Highlights from the first National Allergy Strategy 250K Youth Camp

The 250K youth camp was a great success according to the campers who participated. Read more for some of the highlights from the camp held at Yarramundi YMCA in Western Sydney in January 2019.

30 campers attended the camp, aged from 11-23, alongside 9 National Allergy Strategy staff and volunteers. This was the first face to face meeting of some members of the 250K Youth Advisory Team. Despite the scorching temperatures (45°C!) campers participated in all of the planned activities – their favourite being kayaking.

Other favourite activities were: the giant swing, Sydney Trapeze School, high ropes and team games with Pete Griffiths (CEO of Australian Camps Association). Campers also participated in medical & allied health discussions lead by an Allergist (Dr Melanie Wong), Dietitian (Dr Merryn Netting) and Allergy Nurse (Briony Tyquin). These discussion sessions were notably enjoyed by the participants.


A whopping 17 meal times were catered for over the duration of the camp. Given our group had 21 different food allergies to manage this was very impressive! Campers mentioned on numerous occasions throughout camp how well fed they were.


Campers’ favourite foods

“It’s hard to pick, they were all amazing”

  1. Apple crumble
  2. Chocolate brownie
  3. Chicken and coleslaw dinner
  4. Wraps
  5. Pasta & bolognese
  6. Cooked breakfast – toast, baked beans & bacon
  7. Pineapple pudding
  8. Ice cream
  9. All the fruit


Throughout the duration of the weekend, our nurses Maria Said and Briony Tyquin administered more than 110 doses of prescribed/regular daily medications – and none were EpiPens.


Quotes from campers

“I had a terrific time on this camp, making lifelong friends, being able to eat without the stress (I usually get on camps).”

“The people I connected with were amazing and we have so much shared experience.”

“I liked meeting other people my age with allergies and actually being able to understand the struggles and positives.”


Special thanks to:

All our staff and volunteers:

  • Pete Griffiths (CEO, Australian Camps Association)
  • all the staff at Yarramundi YMCA especially Simone and Annette
  • Sally Voukelatos (NAS camp organiser)
  • Maria Said (CEO A&AA, NAS Co-chair)
  • Merryn Netting (allergy dietitian)
  • Melanie Wong (paediatric allergist)
  • Briony Tyquin (allergy nurse)
  • Nyssa Booth (NAS social media & communications officer)
  • Rikki Dunstall (NAS finance and admin officer)
  • Tristan Schwartzkopff (NAS food service project officer)
  • Sandra Vale (NAS coordinator)

Companies that have provided product support – Bulla Family Dairy, Happy Snack Company, Kinnerton and Orgran for contributing food and Mylan for donating the EpiPens for general use.