CT Culinary Recipe: The Mediterranean Menu

culinary2 What’s Cookin’ in the Camp Towanda Culinary Kitchen? This summer, our campers were busy cooking up delicious dishes at the CT Culinary Country Kitchen. Chef Ben’s classes were very popular and no one left hungry! We learned how to make everything from Chicken Parm to Cannolis, Quesadillas to Guacamole and Egg Rolls to Sushi!

Just in time for Labor Day Weekend, we are sharing our Mediterranean Menu– refreshing, tasty and healthy (well…except for the Fried Oreos, but at least they will make you think of the Wayne County Fair!).  Make this with your “home family” and think fondly of camp….P.S. all recipes are “group-size” and serve 12-15 people! So invite the neighborhood!



  • 1 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 25 pcs 4×2″ cubed watermelon
  • 10 oz feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 T shredded mint


  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half and syrupy, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stack pieces of watermelon on each plate and drizzle balsamic reduction. Sprinkle with feta cheese and mint and serve.




  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
  • 2 Cans (19oz) Garbanzo, half liquid reserved
  • ½ C Lemon Juice
  • ¼ C Tahini
  • 2 t Salt
  • ¼ C Olive Oil
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. In a blender, chop the garlic. Pour garbanzo beans into blender, reserving about a tablespoon for garnish.
  2. Place lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic and salt
    in blender.  Blend until creamy and well mixed.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top.
  5. Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans.
  6. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans.




  • 1 C Olive Oil
  • 1 C Balsamic
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Red Chili Flakes
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Breast Chunks
  • Peppers
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Skewers


  1. In 2 separate containers (or Ziploc bags) combine olive oil, garlic, balsamic, lemon juice, red chili flakes, salt & pepper. 1 container is for chicken, the other add Peppers, Onion + Mushroom. Let marinate for 1 4 hours (or longer if you have time).
  2. On each skewer, alternate chicken & vegetable.
  3. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.




  • Oreos
  • Instant pancake mix
  • Greek yogurt
  • Grapes
  • Honey
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Powdered sugar

Directions for Grapes & Honey:

  1. Freeze grapes overnight.
  2. Place yogurt in 1 large bowls or individual bowls.
  3. Drizzle in the honey and mix. Add frozen grapes as desired or just eat alone.

Directions for Fried Oreos:

  1. Add water to instant pancake mix.
  2. Cover Oreo completely in pancake mix.
  3. Fry in vegetable oil until golden. Let cool and top with powdered sugar.
Mediterranean Menu- Camp Towanda Culinary

Copyright 2014- Camp Towanda

About Camp Towanda:

Camp Towanda is an independent, traditional, co-ed sleep-away camp in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. It is privately owned, operated and directed by Mitch and Stephanie Reiter.  For over 90 years, Camp Towanda has continued to define what camp should really be. Our program offers state-of-the-art facilities, an excellent and professional athletic department, waterfront, extensive arts, drama and adventure programs, culinary cooking classes, and special events.  We are highly regarded and respected as an industry leader and are involved in giving back to various organizations throughout the year.  Camp Towanda is accredited by the American Camp Association and a member of the Camp-Alert-Network, Wayne County Camp Association, Camp Owners and Directors Association and the Pennsylvania Camp Association.

The Campers are Coming Home!

10583787_10100819434150911_1211792499_nYou made it. 7 weeks ago, you let them go, with tears behind your sunglasses, and trusted us with your precious cargo.  When we return them to you on Friday, you will feel a change, you will see a change and you will feel pride that you gave your kids the best gift you ever could have given them.  They may not be able to tell you every detail you want to hear.  They may be emotionally drained from saying goodbye.  They most likely will spend their days reconnecting with camp friends and holding on to every last memory, experience and bond.

We have given you a peak into their experience. You have looked through thousands of photos this summer, made Friday Nite Flix a Saturday morning ritual and checked the Camp Cam every now and then (speaking of which- we are proud of you parents for only crashing the camp cam a couple times this summer!).  Now is their turn to share their side of the stories.

