Thursday, June 16, 2005

Lessons From a Week-Long Children's Bible Camp, Part 2

In April I started telling you about my preparations for food service at camp. Each summer, I chef for the Northern California Florida College Camp, which meets at Daybreak Camp in Felton, California for one week.

I'll continue posting my thoughts on running a kitchen for a weeklong children's camp over the coming few weeks. They're based operating a stand-alone kitchen where you plan the menu, purchase food and cook meals for the week only. Several points won't apply to a camp kitchen that operates all summer because you can hold excessive stock from one week to the next.

This year, camp meets during the last week of July.

Be Prepared to Serve Lots of Punch and Lemonade

In 2002, I originally thought that six ounces of beverage per person per meal would suffice. When I got home, I calculated that the campers drank about 10 ounces per person per meal. This figure included the extra drinks that we purchased during the week. If you're planning a similar even, I'd start with 10 ounces per person per meal and work from that point.

In 2003, I purchased five cases of punch (3 fruit punch, 1 orange and 1 lemonade) from Sysco Foodservices. Each case contained 12 packages that made two gallons each. On Saturday, we had eight packages of lemonade left. For 150-person camp four to five cases seems reasonable, especially when you have iced tea out for the adults.

2004 proved to be a cool year. I purchased the same five cases, but brought two cases home because the weather was much cooler. However, I'd always plan for warm weather.

Don't forget to place pitchers of ice water on the tables alongside the punch so campers can drink what they needed to stay hydrated. We also keep several Igloo-style containers of ice water available near the sports field. This helps the campers stay hydrated during morning and afternoon games.

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