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University of Maryland, College Park was awarded not one, but two 'Best of' Awards in 2017

Best Venue for Youth/Sports Groups

For the second consecutive year, the University of Maryland, College Park takes home the award in this category. The campus offers unparalleled options for youth groups, including a suburban location near the nation’s capital with two-layer security and 8,000 beds plus two dining halls where younger attendees can convene together. “Each summer, sports camps run by Big Ten Conference coaches combine with college immersion, special studies, and STEAM programs to create a thriving campus,” says Joseph E. Criscuoli, marketing and sales coordinator of Conferences & Visitor Services. One of the most notable is the Maryland Field Hockey Camp held at UMCP’s state-of-the-art field hockey turf facility since 1995 with instruction from current and former National & Olympic team members. “Our ropes challenge course, rock climbing wall, ice cream socials from the Maryland Dairy, and TerpZone facility are ‘must-do’ add-ons for any youth program,” adds Criscuoli. UMCP can also provide in-house motor coach charters that make ground transportation to nearby Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. a breeze for additional educational components.

Best Venue for Unique or Locally Sourced Catering

At the University of Maryland, College Park, traditional cafeteria fare just won’t do. Instead the in-house culinary team creates fresh, unique dishes with restaurant caliber. “New guests are frequently surprised at the cuisine and service offered on our campus because they don't expect university food service to operate at this level,” says Joseph E. Criscuoli, marketing and sales coordinator of Conferences & Visitor Services. Most of the ingredients come from Terp Farm, an organic farm 15 miles off campus that works in conjunction with the College of Agriculture and Dining Services. Students log field trips, workdays, and internships, and Terp Farm provides produce to University of Maryland Catering, restaurants, and occasionally to dining halls. “In addition, catering chefs maintain two herb gardens at the front of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union and harvest many of the herbs they use right at the moment they are needed,” adds Criscuoli who says that the updated catering options were in response to more clients specifying sustainability as an important aspect of their event. “They are looking for locally sourced foods, recyclable or compostable supplies, and menus that feature a local theme, and we are proud to serve the university community in this way."