Chef T (Taryn Woell) has announced that the 2022 season will be her final season as Camp Arcadia’s Food Service Director. Taryn has served in this role since 2019, weathering quite a few storms and challenging seasons since then.
“I can not thank Taryn enough for serving as our chef during these difficult years. She joined our staff on short-notice right after the season started and confidently led our staff through that summer. In 2020 and 2021, the pandemic summers, Taryn was responsible for navigating the kitchen through those uncertain times. The hallmark of Taryn’s leadership though some very challenging summers has been her passion for Camp’s ministry, a commitment to our guests and compassionate leadership of our summer staff. We will miss her greatly, but I am thankful that she will be the chef during our 100th Anniversary summer.” – Chip May
Sarah Olson sat down with Taryn to talk about her time as Chef.
So, Taryn, you’re planning on this season being your last – what led you to that decision?
I have loved working at Camp – I feel like God is calling me elsewhere. I was hired when Camp was in a time of need and I’m proud that I was able to step up and serve when and where I was needed. Honestly, I was able to help Camp make it through a few pretty stressful seasons! I like to think of myself as a good semi-permanent solution to filling the Food Service Director role, and I think at this point, Camp is in a better place to search for and find someone who is going to be a great long-term fit.
Tell us more about how you came to join Camp Arcadia’s full time staff in 2019. You had been a recent summer staffer, right?
Yes, I served on summer staff in the kitchen in 2016, 2017 and part of 2018 (due to starting an internship in Chicago). Chip and Leah both reached out initially to ask for help when the vacancy was first available. I had a lot of questions, but the more I heard about it, thought about it, prayed about it, and talked to family and friends, it seemed like a good leap of faith for me. I knew that Camp really needed someone to step up and I thought I could help this place that I love so much by doing just that. So, I decided to go for it!
What are some of the things that you’ve loved most about serving as Chef?
On full-season staff, I loved the opportunity to see every little thing it takes to make Camp run year round – even as a cottager, with a family invested in Camp and all my time on the summer staff, I never realized what it takes to make Camp possible. I like knowing that I’m a part of that. I love planning and working in the off-season and then watching everything come together each season.
What will you miss most about serving on full-time staff?
It’s going to be hard to be back on the “other side” of Camp – knowing that I won’t always be here when my fall staff regulars are here or developing those relationships with each group of summer staff, especially those who return for multiple seasons. I have loved getting to work with so many amazing people – they are the ones who make the long hours and hard work worth it.
What are you most looking forward to in this, your final season?
Well, obviously it’s the 100th, so I’m looking forward to going out with a bang! I’ve also been working really hard to prepare for the next person who will hold this position – trying to make sure they have as smooth a transition as possible. Whether that means updating equipment, file storage or staff manuals, I really hope to leave well and make sure that the next Food Service Director has a great transition into this role.
I’m also looking forward to bringing back some of the old Camp meal structures (cookouts, served lunch and dinner, etc.) – finally being able to have a more normal season after so many weird ones is going to be nice!
What’s next for you Taryn?
Well, I don’t have many specifics here. I know that I’m looking to move toward business marketing and event planning (if anyone has any leads…). It’s impossible to know exactly what opportunities will be waiting for me after this year. We’ll see what God has in store.
Well, Taryn, I think I can speak for the whole Camp community by saying a very sincere, “Thank you!” for your years of service to Camp – we are truly grateful for the energy, hours and passion that you’ve brought to this position. Thank you for sharing your love for Camp each day as you work in the kitchen, and we’ll look forward to seeing you enjoy Camp “on the other side” as a guest and cottager again!
Feel free to share a message of thanks to Taryn below or any time throughout this upcoming season!
If you or someone you know might be interested in the Chef position, click here to learn more.