A Happy and Healthy Summer

Ramah Darom6.6.13
By Geoff Menkowitz, Director of Camp Ramah Darom, and Todd Jones, Ramah Darom’s Executive Chef

In last year’s parent survey, many of our parents told us that their children need healthier options while they are at camp. We couldn’t agree more, and are pleased to tell you about several improvements we are making to our food offerings this year.

We have always been committed to nurturing our campers’ bodies and minds, and that includes providing them with healthy, kid-friendly food that they find enjoyable and nourishing. The camp environment is a natural haven from the onslaught of advertising and other factors which promote unhealthy food products. We are taking the opportunity this year to focus on creating a healthy camp environment in which delicious, nutritious options are widely available to  children while they are with us. Our efforts include:

  • An expanded organic gardening program: In addition to the organic garden in camp that our campers have been tending for years, this year we are leasing land just down the road on which we will establish a more expansive organic gardening program. Campers will grow – and eat – their own produce. We also will continue to source our produce locally when possible, which will help us reduce our carbon footprint and fill our kitchen with highly nutritious fruits and vegetables. We aspire to become a farm-to-table camp, and this is a first significant step toward that vision.
  • Shomrei Adamah Tuesdays: Each Tuesday our menu will represent our commitment to the Jewish value of being stewards of the land, and will feature food grown and sourced in a manner that is good for our bodies and the planet. The menu will include fresh produce, healthier snacks and vegetarian meals.
  • Healthier canteen: Twice a week children visit the canteen for special treats. This year, we will be offering healthy options including natural fruit juices and smoothies, granola, veggie chips and other snacks that are low in salt and sugar.
  • Healthy additions: We will be using more whole wheat flour in our pizzas and breads and increasing the variety of locally-grown vegetables on our salad bar and in our dishes.

As always, we will accommodate any and all of our campers’ specific nutrition needs and are very sensitive to allergies and special diets. We have had happy campers with nut, dairy, gluten, egg and other allergies over the years and are glad to offer them satisfying alternatives when necessary to provide them with the energy they need to enjoy our action-packed days at camp.

This is the beginning of a shift for us to bring our menus into alignment with the healthy lifestyle that is central to our Jewish values and life at camp. At the same time, we recognize that it will be a bit of a change for our campers. We hope you will join us in this effort, and encourage your child to make healthy food choices this summer.

We are committed to creating an environment in camp that is most nurturing for children’s physical, social and spiritual health, and look forward to providing them with their best summer yet!

General Manager Anthony Franklin getting our new garden ready for our campers!