By 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Child Development Center hosted its second annual Culinary Camp at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, July 15 — 19, as part of the Air Force Specialty Camps offered every summer at the CDC School Age Care program.
Gary Hernández, 50th Force Support Squadron school age coordinator and main organizer of the Air Force Specialty Camps said the camps are a venue for School Age children to meet special guests and visitors who come to teach them useful life skills, like cooking.
“We are trying to give the children an opportunity to develop healthy eating habits,” he said. “We are giving the kids an opportunity for a new experience, to learn how to properly handle kitchen materials, like knives, and give them the chance to learn the right way to hold these devices, and learn about what it takes to really make a meal.”
Hernández emphasized the factor of safety during the camp.
“They cook hot meals, like soups, and handle the oven, so we give them cooking gear like oven mitts, pot holders and aprons,” he said.
Hernández explained the objective of the culinary camp.
“The idea is they are learning to make food for themselves so they build that reliance,” he said. “The food choices they are making are from scratch, so it’s a lot of fresh vegetables and meats.”
Ross Kassebaum, who has five years of experience teaching culinary arts to children, was the culinary teacher at this camp.
This is the second time he has come to Schriever AFB to teach culinary arts to CDC and SAC children.
Kassebaum gave a brief insight into what he will be teaching the following days at the culinary camp.
“We want to teach them how to prepare and eat healthier foods,” he said. “We, as human beings don’t always do that. We like the fast and easy. We start off with learning how to safely use knives. We talk about healthy eating and each day will be different. We will talk about sanitation, food preparation, food allergies and how it all comes together.”
Kassebaum said the complexity of cooking can be surprising once it is experienced in a cooking camp setting like this.
“Cooking is a term that sounds so simple, but there is more to it. Getting things ready is important so it’s a matter of teaching them how to cook or improve some of their skills, if they already cook,” he said. “It’s about making healthier meals. In the meals we do there’s a lot of fruits and vegetables involved, so students learn and hopefully take home the practice of eating healthier.”
For Katelyn Kincaid, 50th Force Support Squadron SAC child youth program assistant, these events help children not only have a good time but also develop life skills.
“It helps teach them very important life skills and helps promote independence while in a safe and fun setting,” she said.
Arianna, 10, explained what she enjoyed the most out of this camp.
“I liked cutting and the bridge (technique) where you have to put your hands around (the vegetable or fruit) before cutting it in a certain way,” she said. “I liked to learn about cooking so when I grow up, I know good things to do.”
For more information about the CDC and SAC program, call Hernández at, 719-567-4742.
Upcoming CDC and SAC camps: science camp July 22-26.