Gone are the innocent days when parents picked up their child from the bus and asked how Olympics broke out.  In the old days, parents really had no clue and were so excited to hear it all! We know that “you know”, but please pretend like you don’t and ask all the same questions.  Hear what they saw, what they experienced, what they conquered. Their stories are better than any photo we may have captured.

Speaking of photos, if you saved their Campminder photos, let your camper see them! Maybe they will want to share them with you from their perspective (if they choose to keep those moments to themselves…that’s okay too).  Remember when you thought your child missed an activity because they weren’t in the group photo? Wait until they tell you they were laughing so hard they needed to run to the bathroom! Have them sing you their Olympics songs (we posted the song sheets on the blog). Let them make you a camp meal (our digital Culinary Kitchen Cookbook is coming soon!). But also realize this was THEIR experience and they may not want to share it all.  It is an experience they can hold as their own and only something they and their camp friends can truly understand.   And that’s what makes it so special!

You will notice change…we cannot promise it will all last (especially living unplugged-and not only surviving but thriving, reading at rest time, making their beds, eating with napkins on their laps and cleaning their showers).  We hope as parents you learned and grew from this experience as well (I know I have!).  See which of these “changes” you can make last, because we know your kids can do it!  Consider adding some “tech-free” times to your family routine…you can even call it “Towanda Time!”–THAT will get them into it!

You made it. They did it. And we can’t wait to do it all over again in 317 days.

About Camp Towanda:

Camp Towanda is an independent, traditional, co-ed sleep-away camp in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. It is privately owned, operated and directed by Mitch and Stephanie Reiter (who are celebrating 25 years as owners and directors).  For over 90 years, Camp Towanda has continued to define what camp should really be. Our program offers state-of-the-art facilities, an excellent and professional athletic department, waterfront, extensive arts, drama and adventure programs, and special events.  We are highly regarded and respected as an industry leader and are involved in giving back to various organizations throughout the year.  Camp Towanda is accredited by the American Camp Association and a member of the Camp-Alert-Network, Wayne County Camp Association, Camp Owners and Directors Association and the Pennsylvania Camp Association.

Olympics Sing 2014- Mitch’s Report

2345958a-a05b-4e94-a165-aef5bf48546dOlympics is officially over! The final night of sing was incredibly entertaining as the staff turned the Field House into a beach scene on the Red Lifeguard side and White Rock Mountain Ski Resort on the Blue side; incredible 3-D scenery, props, special FX, costumes and sounds! The entire Field House was transformed as skit, song and presentations ruled the night.

bf546404-48b3-4890-ba49-16b210a6347dIn the end, Blue won Sing, Red won plaque design and the final overall score was RED LIFEGUARDS 2823, BLUE SKI PATROL 2923; an incredibly even 100 point difference after 5 days and close to 5800 points. Congratulations BLUE, they get the STAR on their plaque!

881a46a4-6b66-4908-9084-09740ef15dcaAll in all, great excitement, sportsmanship, respect and friendship and fun; could not ask for anything more.  For the record books, here are the lyrics to Sing 2014! “Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”

Blue Ski Patrol Cheer & March


Red Lifeguards Cheer


Red Lifeguard March




Day 3 & 4: Burn that Fire and Swamp the Canoe!

6851d8b6-aaa2-4771-85d6-80872bc44630Welcome to two of the most exciting days of Olympics.  Rope Burning and the Great Apache Relay. Two events that are so deep in Towanda tradition, that have been physically, emotionally and spiritually passed down for so many generations and generations to come.  If one were to ask me what the penultimate night of the summer is, I would have to say it is the night of Rope Burning. And if one would have to ask what is the most fun event of the summer, I would have to say Apache! And here’s why…

e3bfc332-4840-4f5a-a5ca-5c73d903870cAs we headed into the night of Rope Burning, I reflected on how far our campers have come…first they arrived, learned to get out of their comfort zones, try new things, make new friends, learn independence, learn new skills, learn responsibilities, learn to laugh and even earn pride (win or lose), great sportsmanship and camaraderie.

f963ca81-c554-45f2-825c-d844d2781fadFast forward to the end of the summer; new friends, young and older, team mates, opposing team friends, ultimate spirit, cheering, marching, singing…along with a focus of determination and spirit…. It doesn’t matter if you are a wood gatherer, a wood sorter or a fire builder or on the ever important cheering end …ROPE BURNING brings camp to its highest level.

