Mickey’s Camp wraps up its 12th annual fundraising week today in Indiana with a record number of enrollees.
The camp was a dream of Indianapolis businessman Mickey Maurer – a camp designed for adults that would include various activities similar to those offered at children’s summer camps – with a goal of benefiting local charities. Last year’s camp raised close to a quarter million dollars for various organizations including a Rotary foundation, the Eskenazi foundation, and Youth Mentoring services.
Mickey has invited me to come present a cheese tasting seminar every year since the camp’s inception. I have missed only one year so I have often wondered when the campers would ever tire of it. It has probably helped that I have presented different cheeses each year. The cheese seminars have developed a loyal following among veteran campers, many of whom have signed up for every session since the beginning (except for the year I had to skip).
There is another Mickey who loves cheese, the one that hosts the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Disneyworld each fall. This year’s festival is its 17th with a cheese and wine seminar tasting scheduled for every Saturday morning.
The first cheese and wine tasting I hosted (at the second festival in 1997) was such a success that Mickey increased the frequency to every weekend, at 10:30 in the morning. Cheese and wine at that early hour does not appear to dissuade cheese fans; each of the sessions has either sold out or has come very close to selling out each weekend.
The first cheese and wine session at Indiana’s Mickey’s Camp starts at 8:30 am on the Wednesday’s each year, followed by three other sessions throughout the day. Each of these comes very close to filling up too.
Apparently, it is never too early to have a little cheese and wine.