Sunday, July 24, 2005

Camp 2005 -- Opening Night Dinner

We served our first meal tonight at about 6:30 p.m., after the evening worship. I just confirmed with the registrar about 30 minutes ago that we have 98 campers and 42 staff at camp this years, for a total of 150.

Earlier in the week, when I was given a projected camp census of 135, I decided to purchase food for 150 campers and staff. I knew from past experience that we'd have 10 to 15 walk-ins during our afternoon registration.

This year my projection worked to my advantage. I purchased enough food to feed 150 for the next week. This is one of those areas where you'll be the camp's savoir if the numbers fall to your advantage.

However, it can backfire on you. Just remember that there are many factors that drive camp attendance, like the weather, competing activities, family vacations, etc. Over the years, I've developed a sense of projecting food purchases for these type of events. Although I'm never that far off, I still over- and under-project for some items.


The menu for Sunday evening, opening night of camp:

Chicken tenders (2 each, about 3-1/2 ounces)
Barbecue sauce
Oven roasted potato wedges (3 wedges)
Buttered broccoli (1/2 cup)
Tossed green salad with vegetable toppings
Marinated tomatoes with basil
Brownie with vanilla ice cream
Milk, punch and iced tea

Chicken tenders -- We panned four (10-pound) boxes onto nine 18- x 26-inch sheet pans. That's about 45 servings per box.

Barbecue sauce -- we used 1/2-gallon of bottle BBQ sauce tonight.

Oven roasted potato wedges -- We washed and cut 50 pounds of U.S. No. 1 bakers this afternoon. I counted about 54 wedges per sheet pan. The cooks melted butter and pour it over the potatoes. They seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika and baked them in a 350-degree convention oven for about 30 minutes.

Broccoli -- We steamed 15 pounds of broccoli. Surprisingly, about 50 percent of the kids took my favorite vegetable.

Marinated tomatoes and basil -- We used 15 sliced tomatoes this evening. At the end of the meal I had the salad cooks save the leftover marinade for tomorrow's tomatoes. The marinade keeps growing in flavor as the week progresses.

Tossed green salad -- It took about 6 pounds of salad mix to feed 150 campers and staff. We also used 1-1/2 pounds baby carrots, 1-1/2 peeled and sliced cucumbers, 1 each sliced red and green bell peppers and radishes. It takes about 6 cups of ranch dressing for each meal. Although we place creamy Italian and 1,000 island dressings on the salad bar, very few folks use them.

Brownies with ice cream -- It took 110 brownies and 3 gallons of vanilla ice cream for dessert tonight.

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