Food Health and Wellness

One of the most important parts of our job at camp is to keep everyone healthy, in every sense of the word. Our counseling staff constantly monitors how campers are feeling emotionally and our nurses do a wonderful job of making sure everyone is physically well.

As we all know, part of staying healthy is making good choices about what, when and how much we eat! Some of us struggle with this more than others, but we are all better off when we pay attention to the type of energy with which we’re fueling our bodies. To that end, here are some ways in which we’ve worked with our chefs to make our camp food healthier:

  • We no longer serve juice at every meal. Instead, there is orange juice at breakfast and lemonade once a week at cook-out. Otherwise, campers are encouraged to drink water.
  • We serve a “sweet dessert” or treat once a day. For example, if there is ice cream for snack, dessert is fruit. Or, if we’re having cake after dinner, snack may be a bag of pretzels.
  • Our chefs make almost everything we eat from scratch, which means there is less sugar and fewer preservatives in our food.
  • Our salad bar is filled with fresh vegetables and a variety of protein options.
  • A bowl of fruit is available to campers throughout the day.
  • We aim to keep our dining hall calm and relatively quiet, allowing for a less chaotic environment that is more conducive to conversation and slower eating.

Encouraging campers to make healthy food choices is not always easy and, at Akeela, we’ve made the philosophical choice not to make food a battle. This means that if a camper does not want to try the meal that’s being served and prefers to eat plain pasta, a hamburger, hotdog or PB&J (choices at every lunch & dinner), we will not argue with her. Likewise, if a camper wants more food at lunch, we’ll encourage him to try a salad but will not prevent him from having seconds of the main course.

As you can imagine, cooking for a community of over 200 people does not allow for individualized meal-planning or some of the foods you may make for your family. While we try to buy local produce, we are unable to source organic food. Moreover, cooking for such a large number of people, many of whom have “particular” tastes, means that we need to keep our menu items relatively simple and pleasing to a wide palate! We know that this means there are a lot of carbohydrates on the menu, which makes portion-control important for those campers who are sensitive to weight-gain. If this is the case with your child, we hope that you will have a conversation with them to discuss ways in which they may be successful. It is also helpful for our nurses to know that this is a concern.

Our counselors sit with their bunks for every meal which enables them to keep track of any campers who are not eating enough or who are making less healthy choices. They are then able to communicate with the nurses about their concerns. While we model healthy eating and encourage campers to make better choices, we also cannot strictly dictate what a child eats. We want to partner with you to help your child stay healthy in every way at camp and we hope you understand that for the 3.5 weeks your camper is with us, they may not eat the same way they do at home!

Family Handbook Table of Contents

  1. About Akeela & About CampGroup
  2. Camper Travel and Visiting Day
  3. Packing List & Baggage Shipping Information
  4. Purchasing Camp Clothing, Prohibited Items & Laundry
  5. Communication: Mail, Phone Calls & Parent Communication
  6. Health Care: Medications, Health Communication, Medical Charges, Other Health Concerns
  7. Food, Health and Wellness
  8. Electronics Policy
  9. Homesickness Prevention
  10. Success at Akeela
  11. Camper Code of Conduct
  12. Additional Activities and Trips
  13. “Open House” Orientation Day
  14. Driving Directions

Important Note for 2021

One of the reasons we have made this Handbook available on our website, rather than sending it by snail mail, is that we anticipate making changes well into the spring, as we learn more about how COVID-19 will affect our plans for this summer. To be clear, camp is definitely opening and we’re ready to keep our campers healthy and safe in any scenario. However, current conditions, as well as guidance from health professionals and the State of Vermont, might affect some of our programs, schedules, policies, etc.