Kids Camp Week 5

Monday

Week 5 of Kids Camp is here! We are so excited for our final week of camp for ages 7-11, but cannot believe how the time has flown. This week's theme is fantasy worlds!

We started as we always do by making name tags. On the front we wrote our names and drew our favorite foods, and on the back we wrote a fun fact and what we are most excited about at camp!

Following this, we formed our teams. Each table of 6 campers is their own team. These teams correspond with each day of camp's theme. So, this week we have the Royal Chefs (Lord of the Rings), Harry and Friends (Harry Potter), the Snowflakes (Frozen), May the Fork be with You (Star Wars), and the Black Sparrows (pirate). Today, for example, was Lord of the Rings themed, so the Royal Chefs stayed inside to help cook and set up for the meal. 

Check out each team's banner!

Then, we had to get into the heavy stuff. The rules!! We learned about our convenient acronym, CHEFS. CHEFS stands for clean, helpful, experimental, friends, and safety. These are all important components that we need to keep in mind to make sure camp is fun, delicious, and safe. After some more rules about water bottles, knives, and bathrooms, we washed our hands and got to start cooking.

Since today was Lord of the Rings, we made only foods with a ring shape. We made roasted veggies in a honey glaze and two different spreads for bagels! The campers split into four groups and rotated around various stations.

Station 1: Making the cream cheese spread with Jennie. Campers got to zest a lemon, squeeze the lemon, add in green onions, cream cheese, and seasonings to make a yummy, savory cream cheese.

Station 2: Cutting up the cucumbers and zucchini for the roasted veggies, and the green onions for the savory cream cheese. Campers cut the veggies into little rounds and the green onions as small as possible.

Station 3: Making the glaze for the veggies and scooping out the seeds of the cucumber and zucchini so that they looked like rings. The glaze consisted of honey, oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. We then used spoons to scoop out the seeds of to form veggie rings. We threw these veggie rings in the glaze and then popped 'em in the oven.

Station 4: Making pesto for another bagel spread. We added basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a bowl. 

Our group then moved outside for some games with Joey. The Royal Chefs stayed inside to toast the bagels, cut them, blend the pesto, put the spreads on the bagels, and clean up the room! Those outside played Freezer tag and then learned Chefs and Waiters, which we will be playing a lot this week. 

Lastly, we ate!! Most campers absolutely loved both spreads, with pesto being new for many, especially on a bagel. The ring theme today was successful, who know what Harry Potter day will include!  

Tuesday

Harry Potter day was a blast! We started off with Harry Potter themed crafts. We made wands out of wooden rods that we colored and pipe cleaners, and also owls out of paper plates. Check 'em out.

Then, we played a Hogwarts themed round of Jeopardy. The categories were various classes, like Herbology (herb questions), Transfiguration (cooking technique questions), History of Magic (Harry Potter trivia), and Potions (drink-themed questions). We may have overestimated our campers knowledge of Harry Potter, but their knowledge of herbs and cooking techniques was pretty impressive. The winners were in fact our team of the day, Harry and Friends.

After washing up, we got started on our Harry Potter meal. We made broomsticks, wizard hats, and steak and kidney (bean, not actual kidney) pies. We broke into four groups and rotated to various stations.

Station 1: Cutting up the onions and mushrooms for the steak and kidney pies. We finely chopped these veggies.

Station 2: Making the seasoning for the pies. This included thyme, parsley, beef broth, and tomato paste. We then brought the seasoning over to the beef that was cooking on the stove and added it. This group additionally added the mushrooms and onions that they chopped at station 1. Because we were heating the beef, veggies, and seasoning, it became a thick sauce that campers helped stir.

Station 3: Making broomsticks and wizard hats. The broomsticks were a pretzel stick stuck into a third of a cheese stick that we cut frayed edges on to make it look like the bristles of a broom. The hat was a chocolate cookie with a Hershey's kiss stuck in the middle. Then, campers got to decorate the hats with fun colors of icing. 

Station 4: Rolling out the pie dough and fitting it into muffin tins. This allowed for everyone to have their own personal pie.

We headed outside to play Cheese Grater Tag and Chefs and Waiters. It was hot, hot, hot so luckily the Harry and Friends team, that stayed inside to help, got our food ready super fast and we could head back into the A/C!

The steak pies were delicious, and the little broomsticks and hats were so fun and tasty!

Wednesday

Frozen, a recent Disney classic, was our theme today! Though many of our campers complained about the theme, since it is apparently uncool to like Frozen, we still had a fantastic day. We started by making snowflakes out of popsicle sticks. We painted them white (certain campers ended up with paint on their faces, legs, and hands. Hmm...) and then added sequins and drawings. In the middle of the snowflake, we stuck on a circle of card stock that campers each decorated with their name or a Frozen themed image. It was quite messy, but we had a ton of fun!

Moving on from our craft, each camper had the opportunity to design their own dish, served in the shape of a snowman. Campers drew out their meal. We had all sorts of snowmen- tacos, waffles, ice cream, popcorn balls, burgers, and broccoli! 

Our food today was incredible. We made mango sorbet (since it is frozen), lime and coconut cupcakes (coconut looks like snow), and risotto (which also looks like snow). We assembled our meal in four stations, as we have been doing all week.

