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Lugnuts Dad

Cracker Barrel Alternatives?

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I'm currently putting together our district's winter camporee and have everything pretty much under control (kudos to Kudu for activity ideas). Right now, though, my brain is twisting around alternatives to our normal cracker barrel fare. We usually have diced meat and cheese, chips, pretzels, etc. After a few calls to local deli's, I've found that the meat/cheese is fairly expensive. As a Scout is thrifty, I'm looking for alternatives.

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Home made trail mix comes to mind banana chips dried fruit nuts pretzels m&m mini marshmallows chex pretzels yogurt covered raisins mix in large container and serve in sandwich size zip lock bags. Sources below or check local health stores. Have seen a troop helping at an earth day celebration pass this out to general public was well received.

 

http://www.bulkfoods.com/dried_fruits.asp?referer=godrifru

http://www.metrocandy.com/Bulk-Nuts-Dried-Fruits

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We recently had a patrol cracker barrel competition. My son's patrol made monkey bread in dutch ovens but it took lots of prep that had to actually start several hours beforehand.

 

The other guys made nacho's in dutch ovens. They just took chips and spread em in the oven, sprinkled cheese and peppers around and heated 'em up for about 10-15 minutes over the coals. Quick, easy and good.

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How about trying a Potluck Crackerbarrel. In the winter, everyone brings their favorite holiday cookies to share with the group, or some other such thing. Provide the drinks and the serving stuff, let everyone else join in providing the goodies.

 

Calico

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Here are some things I have seen done in the past...

 

1) traditional crackers and cheese with meat slices

 

2) pizza

 

3) potluck

3a) I have also seen cracker barrels almost be come complete dinner meals this way too

 

4) trail mix

 

5) popcorn

 

6) at NYLT we did bug juice and cookies one night

 

7) chips

 

pretty much any hand snack food will work great ...

 

 

Scott Robertson

http://insanescouter.org

Helping leaders one resource at a time....

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If you go with a deli it will most certainly be costly, especially if you have them make up platters.

 

However, if you go to a discount, or warehouse grocery, you should be able to find sausage, cheese and crackers for significantly less. You might even be able to get the stores to donate them.

 

Of course, then you must provide your own manpower to cut everything up and pack it in zip lock bags.

 

 

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Alternatives would be nice. We tend to have a preponderance of products from McKee's Bakery (Little Debbie and Sunbelt) and from Hershey's, as we have both factories in town; it can get a bit tiring.

 

One Klondike, we did a big pot of chili and provided chips and stuff to make nachos. We have a Costco fairly close, so large cans of stuff are reasonable. A #10 can of cheese sauce goes a long way.

 

If you do hot chocolate, it is more economical to get the big containers and make a pot instead of using packets.

 

Ed

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Cracker Barrel at Klondike... let's see...

 

HOT FOOD!!!

 

You've got cold kids; give them some fire in their bellies as they bed down. Dutch Oven 'Smacos (S'mores on a flour tortilla), fresh monkey bread (heck, any form of hot fresh bread), cocoa, hot cider, homemade chicken and noodles... and the list goes on.

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A quick suggestion about cracker barrel feeding times at night in the winter. It's one thing to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or tea just before bed during winter camping - it's quite another to be eating food - hot or cold - of any kind just before bed. If you are going to be serving food to the lads during a winter campout, do so at least one hour - two is better - before bed.

 

Reason? You want your bodies main job at bedtime to be keeping you warm. Eating anything right before bed means your body is going to kick in the digestive processes - and it will put all of its energy (except for autonomous functions of course) into digestion. Drinking warm liquids doesn't trigger the digestion response as intensely as eating solid food does. You don't want your body to be concerned with digestion at bedtime during a winter campout because its taking that energy from the most important job - keeping you warm.

 

Calico

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  Thanks everyone for the great ideas! When I volunteered for this wonderful duty, I thought it would be like planning a BIG troop campout. Uhm, yeah, OK. Maybe not... One of these days I'll learn to say "no."

Calico,

  Never heard that before. Would that explain the "wait an hour after you eat before swimming or you'll get a cramp" theory? Is the cramp your body's way of saying that something's wrong since it's focused on digestion instead of keeping you from drowning?

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The whole wait an hour before swimming stuff is one of those old wives tales - where it came from, I couldn't say, but it was particularly popular in the 1960's. My mother told us to wait half an hour, not an hour. Of course, that lasted until we started swimming competively in the park district swim teams where we often ate between races to keep our energy levels up.

 

Depending on who you talk to, some claimed it was because you would get stomach cramps, some claimed that it could lead to leg and arm cramps, others, like my mother, just said we would get sick (its not unusual to feel a little "oogie" in the stomach while exercising with a full stomach). I'd guess that digestion would have something to do with it since digestion causes greater blood flow to the stomach (which means lowering blood flow to other parts of the body - usually the arms and legs).

 

Would this make that much difference swimming? Not really. But in Winter Camping? It's more than just about being uncomfortable - depending on how good your gear is, and how insulated you are, and how cold it is, it could be the difference between staying healthy and alive, and getting into serious problems like hypothermia. As you get cold, you run a real risk of getting colder, not warmer, if your body isn't recovering.

 

Calico

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Actually Calico,

I think it was Survivorman that indicated that eating something before bed was good for generating heat. I think First aid for hypothermia also indicates giving food. Gives the body energy to generate heat. Stoking the furnace. Might avoid chili with beans though. Especially in a mummy bag.

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Calico-

I was being rhetorical. ;) I remember that "oogie" feeling from football camp when I was in high school. Not fun, especially when a 205lb linebacker nails you in the gut.

Gern-

Have to check my Handbook on the treatment for hypothermia. I know you are supposed to do warm broth and such (assuming the victim is conscious of course), but I'm not sure about the food. Plus, I hesitate to take the advice of someone who drinks their own urine. Makes me wonder if he's not a few badges short of a sash. :)) I have fears about the chili, too. Not because of mummy bags, but the proliferation of small propane heaters that some misguided souls (leaders included) are putting inside their tents. (This message has been edited by lugnuts dad)

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