B'ville: What's cooking at Camp Hickory

The Lion's Club is known for its support of the visually handicapped.

In an effort to be proactive and prevent blindness, the Baldwinsville club hosts the annual Camp Hickory, a day camp designed to educate type-1 diabetic children how to eat correctly, thereby preserving their eyesight in the future.

This year's two-session camp, held Monday through Friday, has 40 children registered, which means two full weeks each with 20 campers learning how to count their carbohydrate and sugar intake while enjoying fun and aerobic activities such as kickball and the Olympics.

The first session began this past Monday with the second session following next week.

Debbie McCasland, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator is in charge of this year's camp menu.

"We try to have a variety of foods, but we keep it simple on day one," McCasland said, adding that the group would be making grilled chicken Tuesday, pizza on Wednesday, tacos on Thursday and French toast Friday.

She said one of the children's favorite snacks for hot days is a slurry, a slightly frozen concoction of diet Jell-O and diet soda mixed with pineapple juice.

"The entire treat only has about 10 calories in it," McCasland said. "Plus, it's a fun treat."

She also said children make Jell-O ice cream sandwiches, cottage cheese dips and real s'mores.

"We carb count here, so the treats are within restriction," she said about the graham cracker, mini marshmallow and semi-sweet chocolate treat. "And the kids are so active here, they run of what they eat and then some."

The menu also includes a vanilla yogurt and peanut butter dip for vegetables, which McCasland admits doesn't sound too tasty but vouches that it is and the children love it.

"These kids really get into the dips and vegetables," she said.

The Baldwinsville Lion's Club formed nearly 60 years ago. The club supports the primary goals of Lions International, to help the blind and visually handicapped in our community by providing leader dogs, training, personal aids such as canes, talking clocks, scales and watches, and transportation. The club also collects used eyeglasses for the underprivileged throughout the world and help with funding of eye exams and glasses for those in need locally. For more information about the Lion's Club, visit baldwinsvillelions.org.

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