5 Tips From Our Kitchen Coordinator

Written by guest blogger Shawn Lengeman. Shawn served in the Army for eight years and in the National Guard for seven. He deployed to Iraq in 2007. Shawn is also a peer mentor with Walton’s Warriors.

Hello! I am Shawn Lengeman, one of Project Sanctuary’s Kitchen Coordinators, also known as the Cook. We at Project Sanctuary are invested in making your retreat as positive as possible.  Your meal time experience at the retreat can be a time of reflection and reconnection. Here are a few suggestions to try and make your meal time and retreat experience stress free.

1. Dietary needs. Do you have a family member with dietary needs? For example, highly sensitive allergies that require specialty foods? Bringing specific meals, snacks, etc., will make the meal times less stressful for the family. Depending on the retreat location, we might be able to reheat pre-prepared meals. Some retreat locations don’t have those capabilities. This is something that can be discussed when you are choosing a retreat location. Unless the allergies are severe, all our locations can accommodate requests such as gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free, and peanut free.

2. Cabin meals. If you choose to eat a meal at your family cabin, you may certainly take food back to your cabin or room. We will miss you at meal time, but please just remember to bring back any plates, bowls, silverware, and glasses.

3. Punctuality. The daily schedule is packed with activities and fun! Showing up to meals on time will benefit not only you, but all others attending.

4. Get your snack on! We are going to keep you busy. Lots of things to do. We will have snacks available (granola bars and such). If you have a favorite snack, you should bring it!

5. Mix it up. Try to sit with new people each meal. It will help you get to know everyone at your retreat. And don’t be afraid to have a kids’ table! Toss those kids together so you can have an adult conversation for once.


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