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  • Jamboree Menu (Meals)

    The Jamboree menu sounds a bit skimpy, at least from looking at the online version. I'm curious about what it was like IRL -- was the food decent?

  • #2
    I would call the quality adequate. Lots of processed food, but I'm not sure how to avoid that given the circumstances. The quantity was way out if whack.

    The biggest complaint we had was the wastage, most meals we received more than we could eat of most of the contents and there was no alternative to throwing it away. As an organization I would say we were shockingly unthrifty in the absolute tons and tons of food we had to throw away in the last 10 days.

    As an example, the final night we had 90 hot dogs plus buns, two very large bags of chilli, 2 gallons of macaroni salad, two big bags of carrot sticks, a big bottle of ranch dressing, multiple bottles of ketchup and mustard, and a packaged apple pie for dessert --- all for 40 people. We ate close to all the hot dogs, maybe half the chili, at best a quarter of the macaroni, a quarter of the carrots and an appropriate amount of dressing and condiments. Everything not eaten, which was a lot, got tossed, and that happened every single meal.

    We had one cooler and a limited amount of ice so anything perishable couldn't be sent back and had only a very short life in the cooler before we had to throw it away. With non perishable foods the amounts were equally excessive, we had again only limited storage in the site, and instead of pitching everything we dumped it in big piles up at the sub camp HQ. In theory those foods could be donated to food pantries, but I'm skeptical that there was actually a logistical ability to make that happen. As a guess I would guess most of that ended up in a dumpster today.

    It was really depressing dumping so much good food every single evening


    • Eliza
      Eliza commented
      Editing a comment
      At least you had enough to eat! It was hard to tell from the menu how much food there was. I read something about the canadian Jamboree, where it seems that Scouts were actually weak from lack of food, at least to hear some tell it. I was hoping that kids (and adults) who walked 10 miles a day got enough to eat.

      As for the processed/packaged food -- I never saw so much on one menu in my life. The Los Angeles school system serves 650,000 meals/day and uses fresh, locally sourced produce; of course, they have permanent kitchens, so there is a big difference there..

  • #3
    Scout said the

    lunch stank big time....Meat crackers, trail mix and dehydrated pineapples for lunch.

    Breakfast was Ok....nothing more...

    Dinners were really good.......he had plenty to eat.

    he is sitting on the couch beside it is first hand info.


    • Eliza
      Eliza commented
      Editing a comment
      Definitely, the lunch menu looked the worst -- deli bites, squeezable foods. I had to google to find out what this stuff was.

      I'm glad for your Scout that the dinners were good. At least one satisfying meal a day!

      Peaches are a big crop in VW, I think -- it would have been nice to see BSA using some local foods.

    • gsdad
      gsdad commented
      Editing a comment
      We sent $100 cash, she came home with $20. Of the $80 spent she said half was on vendor food for lunch. We sent a care package ahead of time because of the menu. Posting it ahead of time was a good thing.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      Scout son had $200 and spent $30 all on pizza as noted......He complained about the walk to the barrels but could make it to summit center no problem for pizza......

      Yet the line at the trading post was too long. I bet the line for pizza was that long too.

  • #4
    I'll echo the comments about the waste. We were told the quantities were determined by a dietician staff to meet the caloric needs of 40 people in that environment. I'm not sure how many calories they were planning for scouts to consume but certainly more than 2000 per day. Most meals we had leftovers. We staged the non-perishables in one of our pods to supplement any meals scouts struggled with.

    Breakfasts: I thought the hot breakfasts were fairly satisfying. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, etc. We got one of those every other day. The cold breakfasts were less satisfying but plenty filling. We always had milk left over and juice.

    Lunches: The boys complained about getting "snacks" for lunch. The lunches were quite similar to the Philmont meals we received at SummitCorp in 2011. A couple of Philmont trek vets confirmed they were similar. Usually one simple protein and numerous starches/sugars in every meal along with some drink mixes. Too high in sodium for my taste but basically a calorie dump to get the scouts through until dinner.

    Dinner: I found most all of the dinners palatable and filling. Certainly the processed factor is there but given the logistics I'm not sure how we'd have done much differently. The meals were easy to prepare and clean up from because of the use of the steam tables and pre-cooked foods.

    We had a few scouts spending money on pizza and fries in the summit center saying they were hungry. But, we also had leftovers. So, I'm not sure how much of their hunger was lack of food driven and how much was seeking comfort food.

    One other thought. After the complaining about the food when we stopped for meals on the road the boys all ran to McD's or similar. I'm not sure if it's an indictment on youth or society in general but clearly the choice of my 36 charges.
    Last edited by dcsimmons; 07-26-2013, 02:00 PM. Reason: added one other thought.


