Yes, at camp we strive for a certain nostalgic, simpler times, throwback feel. The exception? The dining hall. Think: avocado toast bar, Dim Sum buffet, Homemade Gravlox on Sundays and matzoh ball soup with Friday night dinner! Of course, cookouts are still hamburgers and hot dogs, and we have plenty of kid-friendly food like chicken fingers (white meat), pizza (whole wheat crust, gluten free and dairy veggie options); this isn’t the camp food you remember, moms and dads!
Oh, and the dining hall is air conditioned. It’s just more pleasant that way! At Pine Forest, we see the dining hall as an extension of home. Campers sit with their bunks at the same table every day for every meal. Food is served buffet style, and campers may help themselves to as much as they want. All counselors make sure plates are looking full, fresh and colorful. A plateful of sweet potato fries isn’t gonna cut it!
Matt Miller Dining Services Director
Whether it’s a food allergy or the pickiest of eaters, our staff will make sure your camper feels comfortable, confident and receives the attention he or she requires when it comes to their diet. We even have a nutrition specialist on staff dedicated to allergies, dietary needs and food restrictions. They meet with both our culinary staff and our campers and advises campers on what’s okay and what’s not okay for each specific concern. We provide special meal accommodations to anyone with dairy, gluten (our own Director Emeritus Marvin Black eats strictly gluten-free!), fish, shellfish, egg or soy allergies. In addition, we always have kosher and vegetarian options available for anyone with those specific diets. More about peanut and tree-nuts…
For over 30 years, Owner/Director Barbara Black has overseen all the food at Pine Forest. Homemade is her expertise. On Friday afternoons you can find her in the kitchen making challah for Friday night dinner, preparing fruit platters for a Junior Luau, or making one of four meatball (regular, gluten-free, kosher and vegetarian) options for spaghetti & meatball dinners.
Barbara takes great pride in making the dining hall feel like an extension of home; beautiful wildflowers are always on display and bowls of fruit always full and available to campers from morning till night.
Every day, campers have multiple options at each and every meal. You can count on the following options at each meal:
Runny noses! Sprained ankles! Tick checks, oh my! Our camp Health Center is open and fully staffed with nurses and a Doctor on-site 24/7. From bee stings to homesickness — we’re here for you!
In addition to our nurses and doctor, we have someone at camp specifically dedicated to overseeing general camper health center welfare, taking campers to the local orthodontist or urgent care, and generally making things more comfortable for your camper and for you on the other end of the phone!
Prescriptions for all daily medications are packaged and shipped directly to camp through PackMyRx (link) to ensure safe and efficient dispensing at camp. We can assure you your camper will not be the only one heading to the health center for their morning medication! Do they need a melatonin gummy at nighttime? Those, too! We are always happy to talk through your camper’s medication needs with you.
In addition to extraordinary parents, teachers and experienced school counselors on site, we’re supported by a team of mental health professionals on standby. A great resource to parents, campers and staff, our support includes at least 3 psychologists at all times.
Peanuts and Tree-Nuts
We do not serve peanut or tree-nut products or products that list peanuts or tree-nuts as ingredients at all in our dining hall. We also check for cross contact warnings on all products. However, not all of our suppliers label in this way, and manufacturers may change their labels without notice. Therefore, we are unable to guarantee avoidance of cross-contact with regard to nuts. If your allergic camper is able to eat in a restaurant, you will find camp to be a great and safe haven.
Matt began attending sleep-away camp at age 6 and has been involved ever since. 30+ years later, he is still spending his summers in the Poconos! After many years as a camper, Matt worked his way through the ranks gaining experience as a general counselor, specialist, group leader, program director, special events coordinator, trip leader, and operations manager – now he can’t imagine watching a July 4th Fireworks show anywhere but camp!
Matt joined the Pine Forest, Timber Tops and Lake Owego family as one of our operations directors in 2021 and works on our full-time team on the operations side. During the summer, Matt oversees all food operations at camp, working closely with Barbara Black to make sure our culinary programs provide exciting options for a wide range of dietary needs so that no one ever leaves one of our dining rooms hungry!
Matt’s dedication to camping goes beyond our camps. He is an active member of the American Camping Association (ACA) and Wayne County Camp Alliance (WCCA). Matt volunteers as an Accreditation Visitor for the ACA and works closely with the Pennsylvania Camping Association (PACA) as well. During the off-season, Matt lives in New York City where he was born and raised.