Dec 4, 2015

Tamakwa’s Food Fight

For the past few years I have taken up a small space in our annual South Tea Echo newspaper to outline “Margot’s Changes”; a summary of new and exciting food and environmentally friendly changes that have been made at camp each year .

In my closing paragraph of my 2014 article where I outlined my newest quest to change one of our three weekly tuck treats to something a bit healthier, I wrote: “Tamakwans, you have partially won this battle. Sommersaults will not be served at cookouts in 2015 however, you won’t be seeing the return of traditional tuck in your mail bag either. Thus, the search continues for healthier treats … Tamakwa 2015, here I come!”.

Well, I held to my word and Sommersaults did not return, my quest for healthier treats definitely continued and so too did a slew of other exciting changes for campers and staff of Tamakwa 2015. As mentioned, each year in my article I briefly outline some of the changes I’ve made and the success (or lack thereof) amongst the masses. What I often omit from my article however, is WHY I am constantly reworking and changing. While I have made small steps forward each year, this past summer saw more of a leap! The change wasn’t really in the quantity of items I changed but the quality and process behind the changes.

This past Spring, I set out by contacting a bunch of companies directly and shared my vision for what I one day hope to achieve at Tamakwa. This vision is to create an incredible camp environment that holds true to all the traditions, camp spirit, history, amazing counseling, activities, growth and so much more that Tamakwa has encompassed for 80 years AND to also be a camp at the forefront of healthy eating. We, as parents, love that our kids are out of hot, smog-filled cities for the summer and have the opportunity to breath clean, fresh Algonquin air.

We cherish the stance Tamakwa upholds on no technology. We applaud our amazing activities and tripping program that is unlike any other camp, yet, we don’t necessarily demand the same high standards for our kids’ insides. Why is that? Parents often say to me, “it’s just camp Margot, let them eat whatever they want”. Well, it’s true, it is camp and they should have fun and eat great food but why does it have to be food loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other preservatives? What I have actually discovered over the past few years is that most campers, if given the choice, would actually prefer some wholesome, healthy options every day. Of course most, like myself, still want a great home baked treat but they are just that, HOMEMADE, without ingredients like corn syrup and preservatives.

Our salad bar is by far the most popular part of our camp menu and the demand for more fruit, not just at breakfast and our beloved Tootsie Frootsie, is always voiced. We love our treats, we love our snacks, we love our tuck, so let’s keep it all but just improve the quality of ingredients used for each of these. And this, in a nut shell, was and continues to be my latest food mission….to work alongside some amazing companies such as Sweets from The Earth, Enjoy Life, Rawfoodz, Matt’s Munchies, Lundberg, Gimme Seasnacks, Simply Protein, One Degree, and GoGo Quinoa, just to name a few. My mission is to continue to source food that is wholesome, non-GMO and still TASTES GREAT! Serve food that kids will love to eat and parents will love to know about. Oh, but don’t ask our campers for the secret ingredient in this year’s Chocolate muffins, the thrill of eating zucchini wasn’t quite as thrilling for them as it was for me!

Stay tuned 2016 Tamakwans, these are the days you’ve been waiting for, these are the days of Margot’s Food war!

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