As most of you know, camp is a big part of my family’s life. Like, really big. So rather than talk your ear off about the different aspects of camp and the camping industry, what it’s like to growing up at such a place, some of the trials or bonuses of being involved in such a ministry, or even the different kinds of camps in general, I’m gunna keep it simple today. One camp. One job. Lots of pictures.
Just over a year ago, my immediate family started trickling down to Princeton, BC. More specifically, the Young Life camp located 15 minutes outside of P-town, Rockridge Canyon. This is a pretty brand new camp, just 8 years old, with an amazing story already. You can explore their website more here, because I’m not gunna touch much on the camp in general today.
Instead, we’re gunna talk about food.
For three of the four months I was down south, I too, worked at RockRidge. I was the Dining Hall Hostess, which is very similar to a maitre-d at a restaurant, or a work crew boss at a summer camp.
I was totally blessed to work under my aunt (Food Services Manager) and with two of my cousins who were interning there as well! Rae made all the delectable goodies in the bakery and Miss M. played me a lot of Justin Beiber songs, much to my dismay.
A typical day would involve anywhere between 4 and 13 hours of work and 5-17km of walking! Yes, I calculated! (Or rather, the pedometer did.)
There are three different dining rooms at RockRidge. One for staff that seats up to 45, a mid-sized but upscale dining room in Wolf Creek Lodge that seats 88, and the Pinnacle Dining Room, which has a capacity of I think 400. Generally the groups I worked with were around 40-100 people, though we did have some larger and smaller ones as well.
Oh Hey! There’s me and Andy!
Andy was the other head cook, who works with my aunt. He’s from Britain and says words like “Mate” and “Rolls”. He’s lots of fun, and a good boss; A pleasure to work with.
See that buffet too? Isn’t it beautiful? Well actually, the perfectionist in me says it isn’t really. This picture was taken before the meal was ready to go, and I can spot five things that need to be fixed or done before the meal start. Can you?
This was a major part of my job: The buffet table. Me and my crew of helpers each week would set up the buffet table and replenish each dish as it got low, as well as set tables and general dining room care. Coffee stations, floor mopping, and refilling the juice machine was pretty much the world I lived in! I would also take care of any special dietary needs or guests’ concerns. More water? I’m there. You’re a lactose vegetarian? Not a problem. A celiac with a nut allergy who can’t eat anything that’s purple or starts with the letters A, M, C or R? We’ll have an alternative in just a moment!
Life lesson #38: The trick to pleasing people is to smile lots. Really.
Proof? Offers of being set up with guests’ sons was a regular occurrence. *Shudder*
The other trick to pleasing people is to serve them dessert like chocolate mousse with strawberries on top.
That usually works pretty well too.
I really did enjoy my job though. At least most days! Some mornings were hectic, and it gets tiresome training new people only to have them leave as soon as they start to really pull together, but it was a joy to serve so many people and interact with different staff members, work crews, and guests. I loved working with the guests and hearing all their feedback firsthand. From cute little grannies who compliment the hollondaise sauce, to the man who gave me a fist pound every time I brought him hot sauce, to tiny boy in grade 6 who said ‘good soup’, I enjoyed them all. Actually, that’s a total lie. I enjoyed most of them, haha. It’s not my life’s calling (I hope!), but it was a pretty decent 3 months.
Thanks RockRidge, for giving me a job : ) Thanks Jesus, for making RockRidge. It’s a pretty incredible place.
And because everybody loves pictures, here’s some more! Photo credit to RockRidge’s website for all the good ones, haha.
So if you’ve never been, come down and visit! The guest room is empty, seeing as I’m gone. It’s definitely worth a stopover to tour – or a maybe a weekend family reunion or a work conference? The facility is gorgeous and I’m telling you, the service staff just can’t be beat! ; )