Is A Dining Service Right For Your Camp?

Do you ever worry about the safety of the food and the increasing number of allergies? The dining services are the experts and have numerous resources, such as access to health departments and dietitians. Both Kandle’s and Creative’s lead cooks are ServSafe-trained. Beyond ServSafe certification, both companies send their employees to workshops and conferences and hold numerous in-house training sessions. In addition, Kandle displays an allergy board in the dining hall that lists all the food at the meal and the ingredients to raise awareness for potential allergies. Both dining services also work with camp directors to provide all of the essential information to meet the American Camp Association standards and health department requirements.

What Are The Benefits Of Running A Self-Operated Kitchen?

Mike McGinty, executive director of Camp Joy in Clarksville, Ohio, has enjoyed working with a local kitchen staff because it is a great way for the camp to connect with the community. Being employed by the camp, the staff has a better understanding of the camp mission and how the food service connects to the bigger picture. Executive Director Jeff Merhige of the YMCA of Greater Dayton’s Camp Kern has enjoyed working with both contracted services and with self-operated kitchens, and sees the main benefit of self-operation is tighter expense control.

Although a dining service may not be for every camp, it could be right if you are nodding in agreement to the questions above. A wise man once said, “You can run a mediocre program and have great food, and the group will come back, but if you have an excellent program and horrible food, you may lose the group to another camp.” To learn if a dining service might be right for your camp, contact Leslie Gebhart of Kandle Dining at 888-591-6167 or Steve Renz of Creative Dining at 616-748-1700 or

Amy Thompson is the Camps and Retreats Director at Camp Joy (Joy Outdoor Education center) located in southwest Ohio. Amy also is the Education Co-Chair for the American Camp Association Ohio Section. She can be reached via e-mail at

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Related posts:

  1. Dining Hall Design And Kitchen Layout
  2. Outside Flavor
  3. The Camp Kitchen
  4. There’s No Such Thing As A Special Diet
  5. Camp Cookin’ Recipe File

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