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My son is home from working the first session at Camp Kanakuk in Missouri. Kanakuk is the largest Christian sports camp in the world. We were delightfully entertained last night with tales about the adventures of his middle school boys. You might be interested in what he said about the food.
There were no sodas served at meals or for snacks. One night each week they have a Western dance, and root beer is part of the refreshments. That is the only soda for either campers or counselors.
At meals they had lemonade, sports drinks, and fruit punch. However, before the boys and girls could get one of those drinks they had to drink a glass of water first.
Only one dessert item was served per day. If they had ice cream for lunch, there was no dessert at dinner. If they had a sweet pastry for breakfast, there was no dessert for the rest of the day.
Meals were served family style at tables. Kanakuk wants the campers to develop a heart of service, but rather than lecturing them, they give them opportunities to see people serving. My son said that at orientation the counselors were told that any time one of the serving dishes was empty, they were to get up, go to the kitchen, and get a refill. With middle school boys who have been playing hard all morning or afternoon, you can imagine how many times the counselors interrupted their own meals to serve the boys. But by the end of the week, when a counselor would start to get up, one of the boys would say, "Let me go get more."
There was fruit served at every meal: bananas, oranges, apples, or strawberries. There was either a salad or a vegetable served at both lunch and dinner. My son said, "Mom there was only one time I couldn't get a Type O meal. One night we had soup and salad, and there just wasn't enough protein. Other than that, I had all the meat I needed."
There was a lot of bread, which my son said the kids flocked to. However potatoes were served only occasionally.
Though this is radically different from the way most of the boys and girls probably eat at home, there were no complaints. The campers accepted the no soda and one dessert policies and filled up on healthy food.
There is no tolerance for ridicule at Camp Kanakuk. Counselors are with the boys and girls all day and all night. If any one starts to tease or make fun of someone else "we nipped it in the bud," my son said. Yet there were crazy skits to make the kids laugh and daily recognition of achievements to put smiles on their faces. That environment most certainly is the best for the digestive system and the whole person as well.
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