Hello CulinaryCorps Friends,
Last summer, we landed on the shores of Lake Sebago with a small binder of lesson plans and a big can-do attitude. We can create a pop-up outdoor cooking classroom using a speed rack, a wood burning oven and our imagination. We can teach toddlers to adults how to make dough, roll sushi, press a tortilla, and chop properly. We can create a culinary program so entertaining it competes with the rock climbing, kayaking, mini-golfing and (of course!) video gaming for the hearts and minds of our campers. And we can put good food on every plate and a smile on every face for those who are dealing with the reality of cancer each and every day.
Our attitude paid off. When we departed one week later, we not only enriched the camp experience, we evolved our organization too. At its core, our 2013 Camp Sunshine trip was an experiment in sustainability. Our aim was to bring the same program to the same place at just about the same time to see if it would have the same (if not more) impact a second time ’round. Happily, we proved this hypothesis to be true. What we discovered is that a some-what predictable structure eliminates the first-timer chaos. Instead of figuring it out for the very first time, we connected on a deeper level with the campers, with each other, with the work that we do. Of course, this does not mean the amazing improvisational moments of a trip went out the window, for indeed those are what make our trips as impactful as they are memorable.
It’s clear we had a stellar team led by an equally stellar Trip Leader, Aimee Bariteau. She is the most qualified Trip Leader our organization has the pleasure of welcoming, and incidentally she is also the first Trip Leader (besides Christine Carroll, the founder) who has filled the role. With five trips under her belt, she defines what it means to be a CulinaryCorps chef. Knowing the trip was in such good hands—that each and every one of our chef-volunteers was unabashedly bringing their talents, energy and wisdom to the table—made all the difference in the world. We are lucky to call them all alums.
We are also lucky to have an amazing team of donors, supporters and sponsors. Every one of you (and if you have read this far you are certainly one of them!) means a tremendous deal to our organization. Thank you for helping us fill the “happiness well” for every camper, sibling and parent at Camp Sunshine, for these are the memories they will turn to throughout the year when their taps are running dry.
We look forward to continuing our global adventure at Camp Sunshine in the years to come. Until then, feel free to browse our trip’s photo gallery or read our daily recaps. And definitely read through the metrics below. It’s the closest we can come to capturing the magical moments we shared this year with the families, staff and volunteers of Camp Sunshine, all of whom we consider our heroes.
With all our thanks,
Christine Carroll and the 2014 CulinaryCorps Team
ps: Take a peek at our awesome Trip in Numbers!