One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is “What is the food like? What are the meals at Alleghany?” Well, you can read our website page about meals, and I thought I would go into a little more detail here on the blog.
What is mealtime like?
Meals are a lively and fun part of our camp day, and a special time to come together as a community. Campers will sit with their counselor and tentmates at a table with another tent, so there are typically two counselors and eight campers at each table. We eat family style, with serving dishes brought out to the tables by our Hoppers. In Junior Camp, the counselors serve the campers, and in Senior Camp the serving dishes are passed around and campers help themselves.
Our meals are also known for their lively songs, chants and cheers. After enjoying each other’s’ company and getting the meal started, tables of campers will start singing or chanting, getting the rest of the Dining Hall involved. It can even sometimes become loud!
We also strive to emphasize table manners during the meals, as well as conversing with each other and getting to know all of the campers at the table. Twice a week the seating chart will change and the tents will sit with a different tent to switch things up a bit and get to know more campers.
We end each meal with important announcements for the whole camp, and sometimes some trivia or jokes as well.
Overall, meals are an enjoyable part of the day that the camp community looks forward to.
Chefs and Cooks
Who cooks and prepares the food?
We work with a food service company called Wolfoods, who hires our chefs and kitchen support staff for us, assists in menu planning, orders all the food, and lovingly prepares it for us. We have enjoyed working with Wolfoods over the past few years, and while some of us still remember the olden days of Miss Hazel and her crew, we’re still working on keeping the memories of those days alive with our traditional menu items.
We also have a stellar group of Kitchen Support Staff who assist the chefs in prepping and serving the food at each meal.
We love our friendly kitchen staff and they love ensuring the campers are well fed each summer!
Food and Menu
What foods do we serve? How much? Is it nutritious?
We aim to strike a balance between healthy, nutritious meals and youth-friendly dishes.
We have a full fruit and salad bar with fresh fruits, veggies, and protein options at both lunch and dinner daily. This doubles as a fruit and granola bar for breakfast. Our dinner always includes a vegetable side in addition to what is offered on the salad bar.
Some favorite meals include streusel cake, sausage biscuits with baked cinnamon apples, and sweet rolls with eggs and bacon for breakfast. Lunch favorites include chicken patties, grilled cheese and soup, and fried chicken. And some of our dinner specialties include tacos, spaghetti, and Thanksgiving dinner.
You may find our meals to be a bit carb-heavy at times, and this is because we are extremely active at camp and we need fuel to stay active! Many of our campers and counselors have increased appetites while at Alleghany, so we work hard to ensure everyone is full and fueled. Rest assured we still offer plenty of fruit and vegetables for a well-rounded balance of macro-nutrients.
Dessert is offered daily at dinner (except on Sundays when we have ice cream at lunch!) and some favorites are brownies, no-bake cookies, and peppermint patties.
Many parents ask if we can accommodate their campers’ food allergies or dietary restrictions. The short answer is yes! Click here to read more in depth about this.
One of our chefs is a dedicated Special Diets Chef, and along with our Special Diets Manager staff member, they will ensure your campers’ dietary needs are met with safety and care.
Taste or Serving
We extend our mission — naturally inspiring growth through loyalty, honor, and friendship — to the camp experience at mealtime. That’s why campers participate in our “Taste or Serving?” practice. This means that every able camper and staff will at least try new foods — either just a teaspoonful taste or a whole serving (dietary restrictions excluded of course).
If such an approach to eating is new to you or your family, rest assured that the experience is presented in a joyful spirit at meals.
However, we all know that kids can be picky eaters! You may have a picky eater. You may think that no way is she going to try a taste of chicken parmesan or a taste of some cooked carrots much less a serving of vegetable soup! Yet campers embrace this rather easily as just being “part of camp.”
But more than that, parents overwhelming report back to us in our summer-end surveys that their campers loved trying new foods and have become more adventuresome and less picky eaters after camp! Yay!
As our professional kitchen staff ensures that each meal provides the nutrients necessary for the girls to thrive while at camp, campers are encouraged to try new things and take a taste or a serving of all foods in a meal.
Preparing your Camper for Camp Meals
Meals and mealtime in your home may look much different from what is outlined above! Reading through this blog and our Meals page of the website are great first steps in managing your camper’s expectations for what meals will be like for her this summer.
If your camper is a picky eater, start your own “taste or serving” practice at home where she will take a brave taste of a new vegetable or other type of food, in preparation for this at camp.
Remind her that we have snack twice a day, and fresh fruit offered all day, so if she’s hungry she should take advantage of this! And remind her how much energy she will be expending at camp, so eating a full plate of food at meals is important to stay fueled and energetic.
Advocating for herself is important as well. If she doesn’t feel she is getting enough to eat, communicating this to her counselor is very important. We want all campers to feel full and nourished while at camp.
I hope this has helped outline what to expect in our Dining Hall this summer! Here’s to a delicious summer at ‘Ghany.