Enormous Benefit

Enormous Benefit

When asked what sets Camp Casey apart from other venues, we generally point out the scenic and historic location. Being surrounded by beach, forest, and wetlands helps sell the location, as does the vast open play field and swimming pool. What often escapes us is that our meal service is quite notable, and is often singled out by our campers. Yes, we get the standard “our students and teachers had a remarkable time” and “the staff were always cheerfully professional,” but frequently it’s our meal service that gets the attention.

Just this past month, we received written feedback from the Mercer Island High School Jazz retreat leader who reminded us that we shouldn’t take the quality of our meal service for granted. The feedback read, “I did wish to emphasize how much we appreciated the food provided to us for the weekend. Barbara and her crew were outstanding. We have a very picky population and her menus were an overwhelmingly delicious treat for every single one of us. That is an amazing feat. We so appreciate that added (enormous) benefit for visiting Camp Casey.” It was the phrase “enormous benefit” that stood out. It reminded us that what we may see as just providing good service, is something that our campers see as essential to their camp experience.

From the very start of our discussion with a group requesting information or a proposal, we include the meal service discussion. Understanding the specific meal requirements is a key ingredient to their successful stay. Camp Casey is committed to providing nutritionally balanced meals, and we take great care to address those with special dietary needs. Part of our coordination with the group leader is identifying not just how many special meals need to be made available, but getting as detailed as matching the special meal to the specific individual by name. Not as easy as it sounds when you consider preparing meal service for a group of 60, but we understand it’s what it takes to get it right.

Wonder what our campers can expect for dinner? How about adobo pulled pork with jasmine rice, glazed carrots, cornbread, salad bar, fresh fruit, and chocolate chip cookies. It’s noteworthy to add that our meals are homemade. Barbara and Fred Bennett, owners of ShoNuff Foods who provide our meal service, have a long tradition of cooking with passion and love. Barbara, a 12-year Navy veteran (Culinary Specialist), learned her culinary craft from her grandmother at an early age. Fred, who has a degree in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Seattle, has worked in the restaurant business most of his adult life but credits his mother for his passion for cooking. ShoNuff Foods is deeply rooted in family tradition.

When planning your next retreat or camp, be sure to pay extra attention to your group’s expectations for meal service. In the feedback we receive from our campers, it’s the secret ingredient for an outstanding experience.