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Choosing Camp Meals

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Actually Anne in Cubs they do not camp as dens except for Webeolos. otherwise they are either family camping in which each family usually does their own cooking or in a Counil or District camp where their food is prepared for them. So I was using Webelos Den Camping as my Cub scout exemple. Perhaps I should have stated that.


Unfortunately there ar Troops that do not allow or train the scouts to cook as patrols, and in those cases many times adults are still making the decisions on menus and even cooking for the scouts as a troop, treating the youth more like Cub Scouts than Boy Scouts.







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Ok, yes, I can certainly see it working for Webelos den camping. I was approaching this thinking this was a question about a pack campout, with food provided (Baloo trained for this situation.) So, do you have ideas about incorporating cubs' ideas into a menu for a pack campout?

Anne in Mpls

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If the boys want to come up with meals as a den and prepare them as a den, even though there is the whole pack out there with families, then they can't do it because they do not camp as dens.


I take my Cubs Camping and if my tigers all said that they wanted hot dogs, hamburgers and beans, but my wolves wanted sommething else, where am I to tell them they can't do it that way.


Get off the RULES and REGS about how to go camping, and back onto the topic on helping with hints on how to choose camp meals. That is the topic at hand.

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Den cooking for family campout's is often not practical. Its family camping, the idea is that the camp as a family and the Pack provides program activities. If you want to do food as a group do a dessert.


What are you talking about SctDad???

At no time did I mention any rules or regulation on this topic, why do you blurt out something as unrelated as that?


You want help, I'm offering help. Family camp out family meals, Webelos Den Campout, Den Meals. Troop Camping...Patrol Meals.


You want easy and effective then take the advice to follow the program recommendations.

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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You said


"Actually Anne in Cubs they do not camp as dens except for Webeolos. otherwise they are either family camping in which each family usually does their own cooking or in a Counil or District camp where their food is prepared for them."


I do not know about the boys in your pack, but for about 50% of the boys in my pack have never been camping before, and the same thing with their parents. So if these parents have never learned how to cook at camp, do we tell them to fend for themselves. Do we let them run to McDonalds and come back and eat all the food infront of the other boys (that is not fair), or do we join together and work as a team and cook as a den. That is why we do things this way. We try to promote cooking within the dens to promote teamwork.


Now back to the original question:


Has anyone out there let the Cub Scouts choose what they want for camp meals. So far we have chosen meals that most of the boys have liked. But we still have parents that like to go and get food elsewhere.


So have you let the boys decide, and what was your results?

(This message has been edited by SctDad)

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I think you underestimate the intelligence of the parents in the pack, and you over estimate the difficulty of preparing a meals for a weekend outdoors. If your parents are really that incapable then the pack could always supply the cooking heat, I would bet your parents know how to put food on heat to cook, even if they somehow don't know how to start a fire?


That way even if the kids don't get direct input into the meals at least their parents know what they like.


You will find menu planning and food prep works best for small groups of 2 to 8 people.

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Yes BW you are right, I really should put the parents to the fire. But I have had at least 2 parents tell me that they do not cook at home. They both have their parents cook for them. Unless it is plain pasta and sauce. Yes, I know that sounds like it is way out there, but it is true. I had one parent tell me that she did not cook. She said that she would be willing to learn to cook on a campfire to help her son. So we have worked around that.


But some of the parents would rather run to McD's instead of trying to learn to cook. Bad part is, when we go to the campground this spring, the nearest eatery is about 30 minutes away, and you had better know your way back.


Our dens are about 6-8 in each. (Tigers - 7, Wolf - 8, Bear - 2, Webelos 3)


So we are trying to find a way to get everyone to eat together. Our vegetarian is the least of our problems.

