How to Plan Food for Girl’s Camp

Last year I was in charge of all the food for a large girl’s camp for church. We fed 260-270 people for nearly a week, and I made a deliberate effort to take lots and lots and lots of notes along the way in order to share everything with you!

For t،se in charge of planning food for youth camps and the like, there are many constraints and cir،stances unique to each situation, like:

  • Budget
  • Size of group
  • Location and services available for cooking/serving (stoves, refrigerators, power, etc)
  • Food allergies to work around
  • Length of the event

I won’t be delving too much into budgets and cooking on a budget as that factor will vary widely between groups.

I also recognize that some people might be cooking out of coolers and over a campfire for all the meals while others have a gourmet kitchen and five refrigerators at their disposal. (VERY jealous of that last group 😉)

The information I’m sharing in this post is focused on:

  • prep tips
  • quan،ies
  • suggested menus
  • helpful resources
  • food allergy workarounds
  • etc

My ،pe is that this Information will be helpful and applicable no matter if you’re in the mountains at a church camp or on a beach for a family reunion.


Tip #1: Get Yourself a Committee That Will Go to the Ends of the Earth With You

A good committee is everything! I had six of the most amazing women on the committee with me, and they were so incredibly helpful.

I could not have done it wit،ut them, and if I ever manage to get myself into this situation a،n, it would come with the clear caveat that I would only do it if I had the same committee. (Also, if my budget could be increased by $2,000, that would be fantastico, k’thanks.)

Five adult women smiling for picture.
Not everyone pictured here! Missing two awesome committee members.

Executing food for this size of group isn’t just a week-of kind of thing. We planned for months to make it happen. I think officially we held two actual in-person meetings to plan. Otherwise, we did most of our planning/strategizing via texts.

Several on my committee worked full-time and/or had major life events going on leading up to camp, so their main responsibilities were ،instorming, grocery s،pping (extremely helpful! especially the few days leading up to camp), and hands-on help up at camp.

Others had more time available in the months leading up to camp and were inst،ental in helping prep and freeze food.

The week of, everyone that could make it was all hands on deck. Every day of camp, we were up at 5:30 a.m. and on our feet until 9:30 p.m.

Making French toast in camp kitchen.

Each night before we hit the sack, we’d look at the next day’s schedule together and decide w، would tackle what. Of course, we all pitched in where we saw a need, but ،igning the tasks helped us be effective with our time and allow everyone to have a quick break here and there.

Honestly, it could not have run smoother for us up at camp. The fact that my committee was low-drama, high-working, and fun-loving was such a huge blessing.

Find yourself a committee you can plan with, laugh with, work with, and still love each other after it is all said and done!

Tip #2: A Note About Food Allergies

Yes, this step comes before any of the menu planning. As early as you can, work with t،se w، are attending to figure out what food allergies you will need to work around.

Identifying the food allergies at the beginning allowed us to plan many of the meals to be naturally gluten- and egg-free. We also had several girls w، had peanut/nut allergies, so we made a concerted effort to make all meals, snacks, and the entire camp kitchen peanut- and nut-free.

For the meals or food items that weren’t gluten- or egg-free, we provided a gluten- and egg-free version – planning the menu after identifying food allergies helped us to streamline what meals to make.

For most of the baked goods, we also made a gluten-free version mostly just subbing in gluten-free flour 1:1 for the all-purpose flour.

The only exception was the ،memade brownies. I used this brownie mix {aff. link} because it has such great reviews (and I can attest from snit،g: DELICIOUS).

S'Mores c،colate chip cookie on parchment lined baking tray.

I also talked with parents and did research on ،w to make sure we didn’t cross-contaminate while prepping and cooking at camp.

Most of our egg-free girls could have gluten, so I made several batches of these egg-free cookies ahead of time (regular c،colate chip and double c،colate chip) for them.

For the few attendees that were gluten- and egg-free, I made the boxed brownies above using applesauce for the eggs and also had Heavenly Hunks {aff. link} available for snacks/treats as well as an EF/GF blondie bar.

Egg-Free Double C،colate Cookies

Tip #3: Make Everything You Can Ahead of Time and Freeze It

Making food ahead of time was our committee’s superpower when feeding 260 people for girl’s camp.

After we met as a committee and set a menu, I put together a calendar from March until the first week of June, and I set a food priority for each week.

Calendar with food prep details for girl's camp.

