Outdoor Cooking in your Own Kitchen!
If you were to survey a hundred campers about their favorite specialties, you would hear a variety of answers. Waterski would certainly be up there. As would ropes, horseback riding, radio, archery, and undoubtedly several activities from the arts center. But one that you would likely hear most is Outdoor Cooking, or OC.
OC has long been a hugely popular activity at Chi. Campers and staff love going there to cook a midday snack, a pre-EP treat, and the occasional late-night bite. It’s great to see everyone work together, learn how to use different tools and mastering techniques to create a dish with their friends. Sometimes when the staff get adventurous, they supply ingredients but no instructions or roadmap and let the campers battle it out in our own version of Chopped.
We’ve been transparent about our staffing this past summer. With very few international staff, our counselors pulled double duty and also served as specialists. They all did an admirable job and deserve another round of applause for helping make Chi happen this past summer. We have shared in the past that we try very hard to make lemonade out of lemons at Chi, and that is exactly what happened at OC this past summer, both literally and figuratively. We’ll leave you to explore the literal, but we’ll lay out a bit of the figurative here for you.
Picture the Cooper Family Outdoor Kitchen, redone fire circles, brand new pizza oven, and bustling with campers. Just a few specialists are there all day, with counselors rotating in and out as their schedule allows. How do you make this work? It may sound old school, but it really is quite simple- a cookbook! Our OC team worked during staff training to come up with recipes, test them out, and made their own cookbook so anyone leading the activities could step in and lead with confidence. After the summer, we heard of countless requests for the recipes, but not everyone has a bonfire to cook over. So the OC team went to work, converting all the recipes from an outdoor kitchen to an indoor one.
With a slight delay, we are so proud to introduce to you The 2021 Outdoor Cooking Cookbook! Use it to make a sweet treat, a savory side, or a bountiful breakfast. Whatever you make, be sure to rely on the experts, the campers who made these dishes all summer long. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!
And be sure to send us photos of your finished dishes!