Tag: cooking camp

Cooking at Camp Weequahic

10982417_10153191453101419_4703919330874546619_oOne of the perks about sending your child to Camp Weequahic that nobody mentions to parents is that it is very realistic to send your child away for the summer and get a private chef when they return. Your child who only knew how to make a sandwich or had no idea how to boil water could come back as a baking, sautéing, mixing foodie who has a newfound appreciation for seasonings, sauces and the magic that can happen in the kitchen. This transformation begins when kids take advantage of the cooking programs at camp.

TopChef is a specialized culinary program, taught by specialists with a wide range of experiences. The state-of-the-art facility gives kids the tools, appliances and space to create their favorite dishes and learn a few new ones.

Encouraging your child to explore their culinary side not only ensures your get to try some of their creations once they return home, but also teaches them valuable life skills. Cooking is not just throwing ingredients together and waiting until it’s edible. Cooking is an art, and a way for students to express themselves. The thought, preparation, and emotion that goes into cooking is something many children find challenging but rewarding. They also learn valuable skills such as time management, following directions, and communication, and cooking also perfects math and science skills in a way that is fun and different.

When your child is able to start and finish a project in the kitchen, their self confidence grows and they become more self assured and willing to try new things that seem out of their comfort zone. When they are active in the kitchen and learn about the things that go into their food, they are also learning about making healthy choices when it comes to what they eat. When they cook, they learn to appreciate the bright, fragrant colors and smells of fresh vegetables and fruits, and introduce their pallets to healthy and fresh ingredients.

Cooking also gives kids a sense of purpose, and gives them something they feel they can contribute to the family. Once the family takes a bite of their famous mac and cheese or savory French Onion soup and can’t get enough, they’ll feel accomplished and that they have a valuable quality to contribute to family functions. Even if they just learn basic cooking skills, the importance of cleaning up after yourself, and how to measure properly, they will be ahead of most of their microwave dinner eating peers.

Whether your child is a TopChef in the making, or is just starting to show interest in the kitchen, cooking at camp is a great way for kids to explore the culinary arts and learn an appreciation for all things baked, fried, mixed, chopped, flambéed, and grilled.



Camp Creativity

It’s a great joy to see young people create something fun with their own hands from lumps of clay, blocks of wood, or bits of string. Each day, girls and boys build confidence by creating something new, bond with their new friends across the crafts table, and interact with teachers who have creative flair and patient, encouraging words.

However, no matter in which creative studio they play, Camp Weequahic campers get to explore, learn, and create in ways not often enjoyed at home or school.

The Arts Studio provides a number of options for campers to enjoy. In the hub of our creative commons, campers explore jewelry and candle making, drawing, painting and more. The attached ceramics studio allows for time on the pottery wheel as well as hand creations, molds, and more. Sometimes, campers enjoy projects they’ve done before. However, more often than not, they are challenged to create in ways and methods they’ve never tried. These creative fits and starts lead to understanding and, later, confidence.

Creativity at Camp Weequahic is not only confined to our well loved Arts and Crafts studio. The newly improved woodshop offers campers of all ages treats and challenges. A flotilla of boats were created by Junior Boys while the girls built enough birdhouses to fill the woods.

One of our Senior campers built his own lectern (which he used as the head announcer of the Weequahic Basketball League) while a rising 7th grade girl built an Adirondack chair that many thought could only have been built by the woodshop staff. The creations flowed out of the woodshop all summer – and we can’t wait to see what the kids create for Summer 2014.

Not to be outdone, campers in our newly developed Top Chef facility created scrumptious meals of omelets, pad thai, spring rolls, handmade pasta, s’more cookies and more. Not only did they enjoy making these dishes, but they enjoyed sharing them with their friends, especially those next door in CW Designs, our fashion design studio.

Whether making pajama pants in CW Designs, a mini-desk for their bunk bed in woodshop, or bracelets for friends in Arts and Crafts, Weequahic campers create and laugh and learn every day!

Top Chef!

This summer, Weequahic’s Top Chef Kitchen is where it is at…with the newly renovated kitchen, equipped with four professional cooking stations, campers can’t seem to get enough of the fantastic offerings. Designed to meet the ever-growing interest in cooking, Cole and Kate created a top-of-the-line facility adorned with ten burners, four microwaves, three ovens, two dishwashers and a sub zero with enough space to accommodate as many as 24 campers, both boys and girls alike.

Designed with the older camper in mind, the experienced and inspired staff teaches
a variety of skills, including use of knives, fire, safety and more. The goal of Top Chef is to expand campers’ insatiable palate by introducing them to a wide array of healthy and easy to prepare foods that can be replicated at home.

Campers are not only responsible for preparing the ingredients, but for the cooking and baking, as well. And, a definite highlight for the parents at home, the campers are cleaning too! The staff is providing an engaging environment where the boys and girls are challenged. They are quickly becoming adept at using the kitchen’s equipment, collaborating with one another, as well as experimenting with new ingredients.

Some of the featured menu items have been: veggie spring rolls, fettuccini alfredo, sushi, omelets, mac n cheese muffins, loaded nachos and tacos and more – the list goes on! Campers enjoy the relaxed and cool atmosphere (literally best AC on camp), cooking with friends and devouring amazing food.

So, when campers returns home, break out the chef hat and apron and put them to work!