Camp Food, Menus & Meals
Nutritious and Delicious! Alpengirl’s healthy, balanced camp menus go way beyond satisfying hungry active girls at camp. They nourish all that is "CAMP". Food is our foundation at Alpengirl. We eat it at least 3 times each day and it is the camp activity that we spend the most time on together! Summer camp food is so important to the camp experience at Alpengirl that we've created our own summer camp cookbook. Many of our camp meals are prepared from this cookbook, and girls are actively involved in cooking and serving camp meals each day.
Summer Camp Food
Alpengirl's goal is to set a new standard in summer camp food. Our meals are designed to be balanced, comprised of whole foods, and nutritionally sound. A healthy assortment of vegetables and protein sources are deliciously arranged to make each meal at Alpengirl as memorable as the adventures they fuel. Recipes are only served one time during a trip so there is always a new, tasty meal to be eaten and plenty of healthy snacks to go around.
Healthy and Nutritious
Alpengirl promotes healthy fat consumption, avoids hydrogenated oils, and promotes a very limited use of processed sugar. Inclusion of sugar comes in the natural forms contained in fruit, honey, or maple syrup. We do make exceptions when we celebrate birthdays, and when we enjoy chocolate and GORP during backpacking and when we have s'mores!
All meals are well-balanced and include a variety of grains, proteins, fruits, and vegetables. We provide every girl the opportunity to fill up on the needed amounts of protein, fiber, and calories.
We encourage our girls and camp staff to appreciate each meal based on the process of how food gets to our table: from its origins, to how we select and purchase each item, to the way in which we prepare and cook each meal, and, of course, to the shared experience of eating together.
The Shared Meal Experience
Alpengirl places significance on the shared meal experience. Each girl attending a camp session has an opportunity to prepare, cook, present, and serve a meal. Presentation of and serving meals are integral to the feeling of ownership that the girls have over their culinary adventures, and are just as important as the actual consumption of the meal. If the meal is presented well and served with pride, everyone’s experience is enhanced.
On most sessions, half of the menu is pre-planned by camp staff; the girls are involved in selecting a majority of foods and meals for the remaining menu.
Near the middle of a typical camp session, girls will work as a team to plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert for approximately half of the session with help from the Alpengirl camp cookbook and Alpenguides.
The 1 week Lil's Camp menus are nearly all pre-planned with a few meal or food selections saved for girls to pick during camp.
We never eat the same meal twice at camp and therefore, we are introduced to a variety of foods with different colors, textures and flavors. Many girls have joined Alpengirl, tried a new food, and LOVED it! We vary our meals by rotating grains, vegetables, protein sources and fruits. One day we’ll have pasta; the next, quinoa. We’ll offer carrots and cucumbers, or yellow bell peppers (or even all three!) We encourage all girls to become a “Food Adventuress” and try a little of everything that their fellow Alpengirls have prepared.
Sustainability in the outdoors is something that we’re passionate about. In striving for sustainability, we try not to waste food. We ask that girls try a little bit of something before taking a whole serving, and we encourage everyone to finish what is already on her plate.
Our goal is to please everyone at camp with the meals and food options. While we realize that reaching that goal can be difficult to accomplish at every meal, we’ll continue to try!
At Alpengirl, we turn typical foods into fresh and delicious camp meals! We go beyond the average French toast and make it Raspberry Stuffed French Toast! For a new twist on an old favorite, we add honey, currents and shredded carrots to peanut butter and jelly and it becomes Pumped Up PB & J. Crepes at camp? We can do it! With Alpengirl, we have come up with a way to prepare fresh strawberry crepes in the great outdoors!
Picky eaters should come to camp with a “yes” attitude. They should be prepared to expand their comfort zone and ask for what they need.
Although our Alpenguides do have many superpowers, none of them are mind readers (yet!) Girls must feel comfortable telling us what they need and we’ll try our very best to make alternate arrangements for their meals. If girls are still hungry after a meal is served, they should know that they will be fed. What we don’t want is girls leaving camp feeling hungry or dissatisfied with their culinary experience. Therefore, girls MUST verbalize their needs.
Each Alpengirl should leave a meal feeling satisfied and energized for camp activities, but not feeling “stuffed to the gills.” Seconds are almost always available on main dishes. We rarely serve seconds on desserts.
Snacks vs. Meals
We have healthy snacks available daily during camp such as carrot, apples, granola bars, and pretzels. However, due to the nature of our outdoor traveling camp, girls should be prepared to rely on breakfast, lunch, and dinner to satisfy a majority of their caloric and nutritional requirements, rather than on snacks between meals.
Also, because we are living in tents during camp, it is very important to account for all of the food and smelly items that girls have with them so that we do not attract wildlife. No foods, food wrappers, lip balms, or lotions may be in the sleeping tents ever. Therefore, snacks and meals are to be eaten when served and foods may not be stored in girls belongings for consumption later.
S'mores & Sweets
Of course! We'll have s’mores during campfire night at camp. We also sometimes include desserts such as lemon yogurt raspberry parfait, dark organic chocolate pieces. We do often put M&Ms or chocolate pieces in our GORP backpacking trail mix.
That said, we avoid serving desserts every day at camp. When we do, we are selective in what we serve, and we try to keep the portions reasonable. Birthdays are our favorite celebration at camp, and we always prepare a real cake (or other dessert) and candles for birthday girls!
One of three meals served each day is automatically meatless and we can accommodate vegetarian diets (but unfortunately, not vegan). When we do serve meat, we cook it separately from the vegetarian options - never the two shall meat (pun intended!) If an Alpengirl is a vegetarian, she should indicate which protein sources she prefers as a substitute to meat (beans, lentils, eggs, quinoa, nuts, etc.). This information can be provided on the Getting to Know You registration form.
Meat: Poultry, Beef, Pork, Fish
Meat is served as a main component of a meal at least once each day. We alternate types of meats at meals to keep variety and freshness in our weekly menu.
Accommodating to Your Tastes, Preferences and Restrictions
At Alpengirl, we recognize that some girls have dietary restrictions, food allergies, and preferences. We do our best to accommodate every girl, however, due to our wilderness-based style of teen trip and travel camp, we are unable to accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.
Each camper and camp parent is asked to provide us with specific food information on the Getting to Know You registration form. We use the food restrictions and allergies provided by each camper and parent to plan menus in advance that will accommodate each girl.
A Typical Day
Breakfast: Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes served with turkey/veggie bacon
Lunch: Fresh deli sandwiches with sliced fruit and vegetable sticks
Dinner: Pan-glazed Basil Balsamic Chicken/Tofu served over a bed of cous cous and vegetable medley.
Dessert: Lemon Raspberry Yogurt Parfait
We lighten our load during backpacking at Alpengirl. This means that the food we carry will not be as deluxe during backpacking as it is during the other camp days. The food we carry in our backpacks during backpacking is mostly lightweight, dehydrated, non-refrigerated, compact and instant; we avoid heavy hydrated foods that are bulky, heavy and require refrigeration or complicated cooking. We'll leave behind the multiple ingredients that typically are served in our front country meals and go with some simple and traditional backpacking meals such as apple cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast, salami/cheese/crackers and apples for lunch, GORP, jerky, sugar snap peas or fruit leather for trail snacks, and angel hair pasta with red sauce, parmesan and garlic pita chips for dinner and perhaps a cup of hot cocoa for dessert.
Dieting at Girls Summer Camp
No weight loss diets are allowed at Alpengirl girls camp.