What happens when you mix together a dozen dedicated volunteers, an amazing organic farm and 24 hours? Magic!

Last weekend, about 12 men and women (and one toddler, mine) gathered at Eatwell Farm to prepare the farm for this summer’s campers. Drawn to the task by their devotion to the children and mission of Bay Leaf Kitchen, they prepared the outdoor kitchen and built a water/shade teepee to keep the campers cool. Many of us also came to get a taste of what these lucky campers get to experience on their overnight at this amazing farm (and it was such a treat to get to spend time with farmers Nigel and Lorraine and their family).

We spent a lovely evening eating a delicious potluck dinner and, after the air cooled off a bit, sitting around the campfire, sharing stories and making s’mores.

Waking bright and early Sunday morning to try to beat the heat (and fortified with Nana Joe’s delicious granola), we broke up into two teams to build the teepee and set up the kitchen.

Working together, the teepee crew gathered and erected the poles, then experimented with different methods for spreading the shade cloth over them. The final product is beautiful as well as cooling, with misters coiling around the inside over a large trough for wading. This splash zone will be a welcome respite from the high temperatures!

Meanwhile, the kitchen crew had a daunting task! They moved and assembled tables, removed cobwebs, scrubbed the sink and ovens, and set up and secured the stoves. The end result is a great outdoor area for the campers to make their culinary masterpieces.

Many thanks to our fantastic, hard-working volunteers!

All of us there wish we had had a camp like Bay Leaf Kitchen as kids -- and this summer those just a little younger than us -- ok, a lot younger than some of us -- can have this experience. Bay Leaf Kitchen is offering its first TEEN CAMP! I would have loved this opportunity as a teen. There are still spaces open, so sign your teen up now!

- Juliet Spear (volunteer)