Kids at Camp Echo prepare
pizza, chicken wraps and salad.
Camp directors credit popular shows
such as Food Network’s Iron Chef and Bravo’s
Top Chef with nurturing young foodies.
“;e [campers] see chefs doing something that maybe they don’t see too much at
home. It sparks their interest,” says Felecia
Dupczak, a Costco member and camp pathway manager, who oversees camp directors of
resident and day camps for Girl Scouts of
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CAMP ECHO
Dupczak says scouts especially like camp;re cooking using tinfoil, cast iron and Dutch
ovens. “Adults are there to help them,” she
says, “but otherwise they do it all themselves,
and they really enjoy that.”
At many camps, every camper participates in one cooking unit, but some choose to
focus on culinary activities throughout the
Kids are cooking
Culinary adventures at summer camps
62 ;e Costco Connection JUNE 2013
By Christa Melnyk Hines
YOUNGSTERS MAY look forward to horseback riding, woodland hikes and songs
around the ;re at camp this summer, but
many of them also crave an adventure that
tempts the taste buds.
“Excuse the pun, but cooking has become
one of the hottest areas of camp,” says Je;
Grabow, a Costco member and camp director
at Camp Echo. ;e traditional coed resident
summer camp in Bloomingburg, New York,
started focusing on more healthful foods and
culinary activities about six years ago.
“A lot of people say, ‘I don’t know how to
cook.’ Everyone knows how to cook. It’s just
being encouraged to try a little bit. Cooking
… is an essential life skill,” Grabow says.
week. Children practice math by learning to
multiply recipes to cook for large groups of
their peers and problem-solve to accommodate di;erent dietary requirements.
“;ey’re also learning how to stick with
something, work as a team, prepare under
stress and [develop] patience as they wait for
something to cook,” Lauren Shapiro, a Costco
member and camp pathway manager for Girl
Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington,
tells ;e Connection.
Camp directors hope children will continue to foster these life skills long a;er the
last camp;re is extinguished.