I’d like you to picture, in your mind, an amount of food that would feed 1,600 hungry mouths. Now imagine how much time and energy and physical work it would take to prepare that much food.
The people pictured above did that every single day here at Camp for every child, staff member and guest that came down our sandy trails and into one of our two dining facilities… or took their food “to go” on a day trip or an Overnight.
On any given day our kitchen staff had up to 13 deadlines to meet… which means food being served at 13 different meal times, delivery locations or pick up times throughout a single day… not to mention many special individual diets and allergies to prepare for mixed in throughout the day.
Pictured above from left to right… starting with the front row… my Assistant Food Service Director, Chef Kimmie… Alma, Daly, Carolina, Mario… second row… Gary, Juan, Max and me… back row… Letty, Lore and Blanca. (Not pictured, Chef Candy)
Now, if you are someone who enjoys numbers, you might say each one of us was responsible for feeding 123 people every day… but that’s not exactly how it works. In a kitchen you must function as a team. As a well oiled machine. Each piece moving at pace with the others to move ever forward to the next mark… with Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.
And that’s how we do it here at Camp.
Every department… from the Front Office staff to the Counselors to the Maintenance and Housekeeping crews… and the Kitchen staff… all working diligently behind the scenes or on the front lines to make Camp a wonderful place for one and all.
To my Staff…
I couldn’t have asked for a more hard working, attentive, amazing group of people to have by my side. We had some bumps in the road… some almost unbearable sweltering days… a couple of stitches… but at the end of the day you always brought the magic. You are always ready with a smile… to fill someones water bottle… to fetch a bag of ice for a bumped knee… to make that fresh pot of coffee a tired Counselor might need as a pick-me-up… and of course, to serve up our awesome Camp fare.
As I look at the picture above that we snapped just a few short days ago at a moments notice after already serving hundreds of meals that day, your smiles warm my heart.
You all went above and beyond… not only for our Campers… but for me personally… and for that you have my undying gratitude.
From the bottom of my heart… Thank you.
P.S… As a rough estimate, between Gary, Kimmie, myself, Alma, Daly and Mario there is over 60 summers (and counting) of service to this YMCA here in the Pine Barrens of Medford, New Jersey, in that picture above… and hopefully we’ll get you all back next summer!