Two teens are offering gluten free cooking camp for kids in July

by Linda Hubbard on June 22, 2020

Looking for something fun and socially distanced for kids ages 8 and up to do this summer? Menlo-Atherton High School rising sophomore Caroline Pecore (pictured top, left) and her friend Paloma Raffle (pictured right) are running a gluten-free cooking camp via Zoom the week of July 6-10 from 4:30-6:30 pm daily.

It’s $50 for the week, need-based scholarships are available, and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California. For more information about the camp, visit their website at

Here’s an excerpt from an essay Caroline wrote:

“It took 22 pounds for anyone to notice. To be honest, I didn’t really notice myself. I had always been thin and pretty much the only time I ever weighed myself was in the doctor’s office at my yearly checkup. But at the beginning of eighth grade, my clothes were too big and my parents were concerned, so to the pediatrician we went. Sure enough, I had fallen off the BMI growth chart. My doctor took one look at the anxious and unhealthily skinny-looking girl sitting in her office and made a tentative diagnosis: anorexia. She instructed my mom to insist that I eat high-carb foods like bagels and pasta, and ordered some blood work to make sure nothing else was wrong.

“One night after a dinner of takeout pizza, I listened for the clicking sound of the lock as I carefully closed the bathroom door behind me. I turned the shower knob to scalding hot, then sat down on the white linoleum floor. I buried my face in my knees and cried silently. My hands were shaking. My arms were shaking. My heart was shaking. My stomach felt like it was on fire. I felt so scared and so, so alone.

“Two extremely long weeks later, I got the results of the blood test back: elevated tTG antibodies and positive for celiac disease. A gastroenterologist confirmed the diagnosis with an endoscopic biopsy of my small intestine. I finally had an explanation for my symptoms, a treatment plan and a path forward. The sound of hope may be quiet, but if you’re lucky enough to listen at just the right moment, it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard.”

Read the full essay online.

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