"...the best thing is that all summer long I had fun while working and learning..." Annie
“...I could tell from the beginning this was going to be a job unlike anything I had done in the past...” Lauren
"Working for G.,B. Catering I have developed skills which can help guide me...in my career. One such skill that I have acquired is the ability to work, live, and befriend people much different than myself...differences in personality, age, and even language..." Sara
“...working for G.B. Catering was one of the most challenging but worthwhile experiences of my whole life. I learned so much about myself...” Rosalynn
"In addition to learning more about myself and developing my sense of organization and responsibility...I also had a lot of fun." Pierre
"Through my summer experience at G.B. Catering, I acquired the knowledge of new skills, endured lessons of coping with difficult situations, dealing with new people, and understanding my personal strengths and weaknesses." Dimitra
"...thank you so much for the job at G.B. Catering...it was the most incredible job experience and it will always be remembered...I became more outgoing and more responsible...I remember going the very first day, thinking "oh my gosh this summer is going to be long!"...looking back I can't believe I said that..." Sarah
“This past summer working with G.B. Catering has been an adventure that I will never forget (nor) the friendships that I have made...” Samantha
COMPANY OVERVIEW... G.B. Catering has been operating successfully in recreational camps and outdoor centres since 1969. We provide food services at about twenty locations across Ontario-and hire approximately 100 employees each summer. Our clients include sports camps, canoe tripping camps, camps for children with special needs (diabetic, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, etc.), religious camps, a family camp, as well as traditional children's camps. Feeding numbers at each camp range from 70 to 375 people per meal.
G.B.'s recipe for success is based on our unique philosophy of preparing high quality home-cooking and fresh-baked goods, including our trademark homemade breads.
JOB PERKS... Season after season, many employees return to work with our company because:
· “Camp Life” is a unique experience. It is a fun place to spend the summer, meet lots of people and make new friends from other regions of Canada and even other countries.
· Employees can participate in a variety of activities at camp which may include, canoeing, windsurfing, water-skiing, archery, basketball, campfires, and of course, there is always swimming.
· Salaries include free room and board, so employees can easily save all or most of their earnings during the summer.
· Opportunities to develop new job skills and independence abound.
·Qualified staff trainers are available to help those wishing to upgrade their cooking and baking skills. Hours worked can be counted towards Red Seal certification.
·Scholarship program: G.B. provides three $500 bursaries each summer to outstanding employees who complete their contracts and who are enrolled full-time in a post-secondary institution (e.g. college, Cégep, university, etc.)
UNIQUE JOB CHALLENGES... Fun and games aside, working in the kitchen at a summer camp is not a job for everyone. Working hours are long, the work is physically demanding and the kitchen can get really hot in the heat of the summer. Some of our locations are also pretty remote, and opportunities to go into town are rare-while this is great for saving money, it can be a difficult adjustment from city living.
A quiz illustrates some of the major challenges associated with our unique positions, and will hopefully help you to determine if you're ready to face them.
* * Click Here for a QUIZ: "Is this the right job for you?" * *
SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE APPLYING
HOURS OF WORK... Hours are long, the work is physically demanding, and the kitchen can get very hot in the heat of the summer. The average day is 8-9 hours of work (not including staff meals and breaks) however the work days can be longer at the beginning of the summer, before everyone gets up to speed and into a routine (i.e. 9-10+ hours of work). The actual schedule really depends on the camp (different mealtimes, daily routines, etc.) and the speed of the employees. Employees work six days per week, with one day off (the actual day can vary depending on the camp).
Working in the kitchen at a camp is different from a restaurant-you know exactly how many people you are feeding, and everyone is eating the same things. Since there is a fixed amount of work to be done, the faster it is completed, the fewer hours you and the rest of your team will work. When everyone works together as a team, the work is completed more quickly.
An average day really varies from camp to camp. There are no real fixed schedules at any of the camps - we work as much and as long as it takes to serve all of the meals. Some days you might have a meal off because the whole camp is on a cook-out or BBQ and other days there might be a banquet, when breaks are limited.
Here are a couple of typical daily schedules from different camps last summer
Return to work
Return to work
Finished for the day
Prep for today and tomorrow
Quick staff Lunch & clean-up
Return to work
Finished for the day
once per week, serve snack at 9pm for 20 minutes
THE CAMP COMMUNITY... Camp is a unique community and work setting. You live where you work, and you work where you live it's like living in a very close-knit small town or with a very large family. It is essential that you have tolerance for others and are considerate of their needs and respectful of their opinions. Each camp has its own set of rules and policies and all of our employees are expected to abide by these rules as a condition of their contract, or termination will result.
