Any seasoned camper has heard the jokes, giggles and all-around horror stories of traditional “camp food”. The stuff that memories are made of right down to the plastic trays, jugs of “bug juice” and clammer of sweaty, hungry children telling their bunkmates all about their first few activity periods. As Makela Ellvy and Briana Mitchell discuss in their American Camp Association Article, Food (Justice) for thought, “Food is a necessity for all living things, so it is inherently unifying. Food is the offering that most cultures use to form community, provide comfort, and bring people together. “
Here at Camp Blue Ridge we love our food and our “top chef Robson” who prepares it for us, because he recognizes how important food is to nurture a great summer camp experience for our campers. All our food is carefully planned and made with love to provide the perfect amount of flavor and nutrition to our active campers and staff. We always have multiple food options to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters which may or may not include yours truly! We are a peanut free camp but do offer other options as well as a full salad bar for lunch and dinner meals.
But that isn’t the end of our food story here at CBR! We’ve taken food to a whole new level by introducing our campers to a new way of thinking about food. We have created programs that turn our campers into chefs, learning how to plan, prepare and cook their own meals. Ever heard of Farm to Table, well we’ve stepped it up a notch and taken this mountain of fun to a garden of fun! We now offer our campers a well-rounded gardening program that allows them to plot their land, grow their seedlings, learn about hydroponic gardening, and learn the steps it takes to properly nurture their garden from start to finish. “Gardening/urban farming is a life skill that bridges home and camp. This tangible skill not only enables children to grow food they know and will most likely eat at camp, but also equips them to return home and participate in their local community gardens. This civil participation and social awareness is an identified benefit of camp (American Camp Association, 2019).”
I know what your thinking, this all sounds way to good to be true. Gather your pots and ready your land because your camper’s future looks green. Not only will they come home full of summer memories, craving their favorite camp meal from time to time, they will have had the opportunity to learn a lifelong skill that can be used no matter where they choose to life along with a sense of accomplishment seeing the fruits of their labor and love come to fruition right before their very eyes.