ATTENTION ALL CAMPERS: this is a major announcement coming from the Summer 365 HCO! We would like you all to meet Summer 365’s new Head Chef, Jessica Bronstein. She is the brains behind the hottest up-and-coming Instagram account and food blog, Bubby’s Best. Her Bubby has been her inspiration in the kitchen and in life, and Jess is now bringing the best of her home cooking – all camp inspired eats and treats (of course) – to you!
(Bubby visiting Jess @ camp)
We first have to share our 21st century camp love story with you. We were flicking through Instagram, looking for the newest camp trends as usual, and stumbled upon Bubby’s Best. Once we saw her drool worthy creations, we knew we had to have her on the Summer 365 team! And so, we introduced ourselves, asked if she went to camp (YES!), asked if she loved camp (DOUBLE YES!), and the rest is camp history… exhibit A of how camp love connects us all :)
Here is a peak at her first cooking adventure in the Summer 365 Canteen – s’mores challah…isn’t it a thing of beauty?!
So, here she is! Jess hails from Toronto, all the way in Canada! She attended Canadian Young Judea summer camps in Ontario and Quebec as a kid. As a 9-year-old, she started out only going for a month, but finally convinced her parents to send her away for the whole summer at age 11. (Smart cookie!) For her final year as a camper in the YJ system, she participated in Biluim Israel, a 6-week trip to Israel for 17-year-olds. She then returned to camp as a staff member for 5 years. She was an in-cabin counselor, water-ski staff, a unit head, and eventually a program director. Can you tell she has a thing for camp?
No one says it better than she does, so we’ll let her take it from here…
What are you currently doing?
After a year of working as a social media & digital marketing coordinator, I have decided to go back to school…culinary school to be precise. When I am not preparing food, learning about food or writing about food (I am the food blogger behind Bubby’s Best), I am actively involved in the Canadian Young Judaea Movement. You can take the girl out of camp, but you can’t take camp out of the girl!
How has camp influenced your career path?
I don’t know if camp has directly influenced my career path, but I think it is safe to say that my camp experience gave me the confidence to believe in myself, and the courage to take risks. Not to mention that camp has given me a circle of amazingly supportive best friends who have been there for me through all the ups and downs of my career.
What are your top three essentials that you packed ?
1. My Blankie
2. Disposable cameras
3. Roots Sweatpants
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
1. Best-Friends (the hyphen makes it into one word)
Why do you think it’s important to go to camp?
Aside from learning important things like how to make your bed, set the table, and properly stuff things under your bed to win weekly inspection…. I think that the summer camp experience offers kids the opportunity to really find out who they are and what makes them unique. There were so many activities, programs, and people that allowed me to just be who I wanted to be, without the social pressures of school, extracurricular activities, and, dare I say, parents!
Who was someone you looked up to at camp?
Pretty sure I still have a crush on every single male counselor I ever had….
What is your favourite camp memory?
There are so many to choose from, but to keep it clean I am going to say cabin hopping to the boys cabin and cheering in the dining hall.
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself, challenge yourself to try something new each summer, and enjoy every minute because it flies by too quickly.
Favourite Camp Tradition?
Each morning before breakfast and each evening after dinner we had a flag pole ceremony called Mifkad. The whole camp gathers around for announcements, songs, and funny jokes that pertain to the summer.
Favourite Camp Food?
Scrambled eggs and hashbrowns for breakfast and Pizza Bagels for lunch
Favourite Summer Reading Book?
Still Alice – I had started reading the book during pre-camp and the day the cartage truck arrived with all the camper bags, I could barely put it down. I remember reading it while carrying bags. Everyone proceeded to call me Alice for the rest of the summer.
What is your favourite movie about camp?
The Parent Trap…duh!
Pool or lake?
Sports or Arts?
This is tricky, I was more of a water sports kinda girl! Swimming & Skiing!
Favourite Canteen Candy?
Favourite/most requested item on visitors day?
Peaches (don’t ask) and Party Sandwiches.
Favourite Camp Activity?
If you had to have something from camp tattooed, what would you get?
First of all I would make all my friends get matching tattoos so this is up for group discussion but “Billy ’06.”
Favourite camp word/expression?
BEST SUMMER EVER.
Favourite camp momento?
I have kept everything from old letters & beaded friendship bracelets to t-shirts and pillowcases that everyone signed. I think my favourite would have to be Shabbat-o-grams (notes that campers and staff send to each other on Friday nights) from friends, campers and fellow staff.
Did you ever get homesick?
Not for a second! I could have stayed forever!