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SctDad, it sounds like dutch oven cooking would be the simplest method, in combination perhaps with a decent propane stove? Do you have access to those? DO cooking is pretty easy to do and most of the work is in the preparation. My sister does a wild rice and Rock Cornish game hens DO that is to die for (you can sub chicken parts if you want, but the hens are sometimes pretty cheap around here). Being a somewhat flexible vegetarian myself, I've been known to keep the bird over to one side and keep a corner of the DO for myself - mixing in some nuts and mushrooms with the wild rice. Corn bread in another DO. I've known folks to do a layered thing with the bread on top - that turns out pretty well too. Then there's the famous DO cobbler. You can do the cobbler once dinner is over as a close to bedtime treat - that way you can use the same DO you used for the main meal. There are all kinds of instruction materials and internet groups that can get you started - just google "dutch oven cooking" and start reading. With the right shopping, you can even get dutch ovens second hand pretty cheap - seasoning takes a bit of elbow grease, but the result is worth it. Who knows, it might even transfer to some home cooking if folks realize that the basic principle is to throw it all together and keep it at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.


Stew works really well in a DO too, again, you can float the bread on top.


Kebobs work if a grill is involved - flexible too in terms of what you want on your own skewer. I've found you'll need a couple of really filling side dishes.


The decent propane stove comes in handy in the morning for breakfast.


Our scout shop has some good campout cookbooks, I'd imagine yours does too.


Just a couplea thoughts.


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We always loved taco salad in GS. The only thing that had to be cooked was the ground beef, so no help for your vegetarian. It is something that everyone can fix just like they like, and it has plenty of oppurtunity for vegetables as well as roasting corn or making Spanish or dirty rice.


For breakfast, oatmeal can be cooked fairly plain and other things added in the bowl.


As you can guess, I like to make a base and then have everyone else add their own thing.



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I picked up two DO's at a local place. One 14" and one 10". They both cost $14 each.


We did stock up on some things like the oatmeal in the packets for emergencies. We also made up a decent staple product supply.


But our vegitarian loves the pancakes that we make. He just leaves out the sausage.



I was thinking about a Vegie Lasagna.

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SctDad wrote

"But some of the parents would rather run to McD's instead of trying to learn to cook. Bad part is, when we go to the campground this spring, the nearest eatery is about 30 minutes away, and you had better know your way back."


Sounds to me like you solve that problem all by itself. Maybe the boys will get hungry while the parents are lost.

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As cubs, we family camp...


The pack plans the meals, does the buying, and cooks the meals. The exception is one "scout cook" opportunity, be it a hot dog on a stick over open flame, a hobo stew, or hamburger patty w/ fixin's in a foil pouch or a Smore's.


A few words of advice:


1) ALWAYS have a backup food for the "scout cook" (i.e. Peanut butter and jelly at the ready). Somebody's food is going to get burned / fall in the fire. They still need to eat.


2) Cooking for 50+ people is a large task. Break it up into smaller segments and assign duties. We have 3 to 4 "grubmasters" that do the actual cooking, coordinate the bulk food buy, transport, etc.. Then tap other adults and scouts and assign prep and clean-up duties. Everyone must do KP at least once on a campout. Tigers can wash a pot, it won't kill them.


3) We always have PB&J and instant mac-n-cheese availible for someone that turns their nose up at the menu for whatever reason, food allergy, religion, diet, or just plain don't like the menu.


4) Best way to handle the food critics (be them scouts or adults) and I quote, "I'm glad to hear your input. I'll be sure to put your name (or your parent's name) down for the planning / cooking crew for next time. I'll be sure you know when the next campout planning meeting will be so that you can attend and chair some of the planning / logistics." Either they have a legit concern & they WILL show up to help plan next time, or they shut up and eat whats been cooked for them.


Sorry, but menu planning is best left to Webelos and Boy Scouts... even then, I've heard the tale of a Webelos campout in which they had 15 packs of beef jerky, instant oatmeal, and smore's fixin's for an entire weekend campout. Brought the big Kool-aid pouches, but no pitcher. All good life lessons learned, but could've used a "little" adult guidance in the meal planning. BTW - they also carted along the biggest dutch oven they owned... not sure what they were going to cook in it? Maybe a huge sticky pot of instant oatmeal (with beef jerky chunks for added flavor), but they lugged it along anyways.



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OK somethig that I think that may be a little misunderstood.


THe Cubs do not have final say. WHat we are looking for is should I let them help in the planning of the meals to help with getting everyone eating at camp.


Not the boys are not going to eat hotdogs all weekend. But if they want em for lunch or something that is fine.


Oatmeal is OK for breakffast, but what else.


I was looking for suggestions on how to let them give input into choosing the meals.

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