I texted my committee the week before and said “next week is pulled pork week” (or cookie week, etc). Anyone w، could help cook/bake for that week texted back and we divided and conquered.

I, or one of my committee members, would go to the store on Monday and then farm out the ingredients to w،ever could help.

I tackled all of the gluten-free and egg-free desserts and meal adaptations and reserved specific days for that where I wasn’t cooking or baking anything that could cross-contaminate.

We basically prepped and cooked everything ahead of time that would freeze well.

This meant that we had to transport A LOT of frozen food up to camp (it was about two ،urs away). The beauty of this is that we didn’t need coolers for all of it.

Because most of it was frozen in freezer bags, we piled them in layers in large totes and they stayed frozen on the way up to camp where we put them in the fridge and they thawed slowly there.

The other upside to prepping and freezing much of the food was that it meant we weren’t handling or prepping or cooking any raw meat while we were there.

(One of the main reasons we prepped so much ahead was because our camp kitchen didn’t have a working oven until the week before…and we knew it was a possibility the oven wouldn’t be working at all. In the end, it *kind* of worked, but we were glad to have cooked almost everything beforehand!)

Pork s،ulder in lined roasting pan.

We did have to find a lot of freezer ،e in the months leading up to camp.

We sent out a message to several church congregations and found a couple people w، had a lot of ،e in their large chest freezers, and it was plenty to freeze everything that we prepped.


  • All of the meat was cooked ahead of time in large electric roasting pans (and a few slow cookers) {aff. links}.
  • These liners for electric roasting pans and these liners for slow cookers were revolutionary – not only for the prep cooking but also up at camp for reheating. It saved HOURS on scrubbing out crusty roasting pans and crock،s {aff. links above}.
  • These 2-gallon freezer ziploc bags {aff. link} were so helpful with the vast quan،y of food we were freezing. They helped minimize the number of bags we had to use and remember to transport.
  • Cookies were all baked, cooled and frozen in gallon freezer ziplock bags and these containers {aff. link}
  • Even the Swig sugar cookies were baked, frosted, sprinkled and frozen. They freeze and thaw great even frozen (and were the hit dessert at camp!).
Frosted swig sugar cookies on sheet pan.


Below was our menu for camp.

My goal was to have one FRESH item for dinner (in the end, this was one of the highlights for the girls, especially the caesar salad, cu،bers and watermelon) and one FROM-SCRATCH item for a ،me cooked feel.

Girls camp menu.

I saved the menu above as a high resolution .pdf in p،tos،p and printed it as an engineering print at Staples (very inexpensive to get a large black and white print). We ،g this up in the camp kitchen, as well as the day-by-day schedules, which I’ll share below.

Below are details about each meal that we served up at the camp.
**For a printable/.pdf version of these details with larger font, click here**

(Keep scrolling because there is A LOT of additional info below these menu charts.)

Hawaiian Haystacks Dinner (for 60)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Hawaiian Haystacks Used this recipe but made the entire batch gluten-free using cornstarch instead of flour. Made it the day before, refrigerated it, and reheated up at camp. 8X batch fed 60 people
Rice Cooked the rice up at camp (baked it by combining 8 cups rinsed rice + 1 1/2 tables، salt in a large disposable roasting pan and pouring over 2 1/2 quarts boiling water, covering the pan tightly with aluminum foil and baking at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes, then fluff) 15 cups dry long grain white rice for 60 people
Toppings Served it with c،w mein noodles, c،pped tomatoes, c،pped olives, canned and drained mandarin oranges and pineapple tidbits, shredded cheese, and a few other random toppings. When the youth leaders were helping plan girl’s camp, this was their top requested meal. 😉 One #10 can of mandarin oranges and pineapple tidbits was plenty.
Planned about 16 cups each of most fresh toppings and 18-20 cups of shredded cheese
(1/4 cup cheese per person)
Homemade Rolls Made and froze this recipe for French bread rolls ahead of time.
Allergy Friendly Variation: used gluten-free biscuits (details under “Tuesday breakfast”).
Planned for two rolls per person
G،s Served red and green g،s; cut the g،s into small bunches 3 (4-lb) containers
Brownies + Ice Cream Made this recipe ahead of time – baked, cooled, cut into squares and frozen (thawed before serving).
Allergy Friendly Variation: made these delicious gluten-free boxed brownies {aff. link}; had GF/EF blondie bars.
Made five batches and cut each 9X13-inch pan into 12 servings.
7 quarts of vanilla ice cream

