By Daytona Hodson
My name is Daytona Hodson and I’m 14 years old. My food allergy is to peanuts. I went to the Tenth Anniversary FARE Teen Summit last year and I had a blast. This is my story of my trip to Teen Summit.
Teen Summit is an event for teens with food allergies to learn about how food allergies affect their lives. That’s why I went to Teen Summit. What I didn’t know was that it would be one of the most memorable weekends of my life.
When I got to the hotel I was greeted by another teen with food allergies. We walked downstairs to the first day of the Summit. I was surprised at how many people were there. I just stood there in awe to see hundreds of people waiting to get into the Summit. I had never seen this many people with food allergies in one room. I was so excited. I looked at my schedule for the day so I could find where I had to go next.
The schedule was divided up between adults and teens. I really liked this aspect of Teen Summit because it gives you a chance to ask questions and get answers from other teens that understand exactly what you’re going through. The other good thing about dividing the adults and teens was they covered topics that teens would care about and understand. They talked about trips to other countries, ways to dine safely, and how you can affect legislation on food allergies.
Later that night was a teen social. This was my favorite part of the entire event. There are socials on both nights. During the first night’s teen social we played trivia. Our table was looking for a name and we couldn’t figure out what we should be called. We finally figured out that we all had a peanut allergy at one point or another in our lives, so we called ourselves the Peanut Liberators. Even though we lost we still had a great time getting to know each other.
The second day of the summit I went back downstairs to meet up with everyone that I had met the night before. We all had a text group and sat together during the sessions.
During a presentation on traveling with food allergies, I was inspired to make my own presentation. All of the presentations had great information and were very entertaining, but this one took it to another level. This presentation made everyone laugh, and that made everyone remember it. I wanted to do that. From that presentation, I decided that I would come back next year and give my own presentation. The topics that are covered at the Summit will inspire you.
When Teen Summit ended later that next day, I didn’t want to leave. My friends and I were all having such a great time. I knew I wouldn’t see them soon, but I would be able to talk to them on our group text. I also knew that I would see them next year. That’s why I look forward to Teen Summit 2016.
Join Daytona at the 11th Annual FARE Teen Summit, Nov. 11-13, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisc. Visit www.foodallergy.org/teensummit to register. See you there!