Saturday, August 5, 2017

Being a Kitchen Aide at Camp

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By: Kara S.


Last summer, I was given the wonderful opportunity to work as a Kitchen Aide at Pine Acres, a Girl Scout summer resident camp. Although Pine Acres is no longer open for camp, it was still an experience I will never forget.
To be a Kitchen Aide, you have to apply online through the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. You will need your personal information, a resumé, and professional references. You may then be called in for an interview with the camp director at the camp you applied to work at, where you talk about why you should be hired and what you would do in certain situations. A few weeks later, you will be notified whether or not you got the job. Then, there is some more paperwork you have to fill out before you can start working, but then the fun begins!
Being a part of the summer camp staff was so much fun. I loved being able to work with the campers in many different environments. It was definitely a learning experience in so many ways, and I am thankful for the skills I learned.
The main job of a Kitchen Aide is, of course, working in the kitchen. When I was at camp, there were two other Kitchen Aides working the same weeks I was. We each worked 2 meals a day. We would have to go to the dining hall about an hour before the meal started to start setting out the food so that we could easily serve it when the campers came. After serving the meal, we would stay after until all the dishes were clean, the food put away, the spills cleaned up, and the trash taken out, and then that meal was complete!
When we weren’t in the kitchen, we were allowed to go to whatever “camptivity” (the nickname given to the different activities at camp) we wanted. I spent a lot of time at the waterfront and at the different crafts. This was a great time to meet the campers and exercise my leadership skills. I also enjoyed being able to hang out with the campers during their turtle time (what we call our free time at camp) and bedtime. I could share my counselor experience with the CITs (counselors in training) so that they had more of an insight on camp life, and I could help the smaller campers get ready for bed.
Spending so much time with the other Kitchen Aides allowed us to really get to know each other. I will always remember the crazy things we did when we were getting the meal ready or walking around camp. I always find it amazing how you can meet a new person, and then find out you have so much in common. We really were a few crazy girls, and that made my two weeks there even more fun.
            I also had a great time with the other counselors. After the campers went to bed, we would stay up for another hour or two just talking about life and our experiences. The counselors there were from all around the country, like Chicago, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, and of course Georgia; we also had counselors who lived overseas in England and Wales. These counselors were also crazy and were willing to make a fool of themselves for the sake of camp. They also knew how to make a homesick camper feel at home while still being responsible for the other campers.
            Being a Kitchen Aide was the highlight of my summer. I will never forget the people I worked with and the experiences I was a part of. If you ever get the chance to be a Kitchen Aide, I would highly recommend it. It’s like getting paid to camp, and it was so much fun!

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