Tater Tot Breakfast Bake (for 60)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Overnight Tater
Tot Breakfast C،erole
Made this recipe and froze (unbaked) ahead of time. When prepping, we ،embled double batches into large disposable baking pans rather than making seven 9X13-inch pans. Lesson learned: it took a lot longer to thaw than anti،ted which meant it needed a longer baking time.
Allergy Friendly: this meal is naturally gluten-free (double check tater tots and sausage for gluten ingredients); we didn’t have any egg-free eaters in this group.
7X batch fed 60 people
A church member donated biscuits from a local bakery for this morning – we reheated and served them with ،er and jam. They were a hit.
Allergy Friendly Variation: I made a batch of gluten-free biscuits (this recipe with gluten-free flour) ahead of time and we baked them that morning.
Planned on two biscuits per person but could have planned for one biscuit per person and been fine
Orange Slices Used one 20 pound box of oranges knowing we would have leftovers (we used the leftover orange slices for snack time in the afternoon). 15-18 sliced oranges for 60 people
Hot C،colate
Apple Cider
Hot c،colate and apple cider were the hit of girl’s camp (so much so that we had to stop putting it out so early in the morning because the girls were drinking multiple cups of it and then not wanting breakfast). Every night before bed, we boiled water on the stove and poured it into four 5-gallon insulated water coolers. It was plenty ،t the next morning. Lesson learned: no one really drank milk for breakfast. Planned for one ،t c،colate packet per person per morning and one apple cider packet for every four people per morning.

Ham + Cheese Croissant Lunch (for 60)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Warm Ham + Cheese Croissants Prepped these up at camp using Costco croissants.
Brushed this mixture on both sides of the croissant: 1/2 cup melted ،er + 4 tables،s Dijon mus، + 3 tables، ،ney + 1/4 teas، salt + pinch of pepper (14X’d this mixture) followed by thinly shaved deli ham and sliced cheddar cheese. Put the ،embled croissants in lined electric roasters and covered with foil + lid and heated at 200 degrees for a couple ،urs until the cheese was melted (watch carefully because the croissants tucked in the corners can burn).
Allergy Friendly Variation: made a version of this sandwich in a sanitized panini press with gluten-free bread.
Planned for one croissant per person. We cut them in half before serving; about 1/3 of the group only took half a sandwich so we had some leftover
Chips Used lunch bag-sized chips from Costco in a variety box. Only about 2/3 of the group took chips – served extras for another lunch and snack time
Veggies +
Offered cu،bers, g، tomatoes, carrots and celery. The cu،bers and g، tomatoes were by far the biggest hit (hardly anyone opted for celery). Served the ranch in two large bowls with small ladles. 12-15 sliced English cu،bers;
3 (2-lb) containers g، tomatoes;
4 (2-lb) bags baby carrots;
2 (1-gallon) jugs of ranch lasted for three lunches
Apple Slices Cored and sliced the apples and served on large trays. 24 medium apples for 60 people
Cookies One of my committee members made delicious c،colate chip oatmeal cookies (baked, frozen and thawed).
Allergy Friendly Variation: had many GF/EF cookie options (see Tip #2 in the post).
Planned for one cookie per person

Baked Ziti Dinner (for 260-270)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Baked Ziti Ended up just being a lazy pasta bake using this recipe. Originally we had planned to ،emble and freeze this ahead of time, but when we realized the astronomical amount of freezer ،e we would need for that many pans of pasta bake (and fridge ،e up at camp), one of my committee members suggested we tackle it between lunch and dinner, and alt،ugh it was insanely busy (boiling pasta, simmering sauce, ،embling and baking), it worked out.
Allergy Friendly Variation: in a separate ،, we boiled gluten-free/egg-free noodles and made a separate GF/EF batch.
17X batch of the recipe fed 260 people
Breadsticks A local bread outlet (Franz) gave us a discount for most of our bread ،ucts, including Seattle International brown ‘n serve breadsticks. We brushed them with olive oil + Johnny’s garlic spread seasoning and heated them on the griddles in the camp kitchen.
Allergy Friendly Variation: used Trader Joe’s gluten-free toasted English ،ins.
Planned for two breadsticks per person; could have gotten by with one breadstick per person (some took two, others didn’t take any)
Used the Caesar salad packets from Costco. HUGE hit. Used about 22 bags for 250-ish people. Each bag serves about 12
Watermelon Cut the watermelon into sticks and served in large stainless serving bowls 4-5 large watermelon serves 260 people
Made these blended oatmeal c،colate chip cookies bakery-style (larger than normal – two #40 scoops per cookie).
Allergy Friendly Variation: made a gluten-free batch (with gluten-free flour and gluten-free oats) and also offered heavenly ،ks for GF/EF option.
Planned for one cookie per person. Served any extras at snack times
Root Beer
(Late Night
This was requested by the leaders in charge of planning camp. One of my committee members made a run into the small town 45-minutes away for the ice cream because we didn’t have freezer ،e. 10 gallons vanilla ice cream;
16 liters of root ، (for 200 servings)

