From Jennie Merrill, Director of Education of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum
Now that our Kids Culinary Camp has concluded, I can't stop thinking back at how amazing this summer has been. In data terms, we've been incredibly successful and fortunate, selling out almost every week of camp, having kids try out a week of camp and fill up our remaining spots because they had such a good time, and seeing so many faces return year after year (but just a little more grown-up).
But these data points are just one side of the story. The bigger, more important side, is that we were able to see the kids grow in front of our eyes. The whole point of our children's programming is to be a space and a resource where kids can grow in culinary skill, knowledge of nutrition, and confidence in the kitchen. The greater indicators of success have been seeing a kid try food they thought was gross, it's seeing them thoughtfully consider what skills they've learned, new techniques they tried for the first time, or appliances they were introduced to that day. It's seeing kids lick their plate clean and encourage more timid eaters at their table to try and experiment, to follow their example. Success is hearing through surveys what they've cooked at home, or that they modified the recipe to the their tastes. These things all happened within the span of 6 weeks! That, to us, is success.
It also cannot be overstated how amazing our interns were this summer. Tara Davis (Duke), Chandler McMillan (Duke), Joey Capelouto (Tulane), Carli Harvey (Tulane), and Mimi Wirth (Tulane), were all the the crucial cogs in the camp wheel. They worked tirelessly to research and plan unique and engaging activities, creative menu items, and develop relationships with the kids. Thank you just doesn't feel significant enough for what they've given to the Museum and our kids this summer.
If you're reading this and wondering what boat you might've missed, don't worry! We have a growing monthly program throughout the school year called Kids in the Kitchen. August 13th is our first post-camp KitK, and we'll be featuring noodles! The 7-11 year olds will be making Macaroni and Cheese from scratch, and (influenced by our survey responses), Pad Thai for the 12-15 year olds. Each program is $20, and $15 for SoFAB members. Find out all the details and register here!
Also, stay tuned to our website, newsletter and blog as we'll be releasing the remaining dates for our 2016 Kids in the Kitchen programs. Sign up for the Kids Newsletter here
Thanks for a great summer and cheers to tasty fall!