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COLUMBUS,Miss. (WCBI)-School is out and Summer break is getting under way. While most kids are spending their days watching TV or playing outside others are in the kitchen learning how to become a chef. A cup of flour, and a dash of sugar and you have a recipe for learning. Elementary students from across the area are mixing up lessons at this year’s Culinary Camp. Mary-Helen Hawkins, has been a camp instructor at Mississippi University for Women since 2008.

“This week we’ve been having our young group and we’ve been learning how to measure things out we did some basic things Monday morning. We measured our biscuits out, we made homemade jam and then Tuesday we did our Mexican and Wednesday we did pasta and all. The kids loved the pasta,” says Mary-Helen Hawkins.

“There was spaghetti, there were french bread. It was pretty yummy,” says Riley Cooper.

Cookies, Twinkies, and cupcakes were on the dessert menu. Each participant received hands on experience with recipes. Riley Cooper says she plans on making one of these tasty dishes for her family.

“You must need to get a pack of ice cream from Walmart or you can make your ice cream and you can make your own brownie if you know. You can put on any topping you like; like whip cream especially has to have a cherry on top if my papa would like it,” says Cooper.

As campers learn about appliances and healthy meal planning, instructors are adding a cultural spin to their cooking class. Caleb Jenkins says his favorite meal was from Mexican Day.

“My favorite recipe was on the second day. It was something I made all by myself. It was the cinnamon chips. They were chips with cinnamon and sugar on them. They’re bakes. They are really good,” says Caleb Jenkins.

Chef Mary says now she hopes her campers step out of their comfort zone.

“Not scared to try anything so many times kids wont eat things so I’m hoping now they’re willing to give things a chance because a lot of times they are missing out on some really great food,” says Hawkins.

Riley says she has enjoyed every bite.

“At the end when you’re done you can eat…that’s what I like about cooking camp, eating. It’s my favorite part about it,” says Cooper.

The camps will continue through the month of June.

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