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Dinning Hall vs Patrol Cooking

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I am missing something - I don't see where dining halls have an exclusive on the experience of sitting around a table and be required to exhibit some manners, be a waiter, and clean up after the meal - except for being the waiter part.

When patrol cooking at summer camp, the patrol all gathers around the same table to eat. They have invited guests at dinner that include various camp staffers that patrol members have invited, plus the adult leaders. In our troop, we expected manners.


I also don't see where washing pots and pans is mutually exclusive with having fun. Certainly not anymore so than the cleanup after the meal that you mention in the dining hall.


I do agree with your decision to attend dining hall summer camp if that is the right option to meet the goals that you have for the program that you want for your troop. I just think that the reasons you gave are also present when patrol cooking.

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I think I calculated that about 4 hours of our day was spent provisioning, cooking and cleaning when patrol cooking. Compared to maybe 1.5 hours if using a dining hall. So what can you do with the extra 2.5 hours? Work on advancement, take another merit badge, build camp gadgets. I still think the patrol cooking is valuable but this summer camp, I have to admit I questioned whether it was worth it!

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Venividi, part of the answer lies in Gern's comments. I don't believe that camp is about spending time in the kitchen.


As for sitting around the table, I've yet to see a patrol, especially a patrol of young Scouts, get it all together in a fashion that allows them to sit down together at the same time and enjoy a hot meal. If your scouts can get that done 18 or so times during summer camp my hats off to you!


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