Each year there is an abundance of summer camps, but not all of them involve learning how to bake and decorate cupcakes.
Rachael Hanks teaches kids ages eight to 18 how to make cupcakes of all kinds, and how to decorate them during her Gourmet Cupcake Camps, hosted at Covington City Hall.
“It’s a gourmet cupcake camp and it is a camp that focuses on three different skills sets. I focus on teaching them how to prepare from scratch with non-prepared ingredients. Mixing, baking and finishing or decorating a cupcake,” Hanks said. “So everyday they come in and I teach them a new cake method and then they bake it and it comes out and we make a new frosting and then I teach them a new way to decorate it.”
She already had her first camp in July and her next one starts Aug. 12 to Aug. 16. Hanks said this is the first ever cupcake camp she has done, but she has been teaching other camps in the city for a few years now.
Hanks wanted to try something new and different that kids would be into, and cupcakes are trendy. Plus, it’s a great way to teach kids multiple skills.
Besides watching food shows and going on YouTube, Hanks said there aren’t any great places for kids to learn how to bake and decorate, besides their own kitchen.
“I think it’s important for them to have a place where they can come learn new skills. I think it’s important they have these skills so they feel confidence in the kitchen and empowerment and an ability to create something and feel good about themselves,” she said.
Besides creating something amazing, Hanks said kids learn how to implement math and conversion in the kitchen as well. Along with teaching them how to properly wash dishes.
Overall, Hanks said she thought her first camp was very successful. She does a survey at the end of each camp and she didn’t get negative feedback. According to Hanks, the kids were excited to learn new things everyday and make cupcakes on top of that.
At the end of the camp, Hanks had a cupcake competition where the kids had to bake the same type of cupcake, but could decorate them anyway they wanted to.
“They had been thinking about it all week. They were asking me questions all week about what they could do and I would say that all but maybe two kids came in early out of the 15,” Hanks said. “They were so excited, they were restless. It was great. They used the skills that we learned all week. I could see they could all do everything that I had taught them.”
In end, all their cupcakes looked amazing. Hanks was impressed with their professionalism and their excitement.
The winner of the competition won a three pack of large tips for decorating cakes and cupcakes, along with a silicone decorating bag and a high-heat silicone spatula.
Currently, all 15 spots for the August camp are filled and there’s a waiting list.
For more information on the Gourmet Cupcake Camp, go to activekids.com/covington-wa/cake-decorating/camps/kids-in-the-kitchen-gourmet-cupcake-camp-2019.
“I think sets my camp apart is that I’m not just teaching kids how to make cookies or how to make cupcakes, but I’m trying to provide an experience for them to understand kind of the whole spectrum of baking and also if they want to also possibly become a professional pastry chef someday, it gives them a little taste of what maybe what they would entail,” Hanks said.