“Cooking helps us be creative,” says Jenna
Prosen, 12, who attended Camp Echo last
summer. “I have been able to take cooking
skills [such as kitchen safety] that I learned at
camp and use them at home.”
Shapiro encourages parents to invite their
kids to help plan menus, shop for groceries
and prepare meals.
Dietre Griesinger, 7, loved making pizza
and scrambled-eggs-in-a-bag at Camp Dean,
a Girl Scout camp in northern Illinois, last
summer and practices at home when she can.
She says, “I like to cook cheesy potatoes and
[also] spaghetti with my mom.”
Passing the taste test
Even picky eaters typically taste at least
one new food before leaving camp. “It’s fun to
eat something that you created, designed and
had a role in [preparing],” Shapiro says.
Grabow agrees. When he took a group of
fourth graders ;shing as part of an “outdoor
adventure cooking” expedition, they tried the
;sh “because they [caught] it, they cleaned it
and they cooked it.”
O;en campers sample new foods because
they see their friends trying them. Last sum-
mer, Shapiro’s young chefs chose to prepare
sushi and pad thai, which many of the camp-
ers had never eaten before. “One girl thinks
it’s cool, then everyone else thinks it’s cool,”
The Costco Connection
Whether your young campers are headed
into the backyard for an overnight adventure or spending a week at a summer
camp, Costco warehouses carry a variety
of foods to help develop culinary interests
Healthy living Camp O’Malley, a Boys & Girls Club camp near Grand Rapids, Michigan, enables hundreds of chil- dren, ages 6 to 17, from low- income families to attend camp. ;e campers partici- pate in a healthy-living workshop, learning to inte- grate an active lifestyle with wholesome food choices and appropriate portions. “During that time, [instructors] teach the kids how to make a healthy snack at home,” says Becky Missad, camp director and Costco member. ;e kids bake breads and assemble snacks such as
1 pepper 1 onion 2 carrots 2 potatoes Aluminum foil 1 uncooked hamburger patty or precooked piece of chicken 1 to 2 tablespoons margarine or butter Salt and pepper to taste Chop the pepper, onion, carrots and potatoes
into 1 to 2-inch pieces. Take a large piece (at
least a 12-inch square) of heavy-duty aluminum foil and lay it flat on the table. Place an
uncooked hamburger patty or precooked
chicken in the center of the foil. Top the meat
with the chopped vegetables. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter and salt and
pepper to taste. Wrap tightly in the foil. You may
need a second piece to seal in all the vegetables. Place the packet on coals for 15 to 20
minutes, turning after about 10 minutes. Check
the packet to make sure that the meat is
cooked and vegetables are soft.
Makes 1 serving.
Courtesy of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois.
Tinfoil Dinners (Pocket Stew)
fruit kebabs and cheese and crackers. “It’s not
intense cooking,” Missad says, “but some-
thing for their age level and something that’s
simple for them to do.”
Whether they’re learning persistence and
con;dence with each successful recipe, or
how to make healthier food choices, this
year’s campers are learning life skills that will
last beyond their summer tans.
Camps tend to ;ll up early, so be sure to
research camps in advance to ensure your
child gets a spot. To ;nd camps featuring culinary activities, visit www.acacamps.org or
Costco member Christa Melnyk Hines is a
freelance journalist and author. She and her
husband share their love of cooking and food
with their two sons, ages 6 and 8.
3 eggs 2 cups sugar 2 cups grated, seeded, peeled cucumbers 1 cup vegetable oil 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, beat eggs. Beat in sugar, cucumbers,
oil and vanilla until well blended. Combine the
remaining ingredients; add to cucumber mixture
and beat until just combined. Pour into two
greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Bake at
350 F for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted near the center comes out clean. Let
the bread cool in the pans on wire racks for
10 minutes before removing. Makes 2 loaves.
Courtesy of Camp O’Malley (Boys & Girls Club camp).