SMOKING... Many of our camps are strictly non-smoking. If you are a smoker-even a casual smoker-it is essential that you let us know during the application and interview process, so that we can accommodate you at one of our camps that have a designated smoking area.
ALCOHOL & DRUGS... Being under the influence or in possession of alcohol or illegal drugs on camp property is not tolerated or permitted. Employees who have not reached the Age of Majority in Ontario (those 18 years old or younger) are not permitted to consume alcohol at any time during their employment with G.B. Any breech to these policies will result in immediate dismissal.
POLICE CHECK... Once hired, all employees must provide a copy of a Criminal Records Check, since we work in close proximity with so many children. The report must be dated within 6 months of your arrival at camp, and obtained at your expense (cost is usually $0-$30). More information on the process is included in the contract package we send out upon hiring.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT... Each camp has unique starting and ending dates. Most of our contracts begin in mid to late June and run until the last week of August or first weekend in September. There are a handful of positions available starting mid-May or early June. Very few positions finish before August 27th.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How much will I get paid?
A: Salaries vary depending on the position, but all employees receive free room and board. Entry-level positions (Dishwashers, Potwashers, Kitchen Helpers) start at $345 per week ($285 + $60 retention bonus to be paid upon contract completion), while Chef Managers earn $875 or more per week. For a full list of salaries by position, please check out the list of available positions.
Q: What are the accommodations like?
A: Accommodations vary widely between camps, from very rustic to more comfortable. The Chef always has a room or cabin of their own. For the rest of the kitchen staff, there are sometimes single rooms, but they usually have to share with one or two other staff of the same sex. You will be given a chance in the interview process to mention any preferences you might have. Once you are hired, more information about the accommodations at your particular camp is provided.
* * Click here for a map showing camp locations * *
Q: Will I receive training?
A: All Chefs and Sous Chefs are required to attend our Orientation Weekend at the end of May, prior to the start of the season. Bakers receive 5 days of training right before they start regular work. All other employees receive on-the-job training when they start work at their particular camp.
Q: How will I get there?
A: You can either arrange your own transportation directly to your particular camp (we can assist with transportation from the bus station nearest the camp) or, you can travel to Huntsville and someone from our office will drive you the rest of the way to camp.
Q: When will I know if I have a job?
A: We start conducting interviews in February and continue through May and June. Once we receive your application, we will let you know our upcoming interview schedule. Following a successful interview, references are checked and suitable candidates are assigned a position at a specific camp and job offers are made. This is typically 1-3 weeks after the interview. Unsuccessful applicants are also contacted in this timeframe.
Upon acceptance of our job offer, we email a contract package. This package contains a contract, conditions of employment, specific information about the assigned camp, a job description, and several other forms (health, tax, payroll, etc.)
Q: Do I get to choose which camp I'll go to?
A: Placement depends on many factors, including: previous experience, personality, sex (for accommodations), applicant preference, and available openings. We do not have all positions at all locations, and selection is greatest in late winter and early spring. We always try to place people at a camp where they will be happy. If you have particular preferences, please discuss them with us during your interview.
Q: What time will I have to start work?
A: Start times depend on the time that breakfast is served at a particular camp. At most camps the kitchen staff start work at 7:00am, but sometimes could start as early as 6:00 or 6:30am at a handful of camps.
Q: Is there any internet?
A: About half of our camps have some internet access (WIFI or computers available for staff use). All of our camps except for one have cellular reception, so if you have a smart phone, you can always access the internet that way, if needed.
Q: Why do I have to sign a contract?
A: We want to make sure you make a conscious decision, that you understand the conditions of your employment with us, and that you are fully committed to working all summer.
Q: Will I have to wear a uniform?
A: Proper kitchen attire must be worn for work. G.B. provides all employees with a basic uniform consisting of 4 white logo t-shirts, 2 pairs of chef's pants, a hat and aprons. Additional items can be supplied by the employee or purchased at cost.
Q: When do I need to apply?
A: Anytime, but we start planning for the summer early in the New Year, and recommend that applications are sent in as soon as possible. Applications are always accepted and processed; however we usually start interviewing by mid-February - the closer it gets to the start of the summer season, the fewer available positions.
Q: How old do I have to be?
A: Our minimum age for employees is 16 years old. You must be 16 before the end of June to be considered for one of our positions.