37d55216-9dd6-4686-9103-d9d7746915adEveryone together, everyone focused, intensely psyched up, faces painted, wearing ceremonial sweatshirts passed down from generations…and then the horn blows! Like an assembly line the teams work together to gather, sort and feed the best wood to their intensely focused fire builders and experienced coaches. Equally intense are those on the sidelines. Holding hands. Anticipating and awaiting the fate of the fires.

decc569f-ebba-4224-9b2c-2daa7cb9adb6It’s all about the fire, building it, burning it, higher and higher… and one team wins…..BUT then the whole camp cheers on the team that did not win. And in the end, the oldest campers come back together as a brotherhood and sisterhood. Proud they achieved this experience together. Through tears, sweat and face paint.


No one ever gave up…both teams can hold their heads high as they retreated to their meeting places and cheer on their teammates to the highest of voices and praise.

So proud …that here…like nowhere else…they learn the life lesson of losing (with the support of so many) is not so bad…and that you can hold your head high.  And the winners stand tall with their opponents embracing.

4fadf0e8-3d15-4f30-bbc9-90524f0be53eThat was rope burning. Awesome…exhilarating and impressive. If there was a night that parents could be a fly on the wall, I would wish it were this night. BUT, if you were here, it wouldn’t happen, it would be different….that is also why camp is unique and valuable.

By the way, The Red Lifeguards won Rope Burning in an impressive 11:29 while it took the Blue Ski Patrol 26:18.

6050c198-5a0f-4722-9ebf-bd6e12b5e23b(By the way…earlier in the day, the Boy’s Track meet went 401-395 RED. The Girl’s Swim Meet was 316-328 BLUE.)

Which brings me to the Great Apache Relay, an all-afternoon extravaganza of 243 events, in which EVERY SINGLE camper is involved and is passed the baton. Older campers to younger campers. Boys camp to girls camp. Our family comes together to make this epic event happen!

e8e6e7c1-357f-428c-a9fc-58851a2b5085It is a crazy, multi-faceted, widespread, inter-connected, entertaining yet challenging all afternoon race.  The teams scour over their skills to decide who does what and it takes over 2 ½ hours to setup and and over an hour an a half to complete.

2240c6db-3282-449d-b695-c16df0ae35beEvents from pogo-stick jumping, shoelace lacing, soccer goals, potato sack races to baseball tosses, basketball-tennis-hockey shots to sailing, swamped canoes, laps and several 100 more events that captivate all of us for the afternoon.


Campers followed my live coverage over the PA System (brought to you by our sponsors Kit Kat, sunscreen of your choice and water) and hopefully you at home followed us on @Twitter and @Instagram (the only event we really “report live” all summer because it’s just SO FUN).

The running of the apache relay was basically neck and neck throughout, with never more than a 2 minute lead and most of the time the teams were within seconds of each other. It was THAT close, it was THAT exciting. NECK & NECK! Did you see the photos?

dbf06a87-ad77-4fee-8435-f02e3a0abc12The cheering, the laughter, the greatness was OH SO BEAUTIFUL…. And at the traditional fire brigade finish, Red squeaked out the victory by just an 11 second differential!  That is a very close Apache (some years there is a 45 minute difference)!

399c708e-4e81-4e2f-a4d9-951d84e3714dSunday Night’s traditional Silent Dinner BBQ was followed by under the lights events (knockout, basketball and softball).

fa5e4f72-9802-43a8-accf-d71ab415d9deAnd as we enter the 5th and final day of Olympics (which concludes with the Great Olympic Sing Monday Night), The BLUE SKI PATROL has an almost ONLY 70 point lead over The RED LIFEGUARDS, but there are still over 400 points available Monday!

Despite the rampant Olympic Fever, even more so is the sense I have of bittersweetness in the air. I can feel it lofting around as everyone, from the youngest DEBS and JETS right though the CLUB and DORM and onward through the counselors, both veterans and first year people… that there  seems to be a “getting closer and closer” as our time together shortens. The goals of the summer have been achieved; if we were to stop and get off of our carousel and look at ourselves 7 weeks ago compared to where we are today, we would see a big difference…one of growth, confidence, comfort, friendship, respect and love.

