Jump to content
jpc763

Cooking Mb At Summer Camp

Recommended Posts

We have a guy from our district that does an outstanding job doing the cooking MB at district and summer camps and I know for a fact that none of those scouts really did all the requirements the way they were written/intended.  To repeat; this guy is top notch with working with scouts and knows how to teach cooking and I'm pretty sure the kids learned more than what's in the book.

 

Most times Cooking MB can't be done well in a large group setting and shouldn't be a summer camp MB.  However I think this is a great MB to do on a troop/partol campouts. We've done it a few times during the winter. We do the planning at a troop/partol meeting, a road trip to the grocery store Fri night. A smaller group pretty much sitting around a campfire all day talking food and non-stop eating food the kids cook. The kids start to get a little competitive with the quality of food they are producing.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a guy from our district that does an outstanding job doing the cooking MB at district and summer camps and I know for a fact that none of those scouts really did all the requirements the way they were written/intended.  To repeat; this guy is top notch with working with scouts and knows how to teach cooking and I'm pretty sure the kids learned more than what's in the book.

 

Most times Cooking MB can't be done well in a large group setting and shouldn't be a summer camp MB.  However I think this is a great MB to do on a troop/partol campouts. We've done it a few times during the winter. We do the planning at a troop/partol meeting, a road trip to the grocery store Fri night. A smaller group pretty much sitting around a campfire all day talking food and non-stop eating food the kids cook. The kids start to get a little competitive with the quality of food they are producing.   

 

For me this is an MB that should be scout-driven rather than done at camp or by the troop. We did a troop-based class on this a few years ago when it was non-required and had 10 kids attend. Did the requirements by the book BUT we added a few extras that were optional such as knife/cutting skills, cooking skills not in the book (smoking, desserts and fondues) and had a Top Chef competition at the end. The kids loved it!

 

Now that it's required if we offered such a class we'd have 25 kids no problem and it would be too cumbersome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me this is an MB that should be scout-driven rather than done at camp or by the troop. We did a troop-based class on this a few years ago when it was non-required and had 10 kids attend. Did the requirements by the book BUT we added a few extras that were optional such as knife/cutting skills, cooking skills not in the book (smoking, desserts and fondues) and had a Top Chef competition at the end. The kids loved it!

 

Now that it's required if we offered such a class we'd have 25 kids no problem and it would be too cumbersome.

 

According to BSA (and for generations) ALL Merit Badges are supposed to be Scout-driven.  One assumes they exclude MBs required for advancement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me this is an MB that should be scout-driven rather than done at camp or by the troop. 

 

 

According to BSA (and for generations) ALL Merit Badges are supposed to be Scout-driven.

 

What does "scout-driven" actually mean?  

 

If you go through the requirements, they determine what needs to be done.  For example, there are things that the scout must "explain", "describe", "discuss" or "show" to their counselor and requirements that a scout must "do".  The scout is supposed to do those, not the counselor (who presumably knows all that already).  Those requirements cannot be changed (i.e. "listen" to an explanation or "watch" a demonstration).

 

That being said, how is having an organized structure to complete the requirements at camp or through a troop a bad thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"There is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills. There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career—though these invaluable results occur regularly. It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject, followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition. It is an uncomplicated process that gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles. Social skills improve. Self-reliance develops. Examples are set and followed. And fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom."

 

"Earning merit badges should be Scout initiated, Scout researched, and Scout learned. It should be hands-on and interactive, and should not be modeled after a typical school classroom setting. Instead, it is meant to be an active program so enticing to young men that they will want to take responsibility for their own full participation."

 

"The sort of hands-on interactive experience described here, with personal coaching and guidance, is hardly ever achieved in any setting except when one counselor works directly with one Scout and his buddy, or with a very small group. Thus, this small-scale approach is the recommended best practice for merit badge instruction and requirement fulfillment. Units, districts, and councils should focus on providing the most direct merit badge experiences possible. Large group and Web-based instruction, while perhaps efficient, do not measure up in terms of the desired outcomes with regard to learning and positive association with adults."

 

"Scout-driven" seems to mean that earning the MB is the Scout's idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does "scout-driven" actually mean?  

 

If you go through the requirements, they determine what needs to be done.  For example, there are things that the scout must "explain", "describe", "discuss" or "show" to their counselor and requirements that a scout must "do".  The scout is supposed to do those, not the counselor (who presumably knows all that already).  Those requirements cannot be changed (i.e. "listen" to an explanation or "watch" a demonstration).

