 2: On the night of 2nd, the moon is situated between Castor and Pollux, the two brightest stars in the constellation of Gemini.
  • All month, you can see reddish-colored Mars shining above the constellation of Orion (see it on below star chart). In Roman mythology, Mars is the God of War and is from Mas that the month of March is named.
  • March 20th: Spring begins!
  • March 23 & 24: On the 23rd, the crescent moon is 5 degrees below Venus, and then on the night of the 24th, it is 5 degrees above Venus. That observation will be an easy way to see how the moon and planets can be seen as moving from one night to the next.
  • March 25th: The moon will be only 1½ degrees away from the Pleiades. How many of the “Seven sisters” can you see with just your eyes? If you use binoculars, you’ll be able to easily see all seven.
  • March 27th: We have a “planet line-up!” At dust, Mercury and Jupiter are on the western horizon, very close together (and very close to the horizon—only 3½ degrees above the horizon). The looking west, in order we then have bright Venus and Mars. Remember that except for the sun and moon, Venus is the brightest object in our skies.
  • March 29th: The moon has now completed a full circle about the earth and is again seen as being very close to the bright star of Pollux in Gemini.

Let’s spend some time exploring Orion. If you can use a pair of binoculars, you’ll be able to see everything that we’ll discuss. The ancients thought that Orion was a hunter that was sent into the sky to slay Taurus, the bull. Below are two photos of Orion, one shown with enhanced star colors. Here are 5 things to look for in Orion:

  1. Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse is giant red star, multiples larger in size than our sun. In recent years, it has been significantly changing brightness. Some scientist believe that it might someday explode causing a supernovae!
  2. Rigel. Is a very bright blue-white stars (which also means is a very hot star).
  3. The “belt” of Orion with the three stars in a row.
  4. The sword of Orion, dangling from his belt
  5. The faint glow in the middle of Orion’s sword (dangling from his belt) is the famous “The Great Nebula” or M42. Within this nebula, new stars are created—about every hundred million years! Below is closeup of M42.

Special Topic: Earthshine

We always think of the moon as being lit by the reflection of the sun’s light, and that is certainly mostly true. However, the moon is also lit by the earth! Some amount of the sun’s light is reflected from earth to the moon, and then again back to us. This is called “earthshine.” When you look at a crescent moon and see that crescent is bright, but the rest of the moon is still visible, although very dimly, that dim reflection is from earthshine.

Above photos are of crescent moons where the earthshine is visible. The schematic is shows sun ray’s reflecting from earth to the moon.

Star Chart for March

General News

Virtual Feast!

November 12 at 2:00 Pacific

Gather your family and friends for a FREE Cooking with Camp Blue Spruce class! This campfire themed event will take place on Saturday, November 12th at 2:00 PM Pacific Time and will include recipes and cooking demos from Your Allergy Chefs and ChefClusive, along with an individual ChefClusive cooking and activity kit!

Register by November 4th to receive your kit in time for the class! Each one includes: easy campfire recipes for indoor and outdoor camping, camping themed activity sheets, and a small set of silicone tongs.

Throughout the class you’ll gain valuable cooking skills such as knife skills, doneness indicators, and participate in two cooking demonstrations: Sloppy Joes with Creamy Coleslaw and S’mores dips for dessert! You’ll receive the recipes prior to the event so that you can come prepared to cook along with our chefs. You can also watch the demo and recreate it with your family and friends later! Either way, you’re bound to have a blast building community with Camp Blue Spruce and gaining confidence in the kitchen!

This project was made possible by a community outreach award from FARE.

General News

Star Talk for September 2022

By Astronomer Jim Higgs

Astronomer Jim Higgs was our special guest at Camp Blue Spruce this summer! As pictured below, he led a rocketry and propulsion interest group, he also brought in meteorites and minerals for campers to view. Campers and staff viewed a full moon as well as Saturn and its rings with a telescope at the star viewing party that he and his friends from Rose City Astronomers hosted. 

In The Evening Sky:

• As you can see from the below star chart, the Milky Way will be overhead, roughly arching from the southwest to the northeastern sky. The Milky Way is dim, seen best in a dark sky, but it is only observable as a faint glow. It is comprised of more stars than can be counted! By looking at the Milky Way, we are looking at our galaxy from the edge (where we live) in toward our galaxy’s center. The Milky Way is huge, comprised of about 250 billion stars. It’s length is about 100,000 light years (each light year is 6 trillion miles). All the stars that we can see all reside in the Milky Way—the stars that are in other galaxies are too dim and far away for us to see individually! Yet, with giant telescopes, we know that there hundreds of billions of other galaxies, and many of those are much bigger than the Milky Way!
• The summer triangle, visible last month, is still in the sky. At the “top” of the triangle and nearly straight up is the star Vega, a very bright star in the constellation of Lyra; Lyra is shaped like a rhombus (see the below chart). To the left (east) of Vega you’ll see Deneb, the brightest star in Cygnus. And the third star of the triangle, below the other two, is Altair, the brightest star in Aquila the Eagle.
• Saturn will be yellow-ish and bright, nearly directly due south. In a small telescope you can see the rings!
• This month Jupiter rises about sunset and will be spectacular. On the 26th , Jupiter will be in “opposition,” which means that Earth will be almost exactly between Jupiter and the sun. As a result, Jupiter will appear particularly “big” (through a telescope or even binoculars) and will be very bright. With binoculars and a very steady hand, you may be able to see as many as four of Jupiter’s moons!
• On the 7th, Saturn and the moon appeared very close.
• On the 9th, the moon was half-way between Saturn and Jupiter, making for a very bright trio!
• On the 15th, the Pleiades (a bright star cluster) rose late in the night, followed by the moon, and then followed by Mars.
• On the 30th, the moon will be only 1.5 degrees above Antares, the giant red star in the constellation of Scorpius!

In The Morning Sky:

• Venus will be the bright morning star, but is now once again getting closer to the sun.
• Mars will also be in the early morning sky.

General News

Come to Our Anniversary Party!

We’re celebrating 10 YEARS of providing fun for youth and teens living with food allergies! Please join us as we thank YOU, and all of our Camp Blue Spruce family, for helping us reach this milestone.

If you are one of our generous donors, passionate volunteers, product sponsor, or former camper family or camp counselor, this evening is meant to celebrate you as the guest of honor.

This is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends from the past or find new ones in the food allergy community.

Tickets are $25/person and include a delicious top-9 allergen free catered dinner, games and activities, free kayaks, pedal boards, SUPS, and a large float mat. In the evening, be ready for fun around a “campfire,” with memories from the past ten years, camp songs, raffle ticket prizes, and more!

We can’t wait to bring the community together and celebrate!

  • Saturday, October 1, 2022 from 3 – 8 pm
  • Willamette Park, 1100 12th St., West Linn, OR
  • Games, activities, arts & crafts
  • A delicious top-9 free, catered dinner is included in the ticket price! (free of: dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat/all gluten and sesame.)
  • Paddle Linn will be onsite providing FREE kayaks, pedalboards, SUPS,and a large float mat. Life jackets are provided.
  • “Campfire” presentation, including memories from the past ten years, raffle ticket prizes, camp songs, and more!
  • Tickets are $25/person and include dinner and all the activities
  • Questions?


Help Make the Party a BLAST!

WE NEED YOU! Check out the volunteer sign up form for lots of small, but important, ways you can help make our 10th Anniversary Party a blast.

From donating a raffle prize to helping keep the Giant Jenga game stacked- there’s something for everyone.

The best part is that you can still enjoy the event while contributing to Camp Blue Spruce.