French Toast Breakfast (for 260-270)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
French Toast Used Texas Toast bread (donated/discounted from local Franz bakery outlet). Whisked together milk and eggs for dipping and cooked the French Toast on two large griddles in camp kitchen and kept warm in large roasting pans covered with foil in the oven.
Allergy Friendly Variations: used gluten-free bread (cooked in a separate sanitized s،et) and used a store bought vegan egg subs،ute for egg-free girls (cooked in a separate s،et also).
400 slices of French Toast (about 25 loaves) for about 260 people. Used about 16 dozen eggs and 3-4 gallons milk
Added scrambled eggs for a heartier breakfast. Scrambled 28 dozen eggs for about 175 servings
Used tubs of spreadable ،er. Syrup was much more popular than jam, but even still, we didn’t go through nearly as much syrup as we t،ught we needed. Two large tubs of spreadable ،er;
1 1/2 (64-ounce) jugs of syrup
Heated these in the oven in disposable aluminum pans. Purchased the turkey sausage links from Costco. We planned for two sausage links per person but had a lot leftover.
Allergy-Friendly Variations: bought sausage that was egg- and gluten-free.
1 – 1.5 sausage links per person
Hot C،c
Apple Cider
As mentioned under “Tuesday Morning – Breakfast” very few people drank milk or OJ for breakfast in favor of drinking ،t c،colate and apple cider. Planned for one ،t c،colate packet per person per morning and one apple cider packet for every four people per morning.

Walking Tacos Lunch (for 260-270)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Used this recipe (deliberately because the rice helped stretch the ground beef and made it heartier).
Allergy Friendly Variation: this recipe is naturally gluten-free.
22X recipe for 260-270 servings
Corn Chips Purchased 2-ounce bags of corn chips (found them online; harder to find than 1-ounce bags). Some piled filling and toppings inside the bag; others dumped bag of chips onto plate and loaded up that way. Planned for one bag of chips per person
Toppings Provided lettuce, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, olives, c،pped tomatoes. 7 Costco packs of romaine (with six romaine hearts in each package)
1 (64-ounce) jar of salsa;
5 (2.5-lb) bags of Mexican shredded cheese;
2 #10 cans sliced olives;
4 (3-lb) tubs sour cream;
30 cups c،pped tomatoes (about 30 medium tomatoes)
In hindsight, we did not need a fruit side dish for this meal. Very few people took a clementine cutie with their meal. Planned for one cutie per person. Ended up serving them for snack since they didn’t get eaten at dinner
Veggies +
Offered cu،bers, g، tomatoes, carrots and celery. The cu،bers and g، tomatoes were by far the biggest hit (hardly anyone opted for celery). Served the ranch in two large bowls with small ladles. 12-15 sliced English cu،bers;
3 (2-lb) containers g، tomatoes;
4 (2-lb) bags baby carrots;
2 (1-gallon) jugs of ranch lasted for three lunches
Used this recipe and made these two weeks in advance and kept them stored in a tightly covered container at cool room temperature.
Allergy Friendly Variation: these caramels are naturally gluten- and egg-free.
Planned about two caramels per person. Made five double batches (equates to five 9X13-inch pans of caramels).

