Ramblings of a Grumpy, Old Camp Cook

With the passing of my 65th birthday, I began reflecting a lot on my life, as I imagine many have done at the passage of this age. Looking back, the many summers I spent as a cook/food service director at camp are the ones of which I am most proud.

A Five-Star Recipe for Excellence in Camp Food Service

Moving about confidently, two cooks snatched the garlic bread from the oven, prepped the salad bar, whipped up chocolate pudding, and a meal was complete. As the new food service director at Camp Gilmont, I marveled at the vigorous activity around me in the camp kitchen. From the outside looking in, it appeared as if an intentional routine had been established, as if the employees’ activity was magically orchestrated. However, as I scrutinized the routine over the next few days, I realized that serious change needed to happen in this kitchen.

Make a Commitment: Encouraging Wellness and Healthy Living at Camp

An alarming study purports that the current generation of children may have shorter life expectancies than their parents for the first time in over two centuries. The rapid rise in childhood obesity in America may shorten children’s lifespan by two to five years (Olshansky et al., 2005). Almost one-third of children between the ages of two and nineteen years are overweight and 17 percent of those are classified as obese. The number of obese children has DOUBLED since 1980! Some studies suggest that this rate has tripled or even quadrupled.

Current Challenges in Camp Food Service

Hesitation gave way to excitement as I unexpectedly grabbed the reigns of food service management, in the dripping, humid heat of a Texas summer camp season. Nine years had passed since I last served in this capacity at camp, but everything was coming back to me — the roar of kids laughing in the dining hall, the buzz of activity as cooks whirled by with fresh-baked yeast rolls, and the mouthwatering scent of fresh-baked chocolate chunk cookies! “Ahhhh,” I thought to myself, “the camp kitchen . . . this will be a breeze. I’ve GOT this!”

Can I Have Another Bowl of Cereal? Using the Summer Food Service Program at Your Camp

“Can I have another bowl of cereal?”

The shy boy was one that regularly asked for seconds at breakfast, and I suspected he didn’t eat dinner regularly at his house. He was a camper at my small YMCA day camp in Northeast Georgia. We struggle financially, as do our campers’ parents, and the fees we charge only cover staffing and program costs.

Strategies for Managing the Risks of Food Contamination and Communicable Disease at Camp

It is easy to become casual about food preparation and food safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, each year one in six Americans, roughly 48 million people, become sick and 3,000 die as a result of foodborne illness.