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Options for handling campout food and supplies purchasing

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  • Options for handling campout food and supplies purchasing

    So, your patrols have planned their menus for the upcoming campout. What is the method that you use to obtain/purchase supplies and food to get them to camp?

    Just looking to explore some better options for the process we have been using. Please get into the nitty gritty of who does what, how you handle purchasing responsibilities, etc. Thanks.

  • #2
    Troop Quartermaster stores patrol gear. Each patrol has a kitchen kit, stove, and 3 or so insulated coolers with blue cold packs. We don't use ice, too many problems.

    If any patrol member wants to work on rank cooking requirements or Cooking mb, he (Grubmaster candidate) asks PL if he can do menu planning, otherwise patrol plans. Either way a Grubmaster is selected. Grubmaster writes up food menu, estimates quantity and cost, determines gear needed. Menu must be approved by an ASM who sanity checks that food allergies have been taken into account, nutrition, gear needed, amount of food, cost estimate. If ASM approves, Grubmaster draws gear from Troop Quartermaster and collects food money (usually $15) from patrol members. Note the Patrol Quartermaster handles tents, tarps.

    If the Grubmaster is FC or above, he should be able to handle food purchase though an ASM is available to help with driving. My experience, you do not want a parent saddled with this, better an experienced adult leader.

    If Grubmaster is TF or 2C, we schedule a shopping time (always seems to be a Thursday night) with a ASM and his PL. There is much to learn. Smart food shopping and handling can not be left to chance.

    Patrol Grubmasters arrive with food and kitchen gear at Friday departure point. Patrol kitchen gear was either taken home or left with Troop QM

    After campout, leftover dry or canned food is split among scouts, the rest is discarded. No hot chocolate or oatmeal packs, condiments, spices are kept in the troop storage closet. Fresh is good.

    At no time are scouts trusted with buying coffee, making, or even pouring coffee. I believe this is in the GSS.

    That's more or less what we do for a weekend campout. Others likely do it differently. On occasions, our CO has allowed us to store campout food in their large kitchen fridge

    My $0.02

    Comment


    • #3

      We had an adult who was a 'Camp Food Coordinator' (CFC) whose job was helping Patrols and Scouts tackle the food and supply shopping and packing of food to camp. CFC worked in helping Scouts fulfill their rank advancement requirement in detail while coaching Patrols on Grubmaster/Quartermaster details from a planned menu and food and troop inventory list. CFC kept the left over food, spices and etc. in labeled plastic bins at their home along with the inventory list since wasn't best kept in trailer. Opened stuff was kept in freezer for future campouts. This method really cut down on expenses for future campouts. Inventory list is used in future menu planning. CFC also helps Scouts prep food like cooking meat like ground beef to freeze so less is done on campouts and less food poisoning is likely to happen. CFC is like another job position that combines the adult level grubmaster and quartermaster while reducing the load for Scoutmasters (SM) and their Assistants (ASM). At the most the CFC gives up some freezer space and stores a couple plastic bins while keeping the Scout's update food inventory list. Just before a campout means extra refrigerator space and freezer space from the CFC is needed to help keep it all in one place.

      FYI... very little help was needed from the CFC during menu planning. Give them the inventory list and let them plan away.

      Its a bonus to the Scouts if CFC keeps previous menus, duty rosters, cookbooks, new menu ideas collection and etc. Tin cooking, pie irons, Dutch oven, solar oven and etc. really make it to campouts.

      Bonus to the Troop is decrease in expenses thus $10 is the standard cost with fancier menu choices. Nutrition is tackled with a reminder to the menu planners. CFC keeps the list of Scouts' food allergies. CFC may have to buy extra things on the side to draw away attention to certain food allergies so Scouts are not 'labeled' differently or insure that food is never mixed if the allergies is severe. With younger Scouts, the food allergy concept is more than younger Scouts can handle especially if they are crossovers thus food separation task through the CFC takes on extremely vital importance.



      Having a CFC can break down the menu into two days and two groups buying food rather than one group doing it both days especially with Scouts and their parents busy schedules so a Troop meeting becomes a dry, canned good buying session. With a parent along, it becomes prep work and teaching for future recruitment or backup if CFC is not available for a campoutWe had an adult who was a 'Camp Food Coordinator' (CFC) whose job was helping Patrols and Scouts tackle the food and supply shopping and packing of food to camp. CFC worked in helping Scouts fulfill their rank advancement requirement in detail while coaching Patrols on Grubmaster/Quartermaster details from a planned menu and food and troop inventory list. CFC kept the left over food, spices and etc. in labeled plastic bins at their home along with the inventory list since wasn't best kept in trailer. Opened stuff was kept in freezer for future campouts. This method really cut down on expenses for future campouts. Inventory list is used in future menu planning. CFC also helps Scouts prep food like cooking meat like ground beef to freeze so less is done on campouts and less food poisoning is likely to happen. CFC is like another job position that combines the adult level grubmaster and quartermaster while reducing the load for Scoutmasters (SM) and their Assistants (ASM). At the most the CFC gives up some freezer space and stores a couple plastic bins while keeping the Scout's update food inventory list. Just before a campout means extra refrigerator space and freezer space from the CFC is needed to help keep it all in one place.



