Tasty Camper Meals - Large Dining Hall at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki can food over 100 campers.

Large Dining Hall at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki can feed over 100 campers who always enjoy tasty camper meals.

When it comes to tasty camper meals, most parents and good cooks also wonder about what’s healthy. We’ve got a large Camp kitchen up at Wa-Ri-Ki, and if you’re lucky, your group will bring some great cooks up to prepare meals.  Then there are snacks, and we know parents always wonder what’s the best thing to send along with the kids.  So we reviewed some camper sites for tips.

We jumped over to the Jamie Cooks it Up site to see what chef Jamie has to say about cooking for large groups (we have a large grill, ovens, and full prep space). It can take a knack to plan healthy, tasty camper meals, but Jamie’s got you covered:

“This time of year I always receive a ton of emails with questions about feeding large groups. Must be the coming summer season and its grand number of Girls Camps, Youth Conferences and Family Reunions. I put a post together to share with you all today, with some tips, sample menus, recipes and information about planning and cooking food for large groups. “

Tasty food for campers at Kiwanis Camp Wa-Ri-Ki on the Washougal River

What’s cooking at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki? Cooking for Carson Outdoor School.

Jamie then provides some recipes and more sage advice:  “remind yourself that all kinds of people do not love all kinds of foods. There will certainly be a variety of taste buds invited to enjoy your food. It helps to use menu items that allow people to “build their own” plate of food. For example, serving a Taco Bar with a couple of kinds of protein (i.e., …shredded Mexican chicken, and ground beef taco meat) and tons of different toppings will appease many.”

Mom Goes Hiking site has some great advice for campers’ meals. “When backpacking or thru-hiking, you need foods which are loaded with calories but still light enough to carry.  That’s why you’ll find so many hikers eating Fritos for dinner.”  We think this advice is good for camp snacks too.

Of course, most groups do their cooking at our large dining hall, but it’s important to keep an eye on what your kids pack for snacks.  “When planning your backpacking meals, you want most of your calories to come from carbs.  The next biggest chunk of calories should be from fat and the remaining from protein,” Diane at Mom Goes Hiking, goes on to recommend.  The fat and protein advice is a good breakdown for camp cooks, as well.  The best snack in between is?  Nuts and trail mix, advises Mom Goes Hiking.  Yes, they add some fat calories, but kids will burn that off.  There’s a full list of “calorie-dense backpacking foods” including types of nuts and their relative calories for Mom’s to pack and camp cooks to serve as snacks along with some other accompaniments like granola.

Camp Chef Flat Top Grilling – Chicken, Potatoes & Brussel Sprouts

There’s a large grill in Wa-Ri-Ki’s kitchen so we thought we’d end with a video and some advice from camp chef Larry on how to grill up a large meal for hungry campers.

Camp Wa-Ri-Ki continues to undergo renovations including recent dorm updates for bunk beds and extensive remodeling for the bathrooms and showers.  We’re also adding a new online store for affordable camp shirts and plan some fun promotions in the near future.  Future?  The Camp board has some grand plans in the works — stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter today.
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