Bring it on, the final and awesome days, it is like the crescendo of why we are here!

Judgies 2014And a word about our well over 65 guest Alumni Judgies, who come back home to continue the tradition, legacy and spirit of camp. It makes our camp ever so special; as the campers relish the old stories (albeit somewhat embellished), the staff are wowed that people take off from work and time away from their families to return to Judge Olympics. Their presence just adds to an already spirited force.  As one alumni said- “You don’t just go to Towanda; Towanda is with you for life. There’s no place I would rather be this weekend than here.”

Stay tuned for this week’s edition of Friday Nite Flix (which we will air with the campers on Thursday).  It will feature Olympic highlights and more! Not to be missed!

Day 2 Olympics- Mitch’s Report

photo 3A great day of activities on Day 2 of Olympics. Debs playing newcomb in Tutus (from yesterday’s basketball in Tutus), lots of team spirit, incredibly intense matches on the Football field, soccer field and ghost court. Games going into overtime. Everyone giving it their all. Showing incredible spirit and teamwork. Our Girls Track meet was in the morning and Boys Swim meet in the afternoon. Relay races showing the best of Towanda. Teamwork, supporting each other and win or lose, having each other’s backs.

photo 2One Jet was overheard in the “pit” awaiting his race say “This is a really big deal. It’s my first swim meet”. For so many of these campers, this week is a lot of firsts. Being a part of something big and important, that carries over 90 years of Towanda traditions. Running their first ever track meet with half of camp cheering them on. Feeling they can’t swim freestyle for one seemingly long lap, to knowing they can. It’s awesome to see these young kids jump right in and know what they do today makes a difference and having so so so much fun!

More Alumni Judgies are rolling in upon the shores of our camp. Sharing Olympic history with our campers and creating their own new Olympic memories here this summer as they watch Red Lifeguards and Blue Ski Patrol in action. Seeing how many generations we have here represented is just awesome. And the kids love having them here to share in these traditions that have gone on for decades.

photo 2-1Last night we had our traditional Shabbos dinner, our last one this summer, with the Dorm and Debs doing candlelighting and ushering us in. It is always so amazing to see these two groups at the end of the summer. The Dorm 2014 has served as role models for Girls Camp and now we see the Dorm 2021, 2022 and even 2023 see their future and what they will become. It’s something to aspire to, look forward to, and dream of for the next 7+ years.

Dinner was silent, until Red and Blue did some fun cheers to get their teams pumped for LONG JUMP! We divided the teams at 3 locations last night for efficient long jumping. The kids swung their arms, flew in the air, landed (hopefully without falling- or at least falling forward), and worked as a team to go the farthest!

photo 5After milk and cookies and bed, some groups still had late night games to be played. Inter Girls under the lights soccer and National Boys basketball on main field to name a couple.

Wood collection continued for tonite’s Rope Burning and we prepare for another day of events.

As we enter Day 3 of the 5 days of Olympics, the score is: RED LIFEGUARDS: 1203  and BLUE SKI PATROL: 1321…still, very close and exciting!

End of Day 1 Olympics- Mitch’s Report

c56efd08-8192-4569-a54a-4c24d799c85aAttention RED fans, Attention BLUE fans,

Okay Olympics Day 1 is done. Judgies and Generals are still meeting as I write and the sing scenery and plaque crews are still working late.

The WOW factor of breakout was the talk of the morning; everyone just realizing how cool (or should I say “cold”) it was…how incredible, how exciting, how suprising and how much a part of it they were.

And then the day really got started…

e09edf0e-4003-40dd-bca5-28102a982280As we left breakfast, the maintenance crew was on the main basketball court, shoveling, blowing and sweeping the 3 inches of snow (looked even more incredible in the morning light) onto our mini golfcart dump trucks and then dumping it all into one big pile.  It took several hours to clean, then power wash and scrub the court clean for the first game of the afternoon.  The snow pile actually now sits at the far side of the court, off in the grass.  We are not certain how long it will last!