      FYI... very little help was needed from the CFC during menu planning. Give them the inventory list and let them plan away.

      Its a bonus to the Scouts if CFC keeps previous menus, duty rosters, cookbooks, new menu ideas collection and etc. Tin cooking, pie irons, Dutch oven, solar oven and etc. really make it to campouts.

      Bonus to the Troop is decrease in expenses thus $10 is the standard cost with fancier menu choices. Nutrition is tackled with a reminder to the menu planners. CFC keeps the list of Scouts' food allergies. CFC may have to buy extra things on the side to draw away attention to certain food allergies so Scouts are not 'labeled' differently or insure that food is never mixed if the allergies is severe. With younger Scouts, the food allergy concept is more than younger Scouts can handle especially if they are crossovers thus food separation task through the CFC takes on extremely vital importance.



      Having a CFC can break down the menu into two days and two groups buying food rather than one group doing it both days especially with Scouts and their parents busy schedules so a Troop meeting becomes a dry, canned good buying session.With a parent along, it becomes prep work and teaching for future recruitment or backup if CFC is not available for a campout..

      Comment


      • #4
        Too much adult involvement.

        Patrol makes the menu.....Grubmaster duty rotates each boy has his turn, some boys love doing it, others will miss a campout to avoid it.


        Grubmaster goes thru the food pantry and then goes to the grocery store and purchases the menu items.

        If they forget condiments, then they learn for next trip... Had pancakes with no syrup or butter not too long ago.....

        Food is a good place to learn lessons in my book. Most of our boys are well feed enough a mistake here isn't going to kill them.



        Comment


        • #5
          For the troops that use a "grubmaster," when you actually drive the grubmaster to the store to do the shopping, who do you have along? Just the grubmaster, or one representative from each patrol so that each patrol is buying their own stuff?




          Comment


          • #6
            Grubmaster from each patrol is on their own to get their food. they are given the budgeted amount of cash. Generally they take the food tub and cooler home......Generally mom takes them to the store.


            I have taken them when asked but parent is the first choice.

            Comment


            • topshot
              topshot commented
              Editing a comment
              Our Troop does the same. Each patrol rotates who buys the food for the next campout and it's up to the parent to get them to the store. Those Scouts will take home a tote (and sometimes a cooler). He gets $10/Scout so he knows his budget.

          • #7
            We have patrol members taking turns buying the groceries. The troop charges $12 per campout per boy for food (two nights). The patrol member buys the groceries (usually with parent), and gets reimbursed at the next meeting. We have some flexibility on the budget. If it goes a little over, it's not a big deal. If it's a lot over, we discuss. Currently, all the leftovers--both fresh and dry goods--are split up among the boys unpacking the troop trailer. I would like to change it so that the dry goods are kept or donated to a food pantry.

            Comment


            • #8
              Handled by each patrol. The boys take turns serving as patrol grubmaster. The PL works together during their patrol meetings to come up with a menu then expand that into a shopping list. We have a menu planning worksheet the patrols can use which also includes a column for the gear they will need, but the more experienced patrols/Scouts often forgo the form. Best practice is for everyone ot give th GM $20 BEFORE he goes to the store. The GM does the shopping and any repackaging or prep work needed. He is also responsible for food safety, so he packs perishables in a cooler or freezing and wrapping them, etc., depending on the type of campout.

              If the patrol all kicked in the $20 to the GM before hand, he will have correct change for everyone based on the actual cost of food. Depending on the number of meals, campout food actually runs in the $12-$15 range. Contributiing $20 ensures the GM has enough money and makes making change easier. If the GM failed to collect the money in advance, it is his responsibility to collect his money on the backend. In which case, his parents probably fronted the money and are out if someone doesn't pay their share. And yes, we rely on the parents to help their son with this -- taking him shopping, etc.

              Comment


              • koolaidman
                koolaidman commented
                Editing a comment
                I like this approach as nothing teaches thrifty like taking cash out of your pocket and handing it to someone else.

            • #9
              I'm getting some good ideas here.