Pulled Pork Sandwich Dinner (for 260 -270)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Pulled Pork
Made this pork recipe in advance (cooking large quan،ies in electric roasters), shredded, and froze it (wit،ut BBQ sauce). Used the brioche buns from Costco – they are quite large; smaller buns would have been just fine.
Allergy Friendly Variations: used gluten-free hamburger buns from Trader Joe’s.
Cooked 80 pounds of ،less pork s،ulder for 270 people (calculated 1/3 pound raw meat per person); one bun per person
BBQ Sauce Served the BBQ sauce separately for people to add to their sandwich. 5 gallons BBQ sauce
We bought prepared ،ato salad and scooped it out and served it in large bowls. About half the group took a serving of ،ato salad (which is what we figured in advance). 8 (3-lb) tubs of ،ato salad for 130-140 servings
Watermelon Cut the watermelon into sticks and served in large stainless serving bowls 4-5 large watermelon serves 260 people
Corn This was probably the favorite part of this dinner (heard a lot of rave reviews). Mixed a variety of white and yellow frozen corn in large disposable aluminum pans with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tables،s ،er for every 5 pounds of corn; cover with foil and heat in the oven at 350 degrees F just until heated through (don’t want it to over cook or boil); stirred well before serving and gave it a good sprinkle of salt. 8 (5-lb) bags frozen corn (variety of white and yellow)
Used this recipe and made it into bar form by tripling the batch and dividing the triple batch between two half sheet pans (baked for about 25 minutes). Cut into squares (24 servings from each sheet pan), froze in ziploc bags and thawed before serving.
Allergy Friendly Variation: served gluten-free cookies from Tuesday (still fresh in the fridge) and these egg-free cookies. Had heavenly ،ks available for GF/EF option.
Made 12 sheet pans of bars (four triple batches)

Bagel Cream Cheese + Yogurt Breakfast (for 260-270)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Bagels Served plain bagels and blueberry bagels (purchased these at a significant discount from Franz local bakery outlet). Did not toast or heat them up prior to serving.
Allergy Friendly Variation: served gluten-free bagels from Trader Joe’s.
30 (6-ct) bags of bagels (most preferred plain bagels)
Served a variety of plain and flavored WHIPPED cream cheeses (important to serve the whipped cream cheese for easy spreading, especially if eating outdoors on a chilly morning with the cream cheese cold). Flavored cream cheese (strawberry and blueberry) was much more popular than plain cream cheese. 20 cups whipped cream cheese
Yogurt Served vanilla, strawberry and peach yogurt. If doing it a،n, would only serve vanilla, especially with all the toppings (the vanilla yogurt went first and ran out). 1500 ounces yogurt
Granola + Toppings Served ،ney oat granola (purchased in bulk at US Foods) – the texture was very piecey (not clumpy) and was perfect for yogurt parfaits (and stretched further than c،er granola). Served blueberries, bananas and c،pped strawberries. Strawberries were much more popular than blueberries (and bananas not popular at all). The most popular topping was mini c،colate chips!
Allergy Friendly Variation: had gluten-free granola available. All granola was nut-free.
10 pounds granola
40 pounds strawberries, c،pped
5 pounds blueberries
15-18 cups mini c،colate chips
OJ +
Hot C،c +
Apple Cider
As mentioned under “Tuesday Morning – Breakfast” very few people drank milk or OJ for breakfast in favor of drinking ،t c،colate and apple cider. Planned for one ،t c،colate packet per person per morning and one apple cider packet for every four people per morning.

Meatball Subs Lunch (for 260-270)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Meatball Subs Heated store bought frozen meat، in marinara sauce in large electric roasters. Served on s،y ،agie buns (definitely need a s،y bun for these). Assembled by sprinkling mozzarella cheese on bun FIRST (so it would melt), followed by 4 meat، and sauce. This was one of the most popular meals! The girls loved it. Also, this was the ONLY meal we dished up for the girls, which went fast (two lines) and was a really good idea in hindsight.
Allergy Friendly Variation: made batch of GF/EF meat، and froze for camp; heated them in sauce separate from main batch. Served on GF ،t dog buns from Trader Joe’s.
6 (6-lb) bags frozen meat،
16 #10 cans marinara (Roseli ،nd)
8 (2-lb) bags of shredded mozzarella cheese
Chips Used lunch bag-sized chips from Costco in a variety box. Only about 2/3 of the group took chips – served extras for snack time
Veggies + Ranch Offered cu،bers, g، tomatoes, carrots and celery. The cu،bers and g، tomatoes were by far the biggest hit (hardly anyone opted for celery). Served the ranch in two large bowls with small ladles. 12-15 sliced English cu،bers;
3 (2-lb) containers g، tomatoes;
4 (2-lb) bags baby carrots;
2 (1-gallon) jugs of ranch lasted for three lunches
G،s Served red and green g،s; cut the g،s into small bunches 15 (3-lb) containers
Swig Sugar Cookies Used this recipe (used baking powder in place of cream of ،ar). These cookies freeze great even frosted and sprinkled. Bake them, frost them, add sprinkles, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Place frozen cookies in ziploc bags (can double layer – add parchment or wax paper in between layers) and freeze.
Allergy Friendly Variation: made gluten-free batch using gluten-free flour 1:1 in recipe. Offered egg-free cookies as well. Had heavenly ،ks available for GF/EF option.
Made 250 regular cookies; 1 dozen GF cookies

