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For SuperChefs' free summer camps on Zoom, puppet teaches Surrey kids about cooking

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Surrey's SuperChefs Cookery for Kids returns with another summer of free camps that feature cooking classes, nutrition lessons, and physical activities.

Surrey-based non-profit creates program with help of 'Sesame Street' vet

The non-profit organization, created by local dentist Dr. Greg Chang, aims to teach kids, aged 8-12, the fundamentals of healthy living through accessible summer camps and other programs.

An online-format cooking program is planned this summer, starting July 5, with live cooking sessions possible in the summer of 2022.

New characters created with the help of Emmy Award-winning writer/director Ian "Electric Black" James are featured in a web series to accompany SuperChefs' virtual cooking camp, with hosts Lilly (played by Scotia Browner, 15) and "Dr. Greg" (puppet played by Lucien Lum).

They'll help walk campers through the newly created recipes by a team of university food and nutrition/culinary students, with an eye toward exposing kids "to a wide spectrum of fun and tasty dishes they can prepare at home," according to a camp brochure.

Said James, the project's consulting writer/producer: "That's what I learned at Sesame Street – first it's gotta be fun before you add in numbers and letters, have them enjoy the (cooking) experience. Marry it with some kind of educational material and it's a home-run."

Chang said a team of 30 young professionals and students has worked on webinars for SuperChefs campers.

"We have film school graduates working with young dieticians, dental hygienists, physical therapists and kinesiology majors to create fun, active, engaging content to promote young people's health," Chang noted. "It is a very rich environment for them to work collectively over the summer and be paid full-time through the Canada Summer Job program."

Three camps will be held as live Zoom sessions with counsellors over a span of two weeks, four days a week, alternating days between cooking and nutrition and physical activity, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Camp kits will include supplies such as ingredients, recipes, activity sheets and more. For more details, visit superchefs.org or email superchefs.register@gmail.com.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined a Zoom call to learn more about SuperChefs.