Something’s cooking in Charles County camps
School system holds enrichment activities in culinary arts, other subjects for students during summer
Students are cooking up something special in Charles County Public Schools’ summer enrichment camps.
“Cooking Favorites” was one of 97 summer enrichment camps offered by the school system for six weeks this summer.
“We started out by asking teachers what they feel passionate about or what interests they would like to share with students, and from there we came up with proposals,” said Anne Taylor, CCPS content specialist for gifted and differentiated services.
Close to 1,000 students have taken part in the camps, Taylor said. Topics also include foreign language, math, robotics, creative writing, the “Harry Potter” novels and other topics.
“All of them have some type of learning involved, whether it be cooperative learning, reading strategies, interactive math,” Taylor said. “We wanted all of our camps to be
fun, but also engaging students in learning.”
“Cooking Favorites,” hosted at North Point High School, was geared toward fifth through eighth graders wishing to learn more about finding their way around the kitchen.
The camp, which ran for four weeks, focused on a different theme each week, such as breakfast, international cooking and desserts, said cooking instructor Diana Regis.
“We’ve done lessons on using the tools of the kitchen and how to measure, the importance of following directions, the abbreviations used, because cooking very much has its own language,” Regis said.
Taylor said many students signed up for the first week of the cooking camp and then registered for additional weeks.
Regis said she hopes students will develop a love of cooking and the ability to prepare food at home that is both enjoyable and nutritious.
“It also reinforces math skills, it reinforces science, because baking is essentially chemistry, and they get the instant payoff of, ‘It’s delicious, therefore I did it correctly’,” Regis said. “It also helps them become a little more self-sufficient, a little more independent, and not eating fast food all the time.”
Isabella Brown, 11, a sixth grader at Theodore G. Davis Middle School, said she signed up for the camp to learn more about cooking.
“I already knew how to cook a little bit, but I wanted to learn how to cook more things,” Isabella said. “My favorite part was when we made the pizza. It was really good, and it had cheese stuffed in the crust.”
Bradley Brown, 14, no relation to Isabella, is a rising ninth grader who will be attending North Point’s culinary arts program in the fall.
“Me and my mom were looking for a camp where I could do cooking during the summer, and found out about this,” said Brown, who plans to study culinary arts after high school.
Brown registered for all four weeks of the camp, and said his favorite part was learning how to cook different types of food.
“Last week, we made Korean barbecue wings, and I’ve never made something like that before,” Brown said. “All over these four weeks, I’ve learned how to make new things, I’ve learned how to use different tools, and I’ve tried lots of new things that I don’t think I would have tried.”
Eighth grader Rachel Degen and seventh graders Zamya Flucas and Leah Miles spread dough on a cooking sheet in the “Cooking Favorites” summer enrichment camp last week.