Geoff Hughes, food services manager:
Falls Creek made a major impact on Geoff Hughes’ life during his teenage years. When camp recruiters visited him at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) his freshman year, he said he felt a calling to apply for summer staff.
“I spent a summer working in concessions at Falls Creek and had a good time,” Hughes said. “The former food services manager, Don Brown, invited me to help out in the kitchen during conference season and I learned that I really enjoyed working in food services.”
Hughes did not have much cooking experience prior to his job at Falls Creek.
“I had no interest in food and was only able to cook basic meals, but I soon became interested in learning how to cook more advanced dishes,” he said. “I was attending OBU at the time for youth or pastoral ministry and God said, ‘I have something else planned for you.’”
Two years later, Hughes discovered that plan was to serve at Falls Creek and CrossTimbers full-time. He worked in the kitchen as a food services associate for five years until transitioning into his current role as food services manager.
Hughes has contributed to adding new menu items during his time at camp, including chicken bacon pasta. The dish includes penne pasta, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, spinach, Italian seasonings and Tuscan garlic, all smothered in a white cream sauce.
“My hope is that when people eat in our dining area, they are refueled and ready to listen to what God has to tell them while they are at camp,” Hughes said. “I never want them to be distracted by their hunger.”
When Hughes isn’t working he enjoys reading, playing video games and eating a properly made lasagna.
Jan Shaffer, assistant food services manager:
Jan Shaffer’s love for cooking began at an early age. She cooked her first meal, a southern classic chicken fried steak and okra, at 10 years old.
During that time, her mother had her plan and cook one dinner per week under close supervision. She learned how to prepare various recipes and experiment in the kitchen. It wasn’t until 2006 that Shaffer’s culinary background merged with her career.
“I was the assistant manager at Camp Canyon when our food services director had to leave on worker’s compensation,” she said. “It was then that I was asked to take over in the kitchen and it was trial by fire but I had a good time.”
Four months later, Shaffer left Canyon and accepted a full-time food service position at her local church. It was there that she was told about Falls Creek and an opportunity to serve on the camp’s food services team.
“In November of 2017 I came to do hands-on observation in the Falls Creek kitchen, and two months later I was hired,” Shaffer said. “My favorite part about working in the kitchen has been baking.”
Since her hire date, Shaffer has contributed to adding new dessert ideas to the menu, including her lemon blueberry cake and caramel apple crumble cake recipes. During her free time, she experiments with other recipes to find crowd pleasers.
“There is a common misconception that camp food is not high quality food, but Falls Creek’s food is,” Shaffer said. “I hope guests are pleasantly surprised with the food they have consumed when they visit, and that it is above typical ‘camp food’ quality.”
When Shaffer isn’t working she enjoys antique shopping, reading, crafts and discovering walking trails with her two dogs, Scout and Lucy.
Brandon McCoy, food services associate:
When Brandon McCoy turned 16 years old, he knew he needed to find a job. He heard about an opportunity to help in the kitchen at Falls Creek and was hired part-time shortly after.
“It was my first job and the hours worked well with my school schedule,” he said. “I had absolutely no cooking or kitchen experience before working at Falls Creek.”
McCoy served in part-time food service for five years, then pursued another opportunity.
“I tried to leave Falls Creek a few times but each time, it didn’t work out,” McCoy said. “I learned that Falls Creek is where God wanted me to be.”
In 2018, McCoy returned to Falls Creek in the full-time role of food services associate. During the summer season, he serves as the food services supervisor at CrossTimbers.
“The people who work at Falls Creek and CrossTimbers are fantastic,” McCoy said. “I think the people are my favorite part about working at camp, since I came here in 2013. They are sincere and genuinely nice.”
McCoy said he hopes every guest experiences a positive attitude from the staff as he has, and that guests enjoy the food.
When McCoy isn’t working he enjoys playing video games or taking care of his goats, dogs, cats and chickens with his wife, Hannah.
Joshua Gallagher, food services associate:
Josh Gallagher didn’t know what to expect when he was hired for concessions summer staff in 2013.
“I originally applied for ropes but when I found out I was placed on concessions staff I was just happy to be able to serve,” Gallagher said.
One of his favorite places to work was in the ice-cream stand.
“I enjoyed cleaning the machines and learning how all the parts fit together,” he said.
His knowledge of machines and leadership skills led him to become the concessions summer staff supervisor.
He served in that role for four summers before accepting a part-time position as food services associate in 2018. During that time, he assisted in the kitchen and continued supervising concessions. His position transitioned into a full-time role one year later.
“I really enjoy being able to pour into the summer staff and disciple them,” Gallagher said. “I try to make myself available to them year-round to answer questions and guide them in Biblical truths when they need encouragement.”
When Gallagher isn’t working he enjoys playing board games and video games, eating cookies and cooking dinner with his wife, Ashley.