UT Extension Office to bring Carter, Johnson counties together for day-long cooking camp

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The University of Tennessee Extension Office is not the only group to be hosting a summer camp this year, but they are continuing their efforts to educate the community on healthy cooking practices at the same time.

4-H Extension Agent Emily Barton said the Food Science Camp aims to teach children how to prepare a variety of different foods with minimal or no adult supervision as early as possible.

“We want kids to feel like they can show their parents they can use cooking skills on their own,” Barton said. “They can learn to be not afraid to work at the kitchen.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The camp is a one-day event on Thursday, June 27, and will last most of the day. To start, she said participants will practice with making breakfast. The program will then move on to other miscellaneous skills, including what temperature to cook and store various foods, what shelves to put things in and even knife handling. For the latter, she said they are going to learn about how to safely handle and clean sharp utensils like knives.

“There are lots of opportunities for kids to try skills,” Barton said.

However, these skills often “lack the basics,” which poses several problems when they become adults.

“Many are heading to college without knowing how,” she said. “We want them to start here, with adults to help them.”

She said children with these skills are more likely to eat healthier and rely less on buying pre-cooked food like fast food.

The program is not just a Carter County invention, however. Barton said the day-long camp is actually a partnership with Johnson County’s Extension Office and the camp also claims the Walmart Foundation and the Fasola Grant as sponsors this year.

“I am excited to bring kids together,” she said.

Normally, such programs would require Johnson County children to come all the way to Elizabethton, but this time it will not be necessary, as the camp will take place at Little Milligan Elementary School.

Those looking to register have until Wednesday, June 19, to do so. Those interested can pay the $10 fee by contacting the office in person or over the phone. Carter County families can call Barton at 423-542-1818, while Johnson County families can call Danielle Pleasant at 423-727-8161.