by Lindsey Freeman, Wyo. FFA Leadership Camp Director
Camp Cook Martha Cannon, was presented with the Steamboat Award at the 2017 Wyoming State Fair for her long-time dedication to the Wyoming FFA Leadership Camp.
Known for her cookies, welcoming nature and booming screech when a camper has been lucky enough to get dinner served on the last plate in the first stack at Wyoming FFA Leadership Camp, Cannon has been serving Wyoming FFA members for 12 years. As many who begin a career as a cook at Wyoming FFA Leadership Camp, Martha began when her son Dan Cannon served as director of the camp.
As head cook Martha was charged with the task of providing essential nutrition for campers and staff, but Martha did so much more. Enlisting the help of assistant cooks she always made sure that baked goods and snacks were abundant. Providing a unique and memorable experience for each camper has always been a priority for camp staff and Martha always played her part in that mission.
Every person in the mess hall was made well aware when the patrons had used all of the plates in the stack. “Can I have your attention please!” Martha would shout. Calling the camper by name she would proclaim, “this camper has the first plate in the second stack!” This announcement would always be followed by cheers from the crowd leaving the camper feeling embarrassed and proud all at the same time.
Laughter was as abundant as cookies with Martha. Many times Martha had special requests for the camp directors. One request of note was her desire for a golf cart to use for the one hundred yard commute from the kitchen to the bathroom at camp. Although her requests were often proposed in a manner of joking, directors often sought to grant her requests primarily because they always recognized the level of service Martha poured into camp.
Serving as head cook is more than a two week job and Martha took it on for 10 years. Planning the menu, ordering supplies, and organizing the transportation of the supplies to camp is a labor intensive task and a logistical triumph. Martha, just as all other head cooks in camp history took these underappreciated tasks very seriously.
All camp cooks including Martha Cannon deserve more recognition than we can ever offer. For providing nutrition, warm feelings, and numerous hours of service we thank the cooks of Wyoming FFA Leadership Camp and recognize Martha Cannon for her unique service to Wyoming FFA members.