This past summer Camp Alleghany for Girls introduced some exciting and innovative new activities for our campers to take. This makes 15 Activity options for campers, from which they choose four for each Term they’re at camp (and this includes Mini Camp, too!)
One of the new activities was Cooking, which proved to be both tasty, and incredibly popular.
Each Cooking Activity period quickly filled to capacity during Activity sign-ups; and during our “try something new” day, where campers get to check out activities they didn’t sign up for for the whole Term, it seemed like the rest of camp signed up to participate in Cooking!
Originally the brainchild of Elizabeth, this summer’s Cooking Department Head, Vic, turned Cooking into something spectacular in its first year.
Our Facilities Director, Garrett O’Dell, set up a kitchen in the Jr. Dining Hall for the Cooking class. It’s a typical kitchen you might find in a home, including an oven and range, refrigerator, and sink. The girls also had access to blenders, mixers, dehydrators, and more.
By working in a home kitchen instead of a commercial set-up, the girls got comfortable and experienced with what cooking would be like in their own homes. This gallery is a peek at the kitchen:
Another added benefit of using the Dining Hall was all the tables and seating that allowed for small groups working together; it afforded lots of learning space!
When the Term began, the girls learned all about kitchen hygiene — you know, hair in a pony tail, washing hands, food safety, etc. From there, it was time to get to work.
Let’s Get Cooking
Campers measured, poured, stirred, chopped, and mixed, all under the watchful eyes of the Cooking staff. From breakfast to dinner to dessert, they did it all.
And they went way beyond the basics into some really fun stuff and clever desserts — if you want to see some cool fondant creations and cake toppers, our Cooking activity is the place to be!
Want to talk about the science of baking bread? Head up to the Jr. Dining Hall to see the yeast working, and a dough ball rising steadily for the next period. It’s more exciting than watching paint dry! But don’t worry, campers don’t actually watch the dough rise. Instead they learn how to make dough one day, but they actually knead and shape dough that was started before their activity period, bake it, and enjoy a warm, fresh slice.
‘Ghany Girls participated in every part of the cooking process. They took turns cleaning the workspace, prepping food, flipping pancakes, and even washing and drying dishes. It might not be glorious work doing the cleaning, but they learned to clean as you go and that all aspects of the cooking process, including cleaning, are critical to healthy foods. With everyone pitching in, the cleaning goes quickly.
Too many cooks in the kitchen? Not at Camp Alleghany! And always enough mouths to feed.
I don’t mean to take advantage of my position, but I DO need to visit all the activity areas and, if, well, there is something to taste to make sure everything is going okay, well, then, you know it is my duty! Just as I must check safety at Rifle or equipment for Canoeing and Archery, well, I have to take a bit of cake or hummus or French Fries.
Seriously, I felt particularly lucky, getting to taste lots of their creations, and they did not disappoint!
When your camper is trying to decide what activities to sign up for, keep cooking in mind if you love to eat and want to expand your skills, get a little dirty, and taste some wonderful foods that YOU made.
See you in the Dining Hall next summer!
— Casey Tucker, Program Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls