The following is from Chef Laura’s Kosher Kitchen blog.
Going Back to Camp
Every summer, when my kids were young, I spent months gathering supplies for my kids to take to camp. In the early years, I actually ironed name labels in all of their clothing and painstakingly labeled all of their sunscreens, bug sprays, flashlights and other camp necessities. I thought that I was being Super Mom and that surely an award would be mine.
Well, a couple of visitor’s weekends and tours of cabins cured me of all of my obsessive labeling. Clothes heaped in corners, scary debris strewn showers and orphaned t-shirts and sweatshirts left hanging on tree limbs left me wondering why I had bothered.
At the end of the camp, the kids would arrive home sun-burned, bug bitten, happy and smelling of sunshine, you know that smell that only children get when playing outside. All of my fanatically labeled clothing was either lost or so scary that I would not allow it in the house.
This summer I packed myself up to go to Camp Chi. I am teaching Culinary Camp to groups of eager-young gastronomically inclined minds. I did not label my clothing, but I did pack sunscreen (which I have actually worn-unlike my children), bug spray, and a ton of recipes . I forgot my flashlight and did need it one night during a storm when we lost power, but other than that and a massive heat wave, I am having a blast. Camp is awesome!
The spirit at camp is amazing. The people running the camp are models of everything right in a world where many professionals are unhappy or dissatisfied in their jobs. These people rock! There is an infectious CAN DO attitude and a MAKE IT HAPPEN theme that pervades every corner of the camp.
I have been blown away day after day when challenges that seemed daunting were handled with cheerful enthusiasm. Storms and power outages-no problem. Prolonged suffocating heat wave-no problem. One by one, difficulties are met and throughout everything, the campers are treated with respect and TLC.
They are learning how to have fun without the day to day technology so pervasive in their lives. The kids are learning important life skills, making new friends, tolerating differences in others and just plain, being kids. I love it!
I urge everyone who has a chance, go back to camp. Go to a Jewish camp. Go to Camp Chi and hang out in the woods with some great people. Turn off the world for a week or two, teach some classes, stand tall and proudly belt out the Birkat Hamazon after a meal , sing and dance your way to the lake, tie dye some t-shirts and come to culinary classes. We are making some great camp food-my way.
For some of Chef Laura’s summer recipes, click here.