How Can a Group Purchasing Organization Help Your Camp?

A group purchasing organization (GPO) is a platform that allows a business to join a group of other buyers who are interested in the same products and services. When you join a GPO — which can be especially helpful for camps and other out-of-school-time programs tasked with ordering bulk quantities of food for participants and staff — your camp will benefit from the collective purchasing power of the whole group and save money through the GPO’s vendor pricing agreements.

Some advantages to joining a GPO include:

Aiding Your Economic Recovery – Reducing Food Costs in 2022 with ACA's GPO Partner, Trinity/HPSI

As camps are entering a phase of economic recovery, rising food costs are a significant consideration in 2022. This webinar is intended to highlight the group purchasing partnership of the ACA with Trinity/HPSI and will explain GPO programs specific to food vendors in the current market. Multiple vendors are offering reduced pricing to camps through negotiated agreements with Trinity/HPSI, and participation in these programs is 100% free. Please join us for this important discussion and register today!

Strategies for Serving Top Nine Allergen-Free Meals

Goodbye eggs, milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and sesame! While it would be rare to have a camper who has all these allergies, you may have multiple campers with allergies to several of the top nine allergens. In this case, you might consider serving a full menu without any of these allergens. Impossible, you might say? Consider these suggestions and see how achievable it can be.

2020 Food Allergy Alert: FDA Temporarily Decreases Food Labeling Requirements During Pandemic

In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic was declared a US national emergency, demanding new state regulations throughout the country, an array of CDC and WHO cautions and guidelines, and procedural changes around the most prevalent methods of disease spread and people groups with more propensity to be affected.

Buffet, Serving Line, and Family Style: The Pros and Cons

What type of dining service does your camp use? To get an idea of what is currently popular in camps, I conducted a survey among camp food service directors and received some insightful responses.

Buffet Serving Style

Some of the first buffet restaurants in America were established in the 1950s by restaurateur Johnny Garneau. These mimicked the traditional Swedish "smorgasbord" buffet-style meal, with a wide variety of food displayed on a table (Smith, 2013).

Dutch Oven Cooking Tools and Tips

Gabe, now a fifth grader, was pumped that he had graduated prerequisite camp programs required to experience Adventure Camp for the first time. Gabe conquered the zip line, sailed on the lake, and last summer, he and his fellow Adventure campers slept in tents in the wilderness for a whole week! A favorite delight that week surprised him — being sous chef to his counselors while Dutch oven cooking, especially when searing fajitas. Here are some pointers for your outdoor campers.

The Evolution of Dietary Guidelines

If we were to prepare the most scientifically healthy diet daily for our campers, what would that look like? It seems that what is considered a "healthy diet" has changed so many times over the years, many of us aren't even sure how to define it now.

Prepare Your Kitchen Staff to Embrace the Needs of Campers with Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

You will learn from a gluten-free educator, parent and 11-year old camper with Celiac disease just how critical the kitchen staff is to the camper’s experience. This training is a first step for kitchen staff to increase awareness of the needs of campers who are required to maintain a gluten-free diet. Staff will learn the importance of kitchen procedures necessary to keep campers healthy.  This training emphasizes the non-obvious sources of cross contact with gluten and prevention procedures.

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.