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  • Patrol Food Budget

    Does anyone have limits as to how much each Scout should have to pay for food for a weekend campout?

    Our troop committee is trying to set a limit of $15.00/Scout/weekend camping trip. I believe that it should be up to the Scouts as part of their meal planning.

  • #2
    If the patrol wants to eat steak and lobster, the role of the troop committee is to offer assistance to the PLC and help them figure out how to earn the money to pay for it.


    • #3
      The food budget per scout depends on how many meals are needed for the weekend. Our troop has the scouts eat dinner before they come to drop-off/camp on Friday and we pack up after breakfast on Sunday. It also depends on the cost of food in your neck of the woods.

      Our troop charges $9.00 per scout/scouter per weekend. We do recycle left over condiments, can of ? and the patrols are given a list on menu night as what is up for grabs or available for use.

      If it is up to the scouts on menu night how do you get the correct funds to the shopper for the patrol? We plan menu the week of camping when permission slip and funds are turned in. Things tend to come up and someone will have to cancel if we did it say a week earlier.


      • #4
        our troop gives the patrols a food budget based on the number of meals they are having to cook... $1.00/scout for crackerbarrel and $3.00/scout for each meal.

        the charge for the boys is that plus the cost for camping location and the adults food as the adults go for free on troop campouts.


        • #5
          Camping fees include $13 for food for a typical 4 meal (B,L,D,B) weekend trip. The Grubmaster (GM) needs to shop within that budgeted amount. If they go over that amount they need to collect additional funds from the patrol members. This gives them a budget to work with but allows them the flexibility to splurge if they are willing to pay extra. The patrols choose a GM two weeks prior to the trip. Permission slips and money are also due so the GM knows how many to buy for.


          • #6
            Yeah, FScouter's right. The troop committee should butt out. It has no role in this situation.

            If the PLC wants to set a policy, that's entirely its prerogative.

            That said, $15 seems a bit much. I can get 4-5 alleged "meals" at Mickey D's for that price. Bulk buying, comparison shopping, price lists and purchasing of raw ingredients (not packaged or convenience foods) should bring that down considerably.


            • #7
              our patrol budgets are $10 per Scout. Same for the adults. Sometimes they go over a bit, but are very proud when they buy everything they need within their budget. They eat very well on that budget, too, so do the adults.

              Long ago, older son was in a Troop that did it differently. They had no budget. The Scout that buys the food brings the receipt to the next meeting and the boys are told they must pay their share. Not knowing any better, I wrote out a check after every campout for whatever amount I was told. Gotta say, I got a bit peeved when those amounts were in the $20 range, and this was ten years ago! From what my son told me they ate, I couldn't figure why it cost so much. Of course when he said they ate beef, perhaps it was filet mignon. I don't know if they still do it that way.


              • #8
                Our guys have a limit of $11/scout. Personally I prefer FScouter's approach, but that's not worth wrangling over at this point. I do think the budget needs to be known in advance so some parent doesn't get stuck with a ridiculous food bill out of the blue (as per gwd's comment!). Sometimes boys don't quite understand the operating constraints on family budgets and won't realize that if they want steak/lobster (or whatever), THEY had better expect to pay for it and not their parents.


                • #9
                  There are lots of things boys don't understand. We give them opportunities in Scouting to do those things, and of course they don't usually do a very good job the first time. They buy too much food. They change the patrol menu while walking down the aisle of the Piggly-Wiggly. They pay too much. They must then explain to their patrol mates how it is they screwed up. They do better the next time.

                  We have the first class plan-a-menu, make-a-grocery-list, and buy-the-ingredients requirements so boys can learn how to do it. Adults sometimes forget that the purpose of Scouting is to help boys grow up and make choices. That they screw up along the way is to be expected.

                  Thrifty is part of the Scout Law, but we dont teach it very well if well-intentioned but misguided adults step in and take over in the name of efficiency.

                  Parents would do well too to not pay for any of this. Teach their son how to pay his own way.


                  • #10
                    Our patrols are on their own food wise. Occasionally we might be having a special meal, event where the troop purchases the food, but for the most part it is up to the patrols.

                    In a perfect world they plan their meals, including a budget. They they turn in their money a week ahead of time so that the grubmaster has the money to buy the food. The grubmaster then goes to the store, buys the food and then brings it to the campout. If they did not budget correctly the grubmaster has the authority to change the menu in order to reduce costs. Extra funds are returned to the scouts, or kept in the patrol kitty.

                    In the not so perfect world, the scouts don't turn in their money in advance. The grubmaster buys the food and is stuck trying to collect it after the fact. Generally, the scout(s) who had to be chased down, get to be grubmaster the next month. Eventually they learn to pay in advance.

                    For the most part it works out to around $8-12 for the 4 or 5 meals. The most I've heard of was $20, the least was $5. Some patrols eat ramen noodles, PBJ and pop tarts, others eat steak, meatball subs and omelettes. Some patrols have developed odd traditions on what they eat.


                    • #11
                      Our patrols typically keep to a budget of $10. At our last campout, we had one patrol of 5 keep their cost to $42, and another was $47. Adults may spend more, but not much. That same weekend we had 4 adults and spent $51, but we provided the whole troop with cobler and baked apples on Saturday evening.


                      • #12
                        Our menus are planned out, quantities defined and costs applied for each meal. This way the boys know how much the meals cost and can merely insert these menus to configure a set figure/cost from which to operate. This way if the boys want to do oatmeal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch so they can have stead and lobster for supper, it's their choice. If they wish to have steak and eggs for breakfast, stew for lunch and steak and lobster for supper, then they are all aware of how much more it is going to be for their outing. The boys set their budget and work it out with their parents to cover the costs. If they get negative feedback from their parents, it's their responsibility to make financial adjustments for the next outing by setting their budget level accordingly.

                        All decisions on food and costs resides in the patrols.



                        • #13
                          I agree with Stosh, but remember that's going to take some teaching.

                          I also believe, though, that every patrol box should have, as routine items:

                          - Package of biscuit mix.

                          - package of cornmeal based cornbread mix

                          - cooking oil

                          - Oatmeal

                          - couple cans of fruit pie filling

                          - salt and pepper

                          - sugar, white and brown

                          With these staples, I can make a dessert or a breakfast bread and a supper bread.


                          • #14
                            Our Scouts are given a guideline amount of ... gosh at the moment I can't remember if it $10 or $15 per Scout. Anyway, the trouble we run into sometimes if we have a patrol that only has two or three Scouts attending it is difficult to stay in budget. If we have a full head count of eight they typically come in under budget.

                            I have been thinking about talking with the PLC about coming up with a sliding scale depending on head count. This is just a guideline so I am not sure if it even needs to be addressed.

                            What I found to be interesting is that when a Scout goes over the budget the members of his patrol give him grief for it. Once again let the Scouts handle it and it will correct itself.


                            • #15
                              Refreshing to hear so many confirm that individual patrols do their own menus and budgets!
                              Every new SPL and his team set the budget for their term as part of their planning meeting. Last year, they bumped it to $3/scout/meal so that is what patrols use.
                              Patrols are planning their menus online as part of so all patrolmates can see what's to eat and the SPL can check them if used for rank requirements.
                              Adults use the same budget guidelines.