AVAILABLE POSITIONS & JOB DESCRIPTION SUMMARIES
PLEASE NOTE: The majority of our positions are for students only (and to be considered a student you need to have been attending school (high school, Cégep, college, university) in the current school year and also planning on returning to school for the following school year . If you are not a student and do not have sufficient experience to be a Chef Manager or Sous Chef, it is unlikely we will have a suitable position for you.
CHEF MANAGER... The Chef Manager must not only be a great cook, s/he must have the leadership ability to manage, train and supervisor students, while creating a motivating working environment (there can be 5-14 kitchen staff, depending on the site). Administration and inventory control, including determining quantities and placing food orders, are also part of the Chef Manager's responsibilities, requiring considerable organizational skills. The Chef Manager is G.B.'s designated representative on camp, and as such is responsible for developing rapport and maintaining good relations, to satisfy our clients' needs.
Ideally, the Chef Manager possesses a Red Seal - or a minimum 3-5 years of similar experience - and previous large quantity cooking experience.
Compensation: $875 to $975 and up per week, depending on experience and size of camp. Room and board is included.
SOUS CHEF... The Sous Chef works alongside the Chef Manager on food preparation and production. S/he also assists with staff training and supervision-particularly on the Chef's day off, when the Sous Chef is responsible for overseeing the entire kitchen operation.
Knowledge of homemade soups and sauces, excellent knife skills, supervisory skills and a good work ethic are expected. Enrolment in a culinary program and/or 2-3 years similar experience is required. Large quantity cooking experience preferred.
Compensation: $550 to $700 per week depending on experience and location ($490 to $640 during the summer + $60 Bonus upon completion of your contract). Free Room & Board
COOK... The Cook works on food production, preparation, and service-including making soups, vegetable preparation, grillwork and some cooking of meats. Cook positions exist only in our largest camps.
Knowledge of vegetable preparation, grilling, good knife skills, and a good work ethic are expected. Enrolment in a culinary program and/or 1-2 years previous work experience is required. Large quantity cooking or production experience is an asset.
Compensation: $400 to $475 per week depending on experience and location ($340 to $415 during the summer + $60 Bonus upon completion of your contract). Free Room & Board
BAKER... The Baker is responsible for the preparation and production of all baked goods and desserts for the camp. This includes homemade breads, buns, cakes, cookies, muffins, squares, etc.-all made from scratch. In smaller camps, the position also involves helping with basic food preparation, and service at mealtimes.
A good work ethic, the ability to learn quickly, independent work abilities, and physical strength are required. Enrolment in a culinary or baking program and/or 1-2 years previous work experience is also required. Large quantity cooking or baking production experience is an asset. Training is provided.
Compensation: $400 to $485 per week depending on experience and location ($340 to $425 during the summer + $60 Bonus upon completion of your contract). Free Room & Board
DINING ROOM SUPERVISOR... The Dining Room Supervisor oversees a team of 4-6 dishwashers, including training, scheduling, motivation, and discipline. This is a hands-on working position, where you lead by example.
Leadership skills, good organization, ability to communicate with all types of people, and previous supervisory experience are required. Kitchen experience is an asset.
Compensation: $400 to $450 per week depending on experience and location ($340 to $390 during the summer + $60 Bonus upon completion of your contract). Free Room & Board
KITCHEN HELPER and PANTRY... The Kitchen Helper assists with food and baking production and preparation - making salads, vegetable preparation, panning food items, portioning food, etc. S/he also helps with the service at mealtimes and sanitation.
The Pantry assembles and prepares all of the condiments, salads, and beverages for service. S/he also helps with the service at mealtimes, basic food prep and sanitation.
A good work ethic, the ability to learn quickly, physical strength, and good interpersonal skills are required. Previous food service experience is an asset.
Compensation: $345 per week ($285 during the summer + $60 Bonus upon completion of your contract). Free Room & Board
DISHWASHER and POTWASHER... Dishwashers are responsible for washing all of the dishes, pots, pans and various kitchen utensils. This position is often combined with Kitchen Helper, which involves helping in the kitchen with basic food preparation, dining room set-up, cleaning, service at mealtimes, etc.
Potwashers are responsible for washing all of the pots, pans and various kitchen utensils. These positions exist only in camps where we are not responsible for dishwashing. This position also involves helping in the kitchen with basic food preparation, cleaning, stock handling, helping with service at mealtimes, etc.
A good work ethic, the ability to learn quickly, physical strength, and good interpersonal skills are required. No previous experience is necessary.
Compensation: $345 per week ($285 during the summer + $60 Bonus upon completion of your contract). Free Room & Board [return to top]