01206c21-d022-488b-a5dc-5e78992f4703Once the adrenaline of Breakout filters through every bone in one’s body, it helps transform that excitement into a spirited commitment; virtually taking all the ingredients and experiences of the summer to produce the ultimate in sportsmanship, friendship and positive energy.  This is what I saw today…an incredible air of passionate happiness and joy……exactly what we all have been striving for since everyone arrived way back in June. Camp Towanda, at it’s finest!

b560aff4-8389-4fa5-8045-2e1aca7600acUnfortunately I am unable to capture all of the activities and events of the day as I was at GHOST reffing some incredible matches. The thing about GHOST is it really defines what Towanda is all about. Simply; it is fun to play, it doesn’t matter what your level of skill or ability is; as everyone is important to the game (even spectators) and you are never out…..  there is a lot more to it (123 rules in fact)—but it is the most INTENSE and loved sport at camp.

Speaking of intense, we had an enjoyable traditional silent Olympic dinner (the entire mess hall silent), which concludes with entertaining cheers.

Then evening event was tug of war; which was also very exciting; follwed by some late night soccer and basketball games.

773a8285-7280-473b-a796-47ba9770499eSo, at the end of day 1; with still 50 points still to be tabulated, the score is an incredibly close RED LIFEGUARDS 309 and the BLUE SKI PATROL, 300!!!  How about that!

Day 2 is on the horizon. More reporting from the field…

Good luck Red Team.  Good luck Blue Team.

THIS IS IT! Olympics 2014 BREAKOUT!

Sound the air horn. THIS IS IT! Olympics 2014 has officially begun! But let’s rewind to hear how it all went down.

ccfe028d-3cb0-4020-8632-a737786d1be5Yesterday we had another attempt at an all-camp canteen after lunch; this time it actually happened; which was followed by an unprecedented AIRBANDS in the middle of the day ON the main basketball court (just like the old days). Airbands is our very creative choreographed lip sync contest. Many presentations that were fantastic but The National boys won with their FAMILY GUY MEDLEY.  The day continued but one just didn’t know which direction to look.. an air horn blasting there… my shirt changing colors at a faster rate (like every 5 minutes for a few hours)  then we said it was early showers (but why?). The boys lined up at flagpole 15 minutes early (lying down on the grassy knoll by the time the girls arrived)…..then a very short free play, what was happening????

Kids were guessing, oh it’s a rock and roll team or it is going to be something retro or nostalgic or it is lasers against strobes and on and on and on.

But it was just another night of evening activity…an exciting, super-charged, high-energy 1st ever night of MARS VS VENUS (or better explained as boys camp vs girls camp) challenge night of balloon tosses, pie throwing, sponge toss, and so on…mixed in with a couple of dance parties.  We had the amphitheater rockin once again! The “friendsy’ was again at an energized height…so much so, that I think no one was thinking about Olympics anymore for those moments.


BUT THEN, in the middle of the energy of MARS VS VENUS a snowmobile appeared seemingly out of nowehere and raced across the lawn between the amphitheter steps and the stage…. Air horns blared, Pink Floyd’s “Is anybody out there” echoed not only in the amphitheter but throughout the camp PA system…..


The crowd chased after the snowmobile which led the entire camp racing toward the main basketball court… While racing, you could see smoke billowing in the air which seemed like it was coming from the area of the main basketball court…as you got closer, “is anybody out there” was now blasting as loud as you can imagine from the mansion roof…but wait……


THERE WAS A SNOWSTORM HAPPENING ON THE MAIN BASKETBALL COURT and surrounding area….REALLY…over 3 inches of snow blanketed this huge area….. and then about a dozen more snowmobiles came racing down the hill from boys camp and pulled up to the outskirts of the basketball court….flanked by 15 lifeguards!


Our attention then focused on the center court …snow everywhere…… the banners unfurled…we were witnessing the RED LIFE GUARDS VS THE BLUE SKI PATROL!

People were on snowmobiles, carrying skiis, boots and poles….lifeguards were carrying flippers, goggles and life-saving buoys…..   it seemeed as if the snow was real, the snow guns blanketing camp…

And then,THE HEAD JUDGE (Bobby), perched on his stand, blasted the air horn and declared the start of OLYMPICS 2014!


The crowd was crazy……  the lifeguards started shoveling a path on the slippery court….black non skid mats were placed for the soon to be announced Generals, Camper Captains (cc’s), Lieutenants and Sergeants to come running down…slipping and sliding together to lead their teams….

After the teams were split, they had a meeting  and then we all gathered on the grassy knoll to light the Olympic rings in flame…..

e16a7343-7c6a-4b68-bca8-f04182d9376aMy friends, Olympics has started, it was crazy, it was intense, it was a SNOWSTORM…..

Kids of every age came up to me and were high fiving me or tossing snow and saying ‘That was  THE BEST ever”…it certainly ranks up there as A W E S O M E, surreal and oh my WOW!!!

It was fun to plan, fun to put together and fun to watch happen….everyone is pumped!!! Let the games begin (if you need me I will be on the Ghost court for the next 5 days reffing 87 games, and lovin every bit of it)!!!

1, 3, 5, 6, We Want Olympics!

2b6c5cd8-dafd-4ea4-a888-2978663e4648Camp is reaching it’s all time high as we sailed past Visiting Day, thru the candy crash, beyond amazing trip days (like the Wayne County Fair) in anticipation for OLYMPICS!!!! First came the psych outs to Pink Floyd’s “Is there anybody out there” chant.  But nothing.  Then Monday morning, the Club Boys initiated a somewhat intentionally lame “fake out” at lineup.  Let the buzz officially begin.

While the days are filled with “regular” activities, exciting Wayne County Championship matches and other traditional festivities (Dip’n Dots near the picnic tables…10 flavors to choose from!), everyone is feeling the same thing: 1, 3, 5, 6 WE WANT OLYMPICS!

ffced99b-2736-432e-8098-81989f4153daThe tension of observing the Senior Staff and me change shirt colors, from red to blue and back again, took the suspicion and nerves to a new level!  After the all camp play, Robin Hood Men in Tights, The Club and Dorm joined forces and created a stimulating fakeout based on The Hunger Games.  The Club and Dorm linked together emotionally and by their clenched hands while the Jets and Debs were temporarily confused, but still enjoying the excitement yet to unfurl. We are all enjoying the ride attempting to decipher all the hysteria from psych out to fake out to when and WHAT is the real thing!

8453baf4-44ef-4f97-a7be-35adaa24d58dOn Tuesday the entire camp headed to the Wayne County Fair! Over 257 chicken wing pretzel sandwiches were consumed and there are now 37 goldfish swimming in the Mansion patio pond.  I think many watched the pig races or ate a deep fried Oreo.

The energy level was high at dinner, which got interrupted by a Flash Mob Disney Dance throughout the mess hall with the waiters, waitresses and entire kitchen department bursting into Disney song and dance with their trays, ketchup bottles and silverware; dancing on the tables, chaos up and down the center aisles!

616d0b1b-1bee-4b50-aaa4-cb0da75a8d26The kids were swooped up into high alert, but the dance ended and I went on with my dinner announcements…..and oddly enough, despite a day of Carny Foods, I announced we were going to do an unprecedented all camp canteen, to be distributed on the main basketball court…..well, that just took about 15 seconds for everyone to head to the main basketball court….


However, once they got there…..one couldn’t help but notice the blue and red smoke bombs out on the main soccer field, off in the distance…then the loudest rock and roll music was blasting from our aerial lift….as all the camp gathered in the soccer field, hands clenched, hearts beating, Pink Floyd’s “Is anybody out there” blasted…then on the zipline came a hard rocker with guitar wheeling the tunes…..THE BLUE DJS vs. THE RED ROCKERS. Was this it?

d864f639-f696-484c-89ad-525932c0e6d7The banners and Generals came running out…the Generals were annoiunced, the Club Camper Captains were announced and then just before the Dorm Girl CC’s were announced….the Club boys YELLED  ‘FAKEOUT”…

And with almost perfect timing, the skies opened up with a  heavy downpour and everyone retreated to the bunks.

Today is another day.  Is there anybody out there????