Allene Swan, 23, is an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the Green River Community Center/Boys & Girls Club in rural Green River, Utah. Via Twitter, I recently stumbled on photos she took of a pie contest at the center. It looked like fun and she graciously agreed to share her images and answer my questions about the event.
Gina: Why did you decide to host a pie contest? Is it a tradition at the Green River Community Center?
Allene: The Boys and Girls Club after school program (which runs from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. during the school year) wanted to host a pie contest simply because the kids love to bake. I thought it would be a fun experience that combined learning how to bake and positive competition. It is not a tradition with our organization but I hope it becomes one!
Gina: What were the rules of your pie contest?
Allene: The rules of our pie contest were:
- As a child you had to work in a group (to encourage teamwork) with an adult as part of the group. Adults were either the staff, our AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers, or parents of the children.
- Each group came up with their own pie recipe and submitted it before hand so that ingredients could be collected. A small budget was allotted for the pie contest.
- First and second place prizes were given to two groups, and every participant got a small prize as well.
Gina: Who were the pie judges and what criteria did they use to judge the pies?
Allene: The pie judges were volunteers. The pie judges included volunteer staff, paid staff, and members of the Green River Community. The criteria for judging was simple and based on taste and appearance.
Gina: What pies won and what were the prizes?
Allene: The cherry pie won and the Rocky Road pie. They were both soooo yummy. They trumped the other pies because of excellent taste mostly. The cherry pie had cherry almond filling and a flaky top. The Rocky Road pie was a mix of chocolate, graham crackers, and other good ingredients. The little prizes were just an assortment of candy bars I bought. The big prizes were rolling pins and oven mitts.
Why do you love pie?
I love pie because there are so many different ways to make it. I would rather have pie over cake because of its extra tastiness–my favorite pie is key lime pie. The kids love pie because it is easy to make, and you can be creative with it. They love to put their hands in the dough and work in the kitchen.