 

That being said, how is having an organized structure to complete the requirements at camp or through a troop a bad thing?

Scout driven to me means you spark the interest via a vis a troop or patrol sponsored event that covers a requirement or two, then leave the boys to follow up with the MBC. Troop classes would be ok. But I'd avoid anything that smells like a rubber stamping MBU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scout driven to me means you spark the interest via a vis a troop or patrol sponsored event that covers a requirement or two, then leave the boys to follow up with the MBC.

 

That is similar to the way I interpret it as well. Really, shouldn't this be the case for all MBs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scout driven to me means you spark the interest via a vis a troop or patrol sponsored event that covers a requirement or two, then leave the boys to follow up with the MBC. Troop classes would be ok. But I'd avoid anything that smells like a rubber stamping MBU.

 

OK.  I'll buy that and what Tahawk said.  I think what I do is pretty close to being scout-driven.

 

The merit badge session that I do isn't required... I announce that I will be doing it and any scouts that are interested need to get a blue card and sign up with me.  I limit it to 8 scouts.  The one-day session is "active" "hands-on" and in a "small group" setting.  Although our discussions are done as a group (but each boy discusses each topic as part of the group), all demonstrations are individual.  There is some instructional teaching - how to use a cooking knife to cut, examples of foods for backpacking/ freezer bag cooking, dehydrating basics, etc.  Most of that stuff isn't a merit badge requirement but nonetheless, the teaching is interactive.  The boys have to do some research ahead of time to prepare -- finding recipies, preparing shopping lists and preparing for the discussions and have some follow-up work to do afterwards (home menu, shopping list and cooking; trail menu, shopping list and cooking; careers in cooking).  They then have to prepare all their documents and schedule a meeting with me to wrap up the merit badge.

 

I suppose that the merit badge could be done on-on-one (with a buddy), but that would drive me (the counselor) absolutely crazy because I'd have to spend around three hours per scout going throught the explanations and discussions.  So that would mean 24 hours instead of 8 for the one-day.  In that case, they would have to do the cooking on campouts which would compete with the guys trying to get the T-1st requirements and which would mean that I couldn't guide them and encourage them to push their limits (the adults are hands-off and in the next campsite when it comes to patrol cooking).

 

Like all else in scouting, there are trade-offs but I think that for our troop (over 50 boys) the way we do it works better than summer camp (where our camp discourages doing the badge) or the one-on-one method where the scouts use the BSA merit badge pamphlet and a preprinted worksheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   *(( The true author of this article is unknown. It is here copied from the COME HOSTELING newsletter, Sept. 1980, of the Potomac Area Council of the American Youth Hostels, who received it from Dick Schwanke, Senior PAC Staff Trainer, who read it in the APPALACHIAN HIKER by Ed Garvey, who got it from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Conference Bulletin, which quoted it from THE RAMBLER of the Wasatch Mountain Club of Salt Lake City, which reportedly cribbed it from the I.A.C. News of Idaho Falls, which reported it from the 1966 PEAKS & TRAILS. I offer it here for your enjoyment and inspiration. Note that some of the ingredients are a bit dated. Adjust as necessary. Enjoy!))

 

 

"Courageous Cookery"          by John Echo*    

            Once the convert backpacker or cycle camper has accepted the subtle gustatory nuances associated with sustained operations beyond the chrome, he should try the advantages of ultra fringe living so that he will realize what he is paying for his nested pots and pretty pans carried so diligently and brought home so dirty after every "wilderness experience". The following system works. It is dependable and functional. It works on the big rock. It even works when the weather has gone to hell, you are wet and cold and the wind is blowing down the back of your hairy neck. It is not for the timid. It consists of a stove, a six inch sauce pan, a plastic cup and a soup spoon. If you insist on a metal cup, you must never fail to mutter "I'm having fun, I'm having fun", every time you spill the soup on your sleeping bag.

          Breakfast: Instant wheat cereal-- sugar and powdered milk added-- ready two minutes after water boils. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water, boil, and add powdered eggs and ham. You'll never taste the cereal anyway. In three minutes, eat eggs. Do not wash pot. Add water or snow and boil for tea. Do not wash pot. Most of the residue eggs will come off in the tea water. Make it strong and add sugar. Tastes like tea. Do