              We are a troop-method troop that is in transition to patrol method. So traditionally we have handled camp payment on account--the troop grubmaster would go to the store along with some scouts from various patrols and buy the supplies for the entire troop. Expenses would then be divided up and posted by the treasurer to various boys' accounts. I don't think that is optimal but I am working on one thing at a time and I put a premium on patrol method over financial administration.

              Because the patrols aren't experienced in the process, I am thinking having all the patrol grubmasters (it would only be 3 patrols, probably) meet at the grocery store at the same time, buy their supplies, then take them home to bring to camp. We would take the learning from that experience and use it for future campouts so that hopefully in the future the entire responsibility can be passed to the patrol.

              As I said, one thing at a time. I'm learning patience thorugh this process, I can tell you that.

              Comment


              • #10
                Even better -- make it a Troop activity. Have a mom come in and use instruction time for a week or two to talk about grocery shopping, then take the whole troop to the store. Before the first campout with the new Scout, the Troop Guides meet them at the grocery store and runs the whole patrol through the process.

                Comment


                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Unless you have an extremely small troop, taking them all to the grocery store at the same time is just not good citizenship. It is just rude to everyone else that is there shopping. It is bad enough when a "family pack" of 5 or more mosey down an isle blocking everyone else.

                  A whole troop disrupting all the shoppers would be worthy of a peopleofwalmart.com post.

              • #11
                My troop Grubmaster wore the Instructor POR patch and was responsible for teaching the boys in all the patrols to set up, order, purchase and be camp cook for their advancement requirements. Over the course of the year, each boy had an opportunity to learn and eventually all were qualified to handle GM responsibilities on any activity. TG taught leadership of a NSP, SPL taught leadership to PL's and GM taught group cooking. A troop can have any number of instructors that specialize in various areas. GM is just one of them.

                Comment


                • #12
                  I agree with Basement, way too many adults in the equation.

                  It is up to the patrol leader to work out the logistics: figuring cost, getting to the store, navigating the aisles, storing it, getting it to the parking lot, loading it on the truck....

                  It's his leadership opportunity.

                  So the patrol screws it up? That's okay. Amazing how quickly the scouts troubleshoot and fix any food issue. An invaluable lesson.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
                    Too much adult involvement. Patrol makes the menu.....Grubmaster duty rotates each boy has his turn, some boys love doing it, others will miss a campout to avoid it. Grubmaster goes thru the food pantry and then goes to the grocery store and purchases the menu items. If they forget condiments, then they learn for next trip... Had pancakes with no syrup or butter not too long ago..... Food is a good place to learn lessons in my book. Most of our boys are well feed enough a mistake here isn't going to kill them.
                    Pretty much what we do. Food is handled by the patrols. No real rotation, but with the younger scouts, has to do with who needs the First Class requirement. We generally have the parents go with the Scout, and give them the budget and the basic guidelines--let the Scout do the picking, guide them as to cost, and if needed, amounts. Pay for it, will be reimbursed by troop. I do agree that this is the best place for them to learn lessons and to pay attention to detail.

                    Comment


                    • King Ding Dong
                      King Ding Dong commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Same here. You just have to trust the parents to actually let the scout do it. Some get good at it. Our budget for a two night is 12.50. Last fall a new scout picked up some steaks on sale. That patrol ate better than the Old Goats.

                      Sometimes we look at the menu and tell them it is not balanced and go back to the food pyramid, but it is their job to figure out what is wrong and fix it. I know some feel you should just let them buy pop tarts for the whole weekend and let them learn their lesson when they feel like crap by Sunday. That approach may be faster, just seems a little extreme to me and some kids (like mine) would not get sick and be just fine with it.

                      Occasionally we will hold an Iron Chef Scout and the Patrols feed the Old Goats. Then we announce the winner Sunday morning. (No prizes, just bragging rights) Last time we did it the patrol that won did not have the best food but they made sure their guests ate first. A Scout is courteous.

                  • #14
                    FWIW, here's how we handled this.

                    Patrols were responsible of course for their own menus and quantity planning.

                    Patrol grubmasters were given the option of A) buy it on your own, or B) buy it on such-and-such day when I would be there with a troop check because I was buying for the adult patrol. (Our troop prefers to bill, rather than collect up front. But it does not matter.)

                    Grubmasters did their own thing in the store (so no clogging the aisles) with the troop grumbaster-instructor working with the less-experienced patrol grubmasters. We met up front when everybody was done and ran the carts through in sequence. Everybody took their own stuff home and was responsible for getting it to the campout.

                    This worked very well and the extent of adult involvement was writing a check so I can live with that administrative decision. YMMV.

                    Comment


                    • King Ding Dong
                      King Ding Dong commented
                      Editing a comment
                      If we can just get the boys to clip coupons at troop meetings.....
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