    • #5
      As a staffer in A4, I can vouch for the wastage. five pound boxes (two each Troop) of potatoe salad and mac salad were often never opened. Staff ate with the Troops, and often brought stuff back to our fridge (only one in 8,000 Scout camp) for later snacking. It seemed the meals were calorically planned for a Scout on a winter camping trip, not for one in 110% humidity and 90 degree days.
      As for the "shelf stable " lunch, I agree. More protein and less gummy bears would have been welcome. The Bumble Bee canned chicken and tuna lunch packs were a favorite. Many Troops were given 2 half gallons of 2% milk a day , and brought back 5 h/gallons a week. The Scouts just didn't drink it. Same for the orange, grape juice. But if the bottle was not opened, it got donated. I helped sort the food pantry donations, and a pickup was made at least every other day. Bags and bags of corn flakes, crispy rice, oatyohs. 40 bottles of catsup. on and on... And many Troops brought canned goods to donate on their arrival. Much appreciated.

      Come departure day, I sorted out many boxes of snack food and the Troops took it with them for their trips home. One Troop said they had a 15 hour trip straight through to Michigan. Passed out every left over cherry and apple pie, pinapple, banana chips, apples, many oranges, crackers, cookies, power bars, The boxes of trail mix salty nut stuff went begging, they had had enough of that. Having a sympathetic feeling for the bus driver, I did not pass out the squeezy cheese or peanut butter or jelly packs. They went to the food pantries.

      As an aside, after the Scouts were departed, and we staff rode the shuttle bus around to E camp for dinner, we enjoyed the sight of deer, ground hog and wild turkey (!) coming out of the woods to reclaim the tent sites. Rumors of bear sighted were rife. And I heard great horned owl back in the woods around A camp.
      7 hours later, I was home. Now, I gotta vacuum the living room rug......


      • #6
        I didn't go to Jamboree, but have enjoyed keeping up on it via friends on Facebook, etc. The amount of waste does sound horrific, but I think that's just an unfortunate part of the learning cycle for stuff like this. I know that it has taken years for our Council camps to settle on a menu that gets consumed with little waste. It also seems like it was more of a problem of over-supply than anything else. Having other foods at the trading post is always going to be a temptation, whether the Scout is truly hungry or not. Face it; it's just a profit center.


        • #7
          This is no different than summer camp. A one-size-fits-all menu means a bunch of guys will go hungry while a whole bunch of food gets dumped -- even with all the horse trading that goes on at the tables. Our camp has decided that serving line speed is more important that saving food, so dozens of plates are prepared in advance and everyone gets the same serving. Don't like potato salad? We don't care, here's your plate, throw away what you don't want. Which they do.

          Jambo has made similar decisions -- logistics, lack of refrigeration and cost are more important than providing a menu of what the boys want.

          Like many things, the lunch plan for jamboree came from the 2007 World Jamboree. There, and at the Summit, the lunch plan had to accommodate the number of Scouts going off-site for activities. At world (and here, if I understand it correctly) was that you are given your lunch during breakfast and carry it with you through the morning. At world, we were given a fairly wide selection of lunch items from which to select. A variety of different sandwiches, three or four different fruits, a very wide variety of "crisps" (never had prawn flavored potato chips until then), several different treats and canned drinks. The only problem was folks taking more than there share -- which was solved by adding a couple staffers to oversee the line.

          Sounds like the lunch menu here was more simple than possible.

          And I wouldn't have eaten the macaroni salad either.


          • #8
            The quantity of the lunches was actually OK. I had one or two items left over every day, so I had a small collection of snacks to eat on the way home. However, it did seem somewhat unsatisfying to have it be all "snack" items. I think it would have been more satisfying if at least one item was of a larger size, such as a sandwich.

            I solved the problem by taking one or two extra items at breakfast. I know some people took fruit, but I took some slices of bread or a bagel, and I was able to turn one of the lunch items into a "sandwich". Beef sticks between two slices of bread seemed more like "lunch" than just eating the beef sticks.

            I was disappointed that the drink mixes were zero-calorie diet drinks. I normally don't drink such things, and I would have much preferred a drink mix with actual food value, even if it was just (sugared) Kool-Aid or Tang.


            • #9
              My son had nothing very negitive to say about the food. It seemed to be adequate. He didn't like the whole lunch thing, but was thankful for the exchange stations. Apparently that was something that worked very well. Actually his biggest gripe about meals were the scouts who couldn't even light a stove.....etc, etc......