Station 1: Mincing onions for the risotto. By the end of the day, the onion smell was so strong I think everyone's eyes were stinging a little. Campers did an excellent job cutting up the onions super fine, so that we wouldn't be overwhelmed with giant bites of onion in the risotto.

Station 2: Mincing mushrooms for the risotto. The same idea as station 1, just with less tears!

Station 3: Making the cupcakes. We added wet ingredients like butter, lime, and eggs and dry ingredients like flour, coconut, salt, sugar, and baking powder. 

Station 4: Behind the stove, we worked to make the sorbet and also got to peek at the risotto. We made simple syrup and juiced limes for the sorbet. Some groups even got to blend the simple syrup, lime, and frozen mango, which made a 3 ingredient sorbet! 

Once hands were clean-ish, we moved on outside, aside from the Snowflakes who made frosting, cleaned, and plated the food. The game today was steal the sorbet spray (actually a sunscreen bottle). The game was all about strategy and teamwork, and the goal was to steal Joey's can and bring it all the way back to the start without him guessing who was holding the can. There were some close rounds and some great strategies, but ultimately Joey never lost his sorbet spray.

Lastly, we ate our scrumptious meal. The cupcakes were garnished with lime wedges, the sorbet was quite refreshing after running around outside, and the risotto, with peas, onions, mushrooms, cheese, and chicken broth was also amazing.

Thursday

The theme today was Star Wars, with our team of the day being "May the Fork be With You." We had four of our campers dress up for it, which was super exciting! We started off by making Star Wars inspired mugs. Each camper got a mug and everyone shared paint pens. The mugs were full of light sabers, Yoda, Princess Leia, and outer space images. 

We moved on to  a camp favorite, Snack Wars. Campers were put into teams of two, each team receiving a banana, sunflower seeds, raisins, cookie butter, and pretzels. From these ingredients the teams must work to form a creature of some sort. They have to come up with a name, where it is from, and what it eats. We are consistently impressed by what our campers create. This week, Jane and Betsey made an impressive banana peel slide with their creature going down it. The photos couldn't possibly do it justice. Campers were awarded with a cookie for Best Overall, Best Teamwork, Most Creative, and Best Name. Obviously, everyone did an excellent job and, in the end, got to eat their creatures!

Following a very necessary trip to wash hands, we started cooking! Fitting with our Star Wars theme, we made turkey sliders on star-shaped buns. With this we had light sabers (carrots) with black bean dip. As always, we split up into four stations.

Station 1: Quartering carrots for the light sabers and cutting up lettuce for the turkey burgers. The baby carrots were difficult to chop with the plastic knives. 

Station 2: Making the black bean dip. This included beans, onions, garlic, cumin, lime, cilantro, and salt. Once all the ingredients were in the bowl, each camper got to try out the immersion blender to turn our chunky mix into a creamy dip. 

Station 3: Making the turkey sliders. We added breadcrumbs, garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire, pepper, and ground turkey to a bowl and mixed the ingredients together. Then everyone formed a patty with the meat, and these went straight into the oven to cook.

Station 4: Cutting the buns. We used wheat bread and a star shaped mold to form the top of the bun, and then made the bottom of the bun simply a square of bread. We coated these with oil, then put them in the oven to get toasted. With the scraps of leftover bread, we made breadcrumbs for the turkey sliders. Campers got to see the food processor in action to make the breadcrumbs. 

We headed outside just as it started drizzling. We had only put sunscreen on a few campers and had to head straight back inside. Despite the hiccup with the weather, we played Four Corners inside while the May the Fork be With You team assembled the plates. It was crowded, but everything got plated beautifully. The food was amazing, with practically universal thumbs up for the sliders!

Friday 

Camp ended on a high note with Pirate day, and our team of the day, The Black Sparrows. We commenced by making cookbooks. Each campers got a book with all of the recipes we made this week. They then decorated the cover and made modifications to recipes they wanted to improve, and noted the recipes they loved. Campers got each others autographs and made the counselors feel very special by asking for our signatures, too. 

Then, we played a game of Go Fish with fish cards. Each table got a desk of cards with names of various fish and seafood that had a match. We played Go Fish, trying to pair the fish cards. Campers learned many new kinds of fish through the game.

Then we got cooking! We made blackened tilapia with homemade salsa and homemade pita bread. Our four stations were:

Station 1: Making the spice rub and putting it on the fish. This included lots of spices, like paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. We then coated the raw filets so that Tara could pan fry them.

Station 2: Adding the ingredients for the salsa. This included lime, lemon, cilantro, grated onion (which led to a lot of tears), cumin, salt, and pepper. This was then combined with the veggies from station 3 to make the salsa.

Station 3: Finely chopping tomatoes and green pepper for the salsa. 

Station 4: Making pita bread. Campers learns about yeast, and then got to roll out the pre-made dough, which was just yeast, flour, water, and honey. These rolled out doughs got plopped in a 450 degree oven for around 5 minutes, and voila it was pita bread!

While the Black Sparrows plated the pita with salsa and fish and cleaned the room, everyone else headed outside for games. The plating went super fast, though so after a few fun games, including Chefs and Waiters, we got to head inside. 

The food was delicious! The fish was so flavorful, as was the salsa. Many campers had eaten pita bread before but never made their own, so it was very cool to see the bread. Thanks to all of our campers for a superb week!!