The 2nd annual Camp Kitchen Sage was another amazing experience in exchanging a traditional campfire for the kitchen stove Seven young adults, all of them involved in GRPS’ transition programs, continued their learning and training at Camp Kitchen Sage over the summer.
The campers arrived every day by 9:00a.m. although a few of them arrived well before 8:00a.m. The first three hours of their day was filled with a variety of hands-on learning activities: building raised-bed gardens & growing vegetables; picking strawberries, blueberries & cherries to make smoothies, jams, pies, or simply enjoy them out in the field; a trip to the farmer’s market to gather ingredients to make a variety of salsas; a trip to the downtown market to hear the stories of several small business owners and their passion for working in the food industry. These experiences and more were couched within some basic teachings on food & kitchen safety.
During the afternoons each of the campers went to a local employer to continue their work-based learning in the kitchen. These partners included Meals on Wheels, the Blue Dog Tavern, the Holiday Bar, Brann’s Steakhouse, Graydon’s Crossings, and Forty Acres. Three of the seven participants were actually offered long-term employment as a result of their efforts. Karen Awe, Site Manager at Michigan Rehabilitation Services, expressed her gratitude in saying: “Of all the programs we work with, this is my favorite. Thank you and your team for the wonderful impact you are having.” Camp Kitchen Sage also wants to extend a special word of thanks to each of the local employer partners!! Please help us extend our gratitude by doing business with them!! Plans are already in the works to expand this effort to Ionia County for next summer.