Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cooking Camp

The Kids Cooking Corner is Vancouver's only Culinary School for Kids, housed in a quaint little farm house, painted bright colors inside and out. Founded by Heidi OConnor, they are a Non-Profit and depend on volunteers and donations to help in their gardens and to keep their school running. They even host Birthday Parties, whatever theme you like.

I spent most of this week volunteering at their Cooking Camp Griffin was attending. When he and I met the founder and owner of The Kids Cooking Corner at Dozer Days a few months ago, he was really excited go to a camp where he could cook, garden, and do crafts all week long (three of our favorite things). They even planned to make Fairy Gardens, similar to the one we made last year.

I have been volunteering for the past few months, helping them plant their gardens and plan their first Summer Camp. I got a local nursery to donate a van full of tomato and pepper starts, so they can grow plenty of their own veggies for making tomato sauce and salsa this fall, and not spend as much on produce for their classes.

Having spent many years working day camps myself, I sat down with the owner and her to help them sketch out a basic plan for their week long camps this summer. We came up with a different country for each day of the week with foods and crafts to tie into the themes, and several fun field trips. I agreed to drive my van for the field trips for all three weeks of their camps, and help out with anything else they needed during the week my son was attending the camp.

As it turned out, this past week while Griffin was attending Camp, both the teachers were sick all week. 'Driving the field trips' turned into helping out all day for three days! I led half the kids in crafts, nature walks, and harvesting from the garden while 'Miss Heidi' had the other half in the kitchen busy cooking everything from pizza and sweet'n'sour pork to pancakes and cinnamon rolls (Griffin thought it was very strange to get dessert for breakfast).

It has been many years since I taught kids craft classes at day camps and Michaels Stores, although I have organized a number of craft events for our local MOMS Club. But I had a blast helping the kids make bracelets, a totem pole, painting, tie dyed tshirts, and memory books. Griffin figures I should start my own camp. But maybe I will just start with a Creative Arts class for Willow and a Campfire Group for Griffin, and their friends.

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