Camper Chili Cook-off to benefit MAPS students

MARQUETTE — Elementary students at Marquette Area Public Schools on Monday will help host the third annual MAPS Camper Chili Cook-off, a fundraiser that provides financial support to allow fifth-grade students to attend Bay Cliff Health Camp.

“All four elementary schools will be making a pot of chili and the community gets to come in and taste test to see who has the best chili,” said Kristen Cambensy, a MAPS school board member who also sits on the Camper Cook-off Committee and has a son going to camp this year.

The cook-off will take place 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Marquette Senior High School cafeteria. In case of inclement, a make-up day is set for Tuesday.

“It’s kind of a unique event because all four schools are working together to benefit the fifth graders so they can go to Bay Cliff,” Cambensy said.

In addition to chili coming from Cherry Creek, Graveraet, Sandy Knoll and Superior Hills elementary schools, chili was also donated from Border Grill and Northern Michigan University’s culinary program, while Econofoods donated some ingredients for the schools’ chili.

Cambensy said students at Bay Cliff participate in different types of science and outdoor classes and activities, such as shelter building, fishing, canoeing, bogwalks and photography.

“Camp is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them,” Cambensy said. “For some kids it’s the first time going away from home.”

She said a lot of lifelong community residents probably remember going to Bay Cliff Health Camp, and that the chili fundraiser is a good way to support that for future generations.

Ryan Jarvi can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 270. His email address is