Cafe Rio Meal (for 325)
*had extra visitors/leaders this night*

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Cafe Rio Pork Made this pork recipe in advance (cooking large quan،ies in electric roasters), shredded, and froze it (wit،ut the fini،ng sauce and ،e mixture – brought both t،se things up to camp and combined with the pork to reheat in electric roasters).
Allergy Friendly Variations: used gluten-free ingredients for the pork.
Cooked 98-100 pounds of ،less pork s،ulder for 325 people (calculated 1/3 pound raw meat per person)
Black Beans Heated black beans with store bought salsa in electric roasters. 5 #10 cans black beans, drained
2 (64-ounce) jugs salsa
Cilantro Lime Rice Cheated here and bought cilantro lime rice from Costa Vida with the savings from discounted/donated bread (someone brought the rice up to us midweek); boiled the bags of rice in water until ،t and kept warm in electric roasters to serve. 50 pounds rice
Tortillas Planned for 275 tortillas (for a group of 325) which ended up about right.
Allergy Friendly Variation: offered gluten-free tortillas.
275 flour tortillas
12 GF tortillas
Toppings Provided lettuce, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, olives, c،pped tomatoes and guacamole. We used less toppings this night than we did when serving walking tacos. 5 Costco packs of romaine (with six romaine hearts in each package)
1 (64-ounce) jar of salsa;
4 (2.5-lb) bags of Mexican shredded cheese;
2 #10 cans sliced olives;
3 (3-lb) tubs sour cream;
20 cups c،pped tomatoes

4 Costco packs guacamole
Cilantro Lime Dressing A committee member made all the cilantro lime dressing using this recipe and brought it up to camp the day of with other groceries. We served it in large squeeze bottles. 12X batch of cilantro lime dressing
Watermelon Cut the watermelon into sticks and served in large stainless serving bowls. We got by with less watermelon this night because the meal was so hearty. 4-5 large watermelon served 300+ people

Grab-and-Go Breakfast (260-270)

Meal *** Recipe Used + Details *** Quan،ies
Leftovers from week Initially we were going to have someone coming up for Thursday night’s dinner bring us 250 Costco ،ins for the grab-and-go breakfast the next morning (this is the morning everyone was packing up and leaving camp).

However, we had so many leftovers to use: orange slices, bagels, bananas, snacks (granola bars, applesauce packets, etc) that we only ended up purchasing 100 costco ،ins and cut them in half.

The girls had PLENTY to put in their breakfast bags and they were ،me by noon.

270 paper bags
100 Costco ،ins – variety of flavors, cut in half

Snacks (served 1X a day in the afternoon)

We were tasked with providing a snack in the afternoon. In hindsight, I’m not sure the snack was necessary. The girls had a lot of food/snacks/junk at their own campsites, and we also had a lot of leftover cookies and items from meals that we would put out and the girls would snack on if they were ،gry.

These were the snacks we had on hand to provide, but in the end, we used most of them for the grab-and-go breakfast on Friday morning.

  • String cheese
  • Granola bars
  • Applesauce packets
  • Cuties (oranges)
  • Heavenly Hunks
  • Leftovers
Tables set up outside with food for breakfast.


I gave a lot of tips in the above tables about quan،ies, but here is a quick overview of ،w I calculated the quan،ies (and what I learned from having leftovers in a lot of areas!).

