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Students learn outdoor cooking skills with LEAP

It’s a balmy April afternoon on the Lyon College campus and Lillian Osier, a sophomore art major with a concentration in outdoor leadership, is adding pineapple chunks to her recipe for Hummingbird Cake.

Ossier blends the pineapple with other ingredients using a Dutch oven outside the Lyon Education and Adventure Program (LEAP) building.

In addition to pineapple, the southern classic dessert features pecans and fresh bananas, but the Dutch oven method of cooking—which brings a touch of home to the outdoors—no doubt distinguished Ossier’s dessert from her usual method of cooking.

Asked if she had ever baked a cake this way, the Vilonia native smiled slyly. “I haven’t. This is completely new for me.”

Also participating in the Dutch oven cooking demo was Austin Smith, director of Outdoor Education and Recreation at Lyon, who offered a bean and cheese enchilada recipe and assistant Director Carson Grant (‘18), who made peach cobbler.

The Monday, April 8 event was part of a new weekly outdoor series to introduce a variety of hands-on learning activities promoted by LEAP.

After the basics of using a Dutch oven were demonstrated, participants played lawn games followed by a taste test of the finished entree and desserts.

“What better way to start the week off than with free food?” Smith said, smiling.

According to Smith, the Dutch oven demo also provided the perfect “dry run” for an upcoming cook-off during the Arkansas Regional Adventure Programming conference. The annual student-oriented programming weekend connects outdoor education enthusiasts with one another and will take place April 12-14 at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

Other events through the LEAP outdoor series have included backpacking, climbing, fly fishing, and camping. Upcoming activities will feature zip lining and biking; all sessions meet at the LEAP building at around 2 p.m. on Mondays through April.

Contact lucas.ried@lyon.edu for more details on the weekly outdoor series.