The sugary drink made from mysterious powder – a fruit punch with no resemblance to real fruit – may be the only “food” generations of summer campers remember from their years in camp dining halls.
Today, parents from Camp Laurel and Laurel South are glad to hear that bug juice has gone the way of buggy whips.
Today too, campers are glad to drink water, 2% and skim milk, real lemonade and unsweetened iced tea. They also like having choices: fresh fruit, salad bars, homemade soups, grilled chicken. But they’re equally glad to see old standbys like chicken nuggets and make-your-own sundaes.
Kids today eat healthy. But they are still kids.
Menu planning at Camp Laurel and Laurel South is a constant balancing act. As children have grown more conscious of the right things to eat, we’ve evolved too. For example, we replaced canned peas with cut celery and carrot sticks (part of our popular veggie platters).
We offer barbecue chicken and fresh asparagus. Lemon chicken with brown rice. Turkey tacos with guacamole and corn chips. Baked chicken, matzo ball soup and knishes (Friday nights only!).
We’ve got multi-grain pancakes – most of the time. But we haven’t forgotten our “S Day breakfasts,” with chocolate chip and M&M pancakes.
There’s a 20-item salad bar, with 8 types of dressing. And a pasta bar. And a baked potato bar. And even a special smoothie bar for 2013!
Lewis (Camp Laurel) and Teddy (Laurel South) – our beloved chefs, whip up soups from scratch like corn and clam chowder, vegetable barley, chicken noodle, Italian lentil and cream of broccoli. But the sides of Saltines have been replaced with whole-grain crackers.
Canteen snacks are as anticipated as ever. We’ve added granola bars and healthy popcorn to the list.
Camp is still camp. If you sat with us for a meal, you’d be reminded in many ways of your own camp days and be impressed to find healthier options and variety.
But try as you might, you would not find one silver pitcher filled with bug juice.