Camp is one day away and it’s time again for the infamous “Last Meal,” or for some families, “the week of a thousand meals.” Campers are overwhelmed with the first-day jitters, but are also anxious to reunite with camp friends and get back into their summer routines. Parents are getting emotional about separating with their kids, whether it’s for 2, 4 or 7 weeks. Parents cry as they feel their children experience a push into adulthood, far from home but embarking on the summer of their lives. They really do grow up fast! Even though campers live 10-for-2 and love their camps, they also are obsessed with their favorite food from home. Indulge with your child one last time before they take off with their favorite meal and enjoy some much-needed family time. Here are 3 easy steps to nailing your last family meal together:
1.The first step to pulling off the perfect “Last Meal” is crucial – picking the cuisine. What type of food will your camper miss the most while at camp? Is it Japanese? Italian? A steakhouse? Maybe a good old fashioned home cooked meal with your freshly baked chocolate chip cookies? Although the food at camps has improved over the years from mush to a bevy of options including a salad bar, pasta bar, and the occasional lobster (hello Maine!) and steak, your camper still wants to say goodbye to home in style.
- The next step is picking the perfect restaurant(s). Besides the food, this meal is an opportunity for valuable family time before the kids leave. You want to make sure that the restaurant is quiet enough so you can talk to your child, yet festive enough to celebrate sending the campers off. Does your child have a favorite restaurant in your town or the city? Is there somewhere that just feels like home or is there a unique bite (did someone say crispy rice) your child is aching to try? This step can get tricky if you’re sending multiple kids off to camp. Be prepared for multiple lunches and dinners for some good QT and to satisfy the needs of each sibling… and also with the whole family. It would be far too easy to pick one place!
- The final step (drum roll please) – make a reservation. Restaurants can get booked up in advance fast with families who are looking to do exactly what you are. Open table is a great online resource for making reservations easy, so do take advantage!
And finally, enjoy! It’s your last night all together so try putting your phones away and be present in the moment. Happy camping!!
By: Samantha Locker