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Camp Food

Posted by on November 7, 2012

November begins the season of food with Thanksgiving’s feast followed by a multitude of Christmas goodies.

foil dinnerBy contrast, camp food often has a less-than-raving reputation, although I recall the food tasting pretty good when I lived at Lutherdale. Usually, the problem is when you’re on staff, you eat the same weekly menu from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Even pancakes, bacon and syrup tends to get old after 12 weeks of it. Well, maybe not the bacon.

Our big meal at noon usually involved roast beef, ham, pork roast or some other substantial item. Suppers were more casual with either a casserole or an outdoor meal. We had three outdoor meals during the week.

Tuesday was luau night. Long sheets of paper laid out on the grass served as tables and campers sat on either side of them. The luau menu included sloppy joes, shoestring potato chips, carrot and celery sticks, punch (aka bug juice) and brownies for dessert. Clean-up consisted of putting all the garbage on the sheets of paper, rolling up the paper and sticking it in the garbage cans. Pretty easy and much appreciated by the campers who were on KP duty. Back then, everyone took turns washing dishes and cleaning up.

Thursday night meant a picnic by the lake. We’d load the food onto pickup trucks and carry it down the hill to the picnic site. The hot dogs, potato chips, potato salad, carrots and celery sticks were spread out on tables for serving. A large pan of baked beans always occupied the tailgate of one truck and a counselor always hawked those beans to the wary teenage campers. “Beans! Beans! Get your baked beans right here!” The other pickup’s tailgate served dessert—fresh juicy watermelon. Since we were outside, there was usually a seed spitting contest going on somewhere. Somehow, with all the seeds that landed on the ground at that picnic site, we never had any watermelon plants sprout.

Wednesday night provided the most unique dining experience—foil dinners cooked in a boat. Literally. An old red aluminum rowboat that was no longer seaworthy sat on a trailer parked near the kitchen. The bottom of the boat held several layers of charcoal and metal grates had been fitted an appropriate height above the briquettes. As soon as the coals ashed over, 250-300 foil dinners were placed on the grates to cook. These days, I doubt the health department would allow such a cooking method but those foil dinners sure tasted good!

Any memories of  camp food–good or bad? Leave a comment and share a story with us.



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