Monday, July 27, 2009

More Photos from the Kitchen

It wonderful to see the progression in campers over the 3-week camp period. They are more willing to attempt new skills in cooking and more accomplished at the basics of chopping. Every day, they learn about a different type of food and they are therefore always asking questions of chef instructors on new techniques. Learning new skills and getting better at chopping, sauteing and baking build confidence in the campers. They often have to work together to gather components of a recipe and are always communicating with their counselors and instructors to stay on task.





The Children's Farm at the Center

For our last summer field trip, we took the campers to a farm south of Chicago named The Children's Farm at the Center. The day was spent learning about different farm animals and how they are raised. The campers got to touch chickens, rabbits, lambs, and many other species. We enjoyed a warm day and took a tour of the land on a hay ride.














For more images of our field trip, check out our Flikr album here

Learning the Paso Doble

Although Common Threads is focused on nutrition and balanced eating, we also encourage campers to create healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity. Each week of camp, they learn a new style of "movement". Through studying African dance, yoga, and the paso doble, our campers are immersed in a different culture. The food, classroom lessons and recipes all tie into a region of the world. We hope to create an environment that exposes children to new aspects of a foreign culture and encourages acceptance.

These photos are the the paso doble session of movement. Like Spanish bull fighters, the campers stood tall and proud while practicing this traditional routine.







Skewered Veggies


Chef Instructor Josh Katt shows the campers how to make kabobs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mini World Fest at Common Threads

These photos are from the last day of the first session of summer camp. This day is called World Festival and is an opportunity for the campers to invite their families to enjoy food from different regions of the world and to show off their cooking skills.

The menu included food from four different places: Hawaii, Sweden, Japan, and France. Some of the favorite dishes from the buffet included: ratatouille, sushi, coconut shrimp and crepes with a strawberry reduction.

The lunch was finished with a wonderful treat from Berry Chill, who provided their fresh and tangy frozen yogurt that is a healthy alternative to ice cream.









In addition to cooking, students learn about different regions of the world through classroom activities. The crafts they made throughout the camp were displayed on the last day for their families.

While studying India, campers created a large batik mural by compiling wax drawings.


The campers each made and decorated a mask while studying Africa. Each mask was accompanied by a short story, written by the camper.

It was a bittersweet goodbye, to see all of the familiar faces exit camp for the last time this summer; however, we have a lot to look forward to as a new group of kids walk through the door on Monday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Campers do Yoga





Quaker Oats

Thanks to Quaker who provided Common Threads with enough oats to send every one of our campers home with a container of freshly made granola!


Guest Chefs at Summer Camp


Phillip Foss, who made chicken picada and a caesar salad with the kids.



Carol Watson, chef of Milk and Honey




A big group from Whole Foods joined us, too!


And Stephanie Izard





Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stephanie Izard visits Common Threads

Thanks to the photographer, Tommy Blue.

More photos to come!