Baking camp sweetens lives of students during the summer

Local News

Tucked away in a kitchen in Topeka, a summer baking camp is teaching students some things they didn’t learn during the school year. 

It’s taught by Camille Eichorn. She teaches pastry and baking at the USD 501’s new TCALC campus.

She had students baking desserts all week-long. 

“We’ve also lightly touched based on the proper method for making cookies, cupcakes are our emphasis this week along with piping skills,” Eichorn said. 

But that wasn’t just about sweet recipes, they also learned important kitchen basics.  

“Typically we are concentrating on the seven steps of customer service, we’re talking about food-borne illnesses, we’re talking about kitchen safety, how to watch your hands properly and when to wash your hands,” Eichorn said. 

This is one of several camps offered to students by Topeka Public Schools, all with the goal to keep kids learning even after school has let out for the summer. 

Kari Ritter, Director of Summer Enrichment for USD 501, sees the value in the summer programs. 

“I think the benefit is that they come back to school without having that summer slide, that very much exists for our students, and so they come back I feel like in that academic state of mind and not having lost anything that they left the school year with,” Ritter said. 

Camille hopes the camp will get kids thinking about cookies as a career. 

“The wonderful thing about the culinary field is that it’s a passport to see the world,” Eichorn said. “A lot of our students come from middle to lower class incomes and so this enables them to see that there are other options. It enables them to see that you can stay in Topeka and give back to your community or you can travel and see the world.”

This is the third year USD 501 has put on the camps.

They are open to kids from all districts.

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