Katlyn pancakes

Have you ever made pancakes while on a camping trip? There’s nothing like a griddle over an open flame — unless the pancakes are an ooey-gooey mess, which can happen in the wild.

As a Girl Scout, annual camping trips were the highlight of the year. In Antrim, N.H., our troop would stay for a week at a time, responsible for our own tents and helping with chores. Chores varied, as you’d imagine, from collecting kindling, to cooking dinner, or doing the dishes. The meals were fairly easy considering we were a large group; think hamburgers and hot dogs, bags of chips, and you guessed it, pancakes and bacon.

How lucky I was to draw breakfast duty that year since it seemed fairly straightforward: Mix the batter, warm the griddle, dump some batter, flip, and done. I was put into a group of three, and off we were, unchaperoned little pancake chefs in the making.

But self-doubt quickly overcame the three of us as we watched our pancakes cook at an uber slow speed. Were they cooking at all? The griddle probably wasn’t warm enough, right? Were they ready to flip? How about now? Should we flip them?

One girl opted for a flip, the batter not even warm yet, resulting in a splatter of pancake mix going all over our forearms. It was not time to flip. Three or four failed pancake-flips later and an adult finally helped us stop wasting pancake batter and start pumping out flapjacks for our hungry friends.

I don’t eat pancakes much these days (if at all), but you can find me flipping them every February at the Benton Convention Center as part of the annual Kiwanis Pancake Jamboree. This fundraiser for the Twin City Kiwanis Club is famous for their circular griddles where dozens of flapjacks are grilled to perfection and served to thousands of folks who enjoy the all-you-can-eat breakfast at any time of day all while helping a local nonprofit.

As president of the Twin City Kiwanis Satellite Club, our group of working professionals helps our parent club during this large fundraising endeavor, with raised funds going directly back into the community and benefitting area children and youth. It’s a great time for those who come to eat, and I always enjoy getting to attempt my hand flipping some flapjacks on that rotating griddle.

It brings me back to my youth, making me realize that I’m just as bad at flipping pancakes now as I was back then at Girl Scout camp.

If the work of the Twin City Kiwanis Satellite Club sounds like fun to you, and you really adore pancakes, let me know. We’re always looking for young professionals who are interested in helping combat the county’s reading levels.

Otherwise, be well and eat ‘til you’re full.

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