Wednesday, June 25, 2014

a "chef-off" on a night that was supposed to be a washout

Rain drove all the village staffs under cover tonight, but Lincoln McLain (Adventure Director) and his staff, including Zach (Adventure Coordinator), were keen to teach how to lead a good overnight hike and campout anyway. So all around camp there were sessions being conducted on setting up tarps, devising activities for the campsite, and (of course) cooking. I was invited to join this three-team gang: Adventure Village staff, Adventure Trip leaders, and CIT coordinators. So these are the folks who will be doing this kind of camping and cooking a whole lot in the coming two months. Zach "gamified" the cooking plan. He announced a chef-off. Each group was giving a bunch of ingredients, plus oil and a stove, a pot, and a pan, and some utensils. Then, "go!" - they had an hour exactly to present a three-course meal - appetizer, entree, dessert. Bud Cox and I were dubbed judges. Below you have a video of Zach describing the rules, and below that some of the photos of the action and the results.

Once Bud and I judged the results, everyone dug in, happily. I had the distinct feeling that this summer the kids going on hiking and canoeing trips with these adventure leaders will be eating very well. Lincoln and Zach proved to them that cooking out on the trail can produce really tasty--and even spicy (we had a macaroni curry!)--meals.

Then it got dark and the rain came down in sheets. It pounded on the metal roof of the Halbe & Jane Brown Pavilion, and it was time for a re-naming ceremony. Those who were being inducted into these groups (I can't tell who were were - but let's just say we were deemed "new" to the adventure units) were to be given "knuck names." We had four-letter words drawn just above the knuckle of four fingers on each hand, and could not look at these two words. Held our hands behind our backs as every formed a circle around us. They we loudly announced, each in turn, "I used to be called such-and-such, and now my name is such-and-such." Parker Van Nostrand was now "Luck Shak." I am "Lucy Star" (very nice). It was a hilarious and actually, in a bizarre way, very beautiful thing to be told you are a friend of the adventure team in this whacky adventure-ish mode.