You know we’ve got your transportation and security under control, but the kids want to know just one thing: What’s to eat? No worries; we’ve got your back.
Like everything else about Irie Camp Jamaica, we’ve made food an enjoyable adventure. To help shed some light under the stove hood, we sat down with the lady in charge of both our food and our healthcare to ask a few questions that are probably running through your mind about now:
1) So…what’s on the menu for this summer?
You want to talk about food? Great! Let’s talk about food. From breakfast to dinner at Irie Camp Jamaica we will be living up. The plan is to become totally immersed in our culture. We might have fried dumplings and callaloo one day, then switch to roasted bread fruit with Ackee and salt fish the next day. And we’ll wash it all down with a nice cup of hot chocolate.
Our meals are going to primarily be island food, all homegrown and freshly made. But we also recognize that not everyone will be adventurous enough to eat like the natives do, so we’ll also have more popular staples like pancakes and sausages.
But no matter what they’re eating, our guests will be served meals geared towards optimum health, flavor, and pleasure of the palate.
2) How do you handle kids with food allergies?
All campers will be required to submit health history to include all allergies (environmental and food). Based on this information, we’ll be able to address all food allergies, including methods of transmission. We’re prepared to separate campers from particular allergens, and will also have medications and antidotes on-hand to counteract basic allergies symptoms like hives.
3) In addition to overseeing the camp’s kitchen, you’re also responsible for everyone’s health care. What’s that involve?
I’m a great believer in the philosophy “We are what we eat,” and recognize that the kitchen and good health are very closely intertwined. Having healthy food properly prepared reduces stomach issues and headaches.
My goal is simple: allow campers to enjoy camp life with minimum down time from illness. This means I’m going to ensure everyone is adequately hydrated, has enough time for eating, and is eating properly. Having a healthcare background gives me the opportunity to balance both hats.
4) What are your qualifications to be a nurse?
I’ve been in healthcare for over 10 years. I was a nursing assistant for four years, and have spent over six years as a licensed practical nurse. Over that time I’ve simultaneously managed over 50 residents with varying health issues.
My primary job is geriatric care (elder care), which in many ways is like dealing with little children. Added to that is my hospital experience and my current training to become a registered nursing and you’ve got a pretty solid background that ensures everyone in the camp will be in capable hands.
5) Ever had any health problems with your own kids?
You ever meet a mom who didn’t? Fortunately, my kids were generally pretty healthy, suffering from the usual minor colds after playing in the rain. My son had to be hospitalized now and again for unexplained dehydration, but most of that was dealt with using herbal remedies. As a parent you learn that nurture combined with nature is a strong medicine.
6) Do we have to worry about snakes, spiders, or insect bites ?
Not really. I have a lifetime of experience on the island and have always found the majority of the wildlife in Jamaica to be harmless. Going back to the time I spent with my grandparents, I can’t think of a single incident where anyone in my family or in the neighborhood was ever harmed by snakes, spiders, or any wildlife.
That’s not to say nothing happened, though. If we annoyed the bees, we got stung. Try squeezing a wasp and they’ll fight back. My only experience with snakes was in a controlled environment at the zoo, and even then there was never an incident. You have absolutely nothing to fear.
7) As a parent, what's the biggest concern I should have?
It’s in our nature as parents to worry about our children when they’re not with us, though we’re typically just worrying about the unknown.
Probably your biggest issues will be homesickness…especially for first time campers. We’ve anticipated this, and will be making Irie Camp Jamaica such an enjoyable and active experience that there won’t be much room for homesickness.
The other concern for first-time campers might be the introduction of new foods. However, as I mentioned earlier, this would be gradual and never forced on our campers.
For the entire time your children are with us they will be treated as our very own. They’ll remember this as a cultural experience, not only because of the music, food, dances and activities they learn, but for the love and warmth they feel and the lifelong friendships they’ll come away with.
Hi, I'm Bobbi and while I'll generally be posting here, I'll occasionally invite others to share as well.