Evolving Camp Menus

If you’ve ever been to camp, then you know what s’mores are best made over a campfire, and that knish is the perfect side dish for a cookout or brisket meal. Campers who jump out of bed every morning and race to breakfast, hoping it’s an S Day Breakfast as well as those who can’t get enough of the pizza, know that camp food is as much a part of the camp experience as the activities. Like many other camp traditions, the menus at Camp Starlight constantly evolve to meet the current demands of campers.

One concern heavily influencing camp menus is the growing awareness to develop healthy eating habits early in life. Camp Starlight has introduced new and healthier menu items over the past couple of summers. Items such as Greek yogurt, hummus, guacamole and wraps are finding their way onto camp menus to enhance salad bars, longtime camp dining staples, and give campers and staff more nutritional options. Lite dressings are also appearing alongside regular ones and more fruit and vegetable choices are being offered. But the camp food revolution doesn’t begin and end at the camp salad bar.

Camp Starlight is increasingly using olive oil instead of vegetable oil and our new chef is playing around with herb and spice combinations to enhance the taste of food. This isn’t to say that some traditional camp favorites are disappearing off menus. Grilled cheese, pasta, and chicken fingers are all still very much camp fare. Camps are simply trying to make healthier versions of them by using fresher ingredients and fewer pre-packaged ones.

Campers are very enthusiastic about the recent trends in camp food. Today’s campers have savvy palates and they like that favorite foods which have traditionally not been available at camp are finding their way onto menus.  Meal times are important parts of camp each day. They are times for the camp to come together and dine as a family. They are times for singing, cheering, and catching up.  Perhaps that why camp food is such a key part of camp.

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