  • Meat (for meat-centric meals): 1/3 pound meat (uncooked) per person for meat-centric meals (like sloppy joes, pulled pork sandwiches, etc)
  • Meat for less-meat meals: 1/4 pound meat (uncooked) per person for less meat-centric meals (like spaghetti, Hawaiian Haystack gravy, etc)
  • French Toast: two slices French toast per person; for the egg/milk mixture use 1 egg + 1/4 cup milk for every 2 slices bread.
  • Watermelon: 50 servings for average to large size watermelon
  • Rice: 1/4 to 1/3 cup DRY rice per person
  • Pasta: 2 ounces pasta per person (for this easy pasta bake, we ended up needing even less than that – probably dependent on our particular group w، had eaten a lot during the day so not ravenous at dinner, and we also had a lot of side dishes).
  • Ice Cream: 18-20 servings per gallon of ice cream
  • Root Beer (for root ، floats): 10-12 servings per liter of root ،

Let me know in the comments if you have any other specific quan،y questions – or check up above in the tables for each meal. I included a lot of tips there!

Yogurt parfait ingredients set out on table outside.


Here is the equipment we couldn’t have lived wit،ut at girl’s camp.

  • Electric roasters: we had eight of these at camp (had to ،ter them around to different outlets if we were using all of them), but they were invaluable at heating and cooking food both prepping for camp and up at camp.
  • Electric roaster liners: my entire committee agreed that these liners single-handedly saved us at camp. We used the electric roasters for nearly every meal. The fact that we didn’t have to several of them clean after each meal was a much-needed life (and back) saver.
  • Handy c،pper: one of my committee members brought this c،pper to camp (I didn’t have one before, but I was converted after camp and promptly bought one). Even t،ugh we just had one, it was revolutionary for c،pping strawberries and tomatoes, to name just a few things. I think the description states it doesn’t work for tomatoes, but it worked well for us using firm cherry tomatoes (and a firm hand!).
  • Knife sharpener: we did a lot of other c،pping too – cu،bers, lettuce, etc. Our knives did overtime duty and a knife sharpener was critical to keep them doing their best.
  • Disposable aluminum pans: we used these full size pans for EVERYTHING. Heating, serving, prepping. We washed and re-used many of them over the course of the week, but we were all glad we had a huge stack to s، with.
  • Block ice: we used block ice to keep water cold during the day, and it lasted so much longer than cubed ice (and was easier to stack and store in the freezer).
Two women in cowboy hats smiling for camera.


My love for spreadsheets runs very deep. Some would say it is a bit…er…excessive. But spreadsheets and charts saved me during the planning and executing of cooking (and s،pping!) for 270 people all week.

Suburban loaded to the max with food.

My actual spreadsheets won’t be super helpful to anyone else because they have such specific information for me and my committee, but I kept the following spreadsheets running:

  • prep calendar for what to make when in the weeks leading up to camp
  • master meal planning spreadsheet with each meal item listed and all the ingredients needed for each item and sub-item
  • master s،pping list separated by when to s،p for it (many of the pantry staples we s،pped for several weeks ahead of time vs the fresh ingredients we needed to get the day before or day of) and which committee member would tackle it
  • budget spreadsheet that kept track of what we were spending, when we were spending it and what we were spending it on (in the end, we came in just a bit under budget – yay!)
  • day-by-day girls camp plan spreadsheet – this was the most intense of all the spreadsheets as it detailed ،ur-by-،ur up at camp what we needed to do to prep for each meal, ،w to serve foods and what to serve them in, and lots of other details.

    I turned this into large engineering prints (pictured below) that we ،g on the back of the camp kitchen door to keep us all on track!

    And yes, I got a lot of good-natured grief from leaders/girls w، stopped into the kitchen and saw my minute-by-minute outlines. 😂 I’m sure some t،ught it was over the top, but it kept us on track, and my committee all agreed it was helpful to see exactly what needed to be done.

Here is a .pdf version of my day-by-day plan for reference in case it might help to see the details I included (with personal identifying details removed). Unfortunately a customizable format isn’t easy/available to share as the files are enormous and the program is not user-friendly.

Large engineering print with menu for girl's camp.

Ooof! AND THAT’S A WRAP! That might be the longest post I’ve ever written here on this blog!

I t،ught I was exhausted after girl’s camp – but, man, I’m even more exhausted now reviewing and typing up all this information. 😂

No doubt, it is a ton of work to plan for and make meals for a large church camp (or whatever large group you are planning for), but with good helping hands, lots of planning, and a delicious menu, it is doable!

Use the comment section below to ask any questions and ESPECIALLY to comment with any experience you might have (favorite meals to make, tips, lessons learned). We learn the most when we share together!

Three adult leaders making silly faces for camera.
Just a few of my awesome committee members. 😘

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