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Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. Deuteronomy 13:2

When I retire I am going to … To many of us retirement is painted as a time to relax, sleep-in, watch TV, travel, etc. But as always, our plans not always match up with God’s plans for our lives, even in retirement.

Shortly after I retired, I volunteered and started spending a week each summer as a camp dish washer and kitchen helper, while my wife was the camp nurse at a local youth camp. From those experiences I learned many lessons about washing dishes and serving food of which a sampling follows:

  1. The dishwater must be at a certain temperature and dishwasher must be run for a prescribed time.
  2. Thorough hand washing with hot water and soap is required of all servers.
  3. The silverware must be placed on a clean towel and allowed to air dry.
  4. After items are washed they must be placed in designated cabinets.
  5. Children’s hands must be inspected for cleanliness.
  6. Certain foods must be stored at certain temperatures.
  7. Food for children must be placed on plates by servers.
  8. Food should be nutritious and presented in an attractive way.
  9. The kitchen must be examined by food inspectors at regular intervals.
  10. The head of the kitchen and the camp must have food licenses.

As I became older and my heart pumped less efficiently, I first reduced my exercise while at camp and then eventually became unable to go because of the high altitude.

God, too, was concerned about the food safety of His children Israel. Deuteronomy 14:3-20 lists the foods that the Israelites were forbidden to eat and those that were permissible. Modern Food Technology confirms the wisdom of those choices for people wandering in the desert without refrigeration.

Kitchen helper at a Bible camp,

Food technology made its stamp,

Keeping food clean and good to eat,

Was an experience hard to beat.

 Working in a kitchen helped me understand the importance of camp kitchen rules.


 What lessons have you learned in the kitchen?