The Great Camp Cook-Out Cook-Off — A Delicious Competition

On August 13, 2015, Easter Seals Alberta’s Camp Horizon hosted The Great Camp Cook-out Cook-off.  The event was part of the Easter Seals and Canada Safeway Feeding Ability program—an initiative focused on educating and informing children and families of all abilities about nutrition, healthy food choices and cooking in a fun and interactive way.  The program also included a fundraising campaign in Canada Safeway stores in June that raised more than $272,000 for Easter Seals.

“Through the generosity of Safeway and their customers, more kids will get to experience the magic of summer camp,” said Susan Boivin, CEO of Easter Seals Alberta.  “Camp is a life-changing place for these kids—it gives them a feeling of independence, it raises their self-esteem and it provides them with a new level of confidence that carries into their everyday lives.”

The Carabiner Cookbook

Each camper received a Carabiner Cookbook containing important nutritional information and a number of great healthy recipes for at camp and at home. View the carabiner cookbook (PDF)

In recognition of their fundraising efforts during this summer’s Feeding Ability campaign, seven Safeway Charity Captains from the top fundraising stores in Southern Alberta were invited to participate in the event.  They were joined by youth from Easter Seals Camp Horizon’s Leadership camp in a delicious competition to cook the best camp meal using only the ingredients provided.

Teams were given two of the new Safeway Compliments burger patties to prepare, ensuring the burgers were properly cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.  Teams also had 60 seconds to choose additional ingredients from the Compliments table—vegetables, buns, seasonings, sauces and fruit were carefully selected to garnish the burgers and create side-dishes.

Teams had only 40 minutes to plan, prepare and plate their delectable creations, ensuring that safe food handling practices were properly followed throughout the process.

Once their mouth-watering masterpieces were cooked to perfection, teams were judged on their culinary creations, with points awarded in four categories including: flavour, healthiness, presentation, and creativity.  Judges included: Betty Kellsey, Public Affairs Manager, Safeway Operations; Madison Pinder, Public Affairs Coordinator, Safeway Operations; and Patti Brewin, Director of Campaign, Easter Seals Alberta.

After much discussion and a difficult deliberation, the judges made their decision and awarded the “Golden Flipper” to the winning team, who took the title by the slimmest of margins.

“I can’t believe we made that, and I can’t believe we won” said Nicole Wuetherick, Easter Seals’ 2015 Youth Ambassador (Southern Alberta) and Leadership camper, of her team’s winning creation. “Thank you Safeway – for making camp so tasty!”

At the end of the day, The Great Camp Cook-out Cook-off provided a fun and educational experience, engaging campers to think about how proper nutrition and healthy food choices at an early age in life lay the foundation for lifelong healthy eating habits—something that is especially important for those with health issues and disabilities.