Sunday, July 24, 2005

Camp 2005 -- Saturday Prep Day

I arrived at Daybreak Camp yesterday around 1230 p.m. with my family. Since we were the first staff to arrive, it gave us time to eat a picnic lunch and enjoy the near 90 degree temperature (we're just far enough inland from the coast to feel the heat!).

The truck from Sysco Foodservices of San Francisco arrived about an hour later. Driver Mike was cordial and very helpful, especially since the checkbook was still in the South Bay. After completing the unload, he waited.

This year I had three adults and five children help me unload the Sysco truck and put groceries away. I was able to direct traffic instead of humping boxes into the refrigerators. It reminded me of my days as the storeroom supervisor on the USS Stein in the mid-1970s. During underway replenishments, I stood in the passageway between the storeroom and refrigerators and played traffic cop.

As chef it's my job to make sure each box lands in the right location. This saves much grief later. It saves us from frantic searches for missing items. After four years, I've developed a storage system that works very well for this camp.

Camp Kitchen Crew

This year, I'm blessed with 11 staff in the kitchen, including myself. We have four couples plus three individuals. Because some of my volunteer workers come with physical limitations, the 10 will be doing the work of six or seven full-time workers. That's okay. We're here to enjoy camp, not work ourselves to the bone.

I've assigned positions as follows:

Steve -- Chef (4th year)
CD -- 2nd cook (4th year)
WE -- 3rd cook
AK -- Salads and baker
HB -- Salads and baker
DK -- Kitchen helper (4th year)
EM -- Dining room host (4th year)
CS -- Dishwasher and utility (2nd year)
AK -- Dishwasher and utility
PD -- Dishwasher and utility
DB -- Dishwasher and utility

With 10, well be able to take more breaks and relax a little more in between meals. This also give us more opportunity to attend Bible class and to watch some of the camp activities, like Fear Factor tomorrow night.

I conducted food safety training from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Since I'm a certified ServSafe instructor, I use a PowerPoint slide presentation to present the class. I lead with an overview of the menu, work assignments, camp schedule, my work philosophy and documentation for the kitchen.

After an hour-long presentation on food safety (about 50 slides), we take a walk through the kitchen to familiarize everyone with safety features (Ansul system, fire extinguishers and exits), discuss the different work stations, tour the dining room and show them where all the food is stowed. After a quick all-staff meeting at about 6:30 p.m., everyone enjoyed pizza and sodas.

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