A Chef for All Seasons--Nicole Baker
Heartland Center is fortunate to have our Kitchen Manager, Nicole Baker, who started in July of 2015. She obtained her degree in Hospitality, Food and Beverage Management from Johnson County Community College in 2014. Included were cooking classes, beverage classes and a requirement for 6000 hours as an apprentice. All of this training shows in Nicole's skills at menu planning and preparation.
Nicole says "Kitchens are my life!" She professes to enjoy chaos, which is good, given that a crowd of noisy campers as well as folks on retreats may be eating in the dining hall on any given day.
Heartland is a good fit for Nicole. Food service is notorious for its long and often late hours, and stressful demands. Nicole was looking for a job where she could be home with her family in the evenings, and where being a parent could remain a priority. The position has no late nights and offers flexibility when needed.
Since she came to Heartland, Nicole has focused on cooking "from scratch" and varying the menu to include new items. She observes that people now have high expectations, and she wants the center to be a place where people can get really good food. She also believes that meals do not have to be extravagant to be tasty.
Nicole loves everything about hospitality. However, she notes that Heartland is a unique and special place to work. She says it functions like a gigantic family, where the people are caring and almost anybody is willing to help when there is a need. She is excited about her first full summer feeding the summer camp attendees.
Sitting by the Campfire
. . .let your light shine before others that they may see your good gifts and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
A special delight for participants in overnight camps is the evening campfire. Gathering around the campfire is a great way to close out the day that has been filled with swimming, hiking, laughing and making new friends. It is a time to think about the day's adventures and the many things to be thankful for.
As the flame fades, the coals provide heat for toasting marshmallows to make the ever popular "s'mores." Most importantly, the campfire is a place where campers sing songs of praise, hear of the Good News of Jesus Christ, reflect on how God has been experienced through the day, and share bedtime prayers.
The campfire also reminds us that we are called to let our own light shine as a witness to others. Hopefully you have been fortunate enough to have had a campfire experience. If not, know that there is still time to make it happen.
Proud to be Heartland Center!
We are happy to announce that again this year, Heartland Center has been identified as one of the "Summer Camps that Change the World." This award for excellence comes from The Center for Faith and Service of McCormick Seminary, and affirms the great work that is done each summer.
People on Retreat are Saying...
The food is great!
Your cook is easy to work with and very approachable.
The brownie dessert was out of this world!
We had quite a few participants with special dietary needs. Your staff went above and beyond in accommodating. It was really wonderful.
Heartland Center -- July Groups
Please keep these retreat groups in your prayers as they gather at Heartland Center July.
- Handbell Camp
- Second Presbyterian Church
- Langvardt Family Reunion
- Grandview Park Presbyterian Church
- Midwest Fellowship
- O'Connell Family Reunion
- University of Kansas Athletics
- Gateway Church
- St. Petersburg International Music Academy
- Church of the Nazarene
- Overland Park Church of Christ
- Wenger Family Reunion