Never underestimate the power of food. It keeps us going, helps us celebrate and adds a dose of happy to whatever comes our way.
Feeding a crowd of 350 boys and men is an intimidating undertaking, especially when we’re talking three meals per day. As soon as our talented kitchen staff finishes cracking and cooking 800 eggs, it’s time to slice 36 tomatoes, 42 green peppers and dozens of other vegetables for the lunch time salad bar. In between they’re sweeping and cleaning, and then it’s time for turkey dinner – Thanksgiving meal, once a week. That’s 20 turkeys, 80 pounds of potatoes, an oven filled with stuffing and 40 pounds of fresh green beans.
The mountain of pots and pans is staggering, and they’re scrubbed till they shine. After all, we have a reputation to keep. “One of the cleanest commercial kitchens”, we’re told by inspectors.
Our kitchen crew is truly dedicated to Skylemar. It makes them proud when the kids love the food, which they do. And no matter the weather, the meal has to happen. It’s 30 degrees hotter in front of the ovens and dishwasher, but that’s how they roll.
Lucky for them, the JC’s did a rain dance at the Campfire last night. It was a really funny skit which apparently had magical powers. After a day of off-and-on showers, the temps cooled drastically. It was a pleasure to put on a sweatshirt this evening.
Evening Activity was our 70th Anniversary Spirit Night. This time we turned it around, with ice cream first (Skyfavorite Choco Tacos) and camp songs second. We watched a video about our founders Herb and Lee, produced by alum Bruce Fink. The kids were spellbound and silent, watching the old footage and truly listening to every word said. Here are some excerpts:
Skylemar was born in the dreams of two of the greatest guys the world has ever seen. They let us play and compete as hard as we wanted, they respected and gloried in who we were – joyful, exploring kids. All they asked is that we be as kind and caring with each other as they were with us.
When we messed up they guided us with love. They trusted us to make things right again, so we did. And we loved them for that trust and we never wanted to disappoint them.
Today we still try to take care of each other the way they wanted us to, with mindfulness, compassion, empathy, warmth, kindness and love. Every time I see guys putting an arm around a friend’s shoulder I feel Lee giving me a hug. Whenever a counselor inspires a new found confidence, I know Lee and Herb are still here.
And anytime one of you takes time out from celebrating a win to lift the spirits of someone who lost, it will be because Lee and Herb are still the heart and soul of Camp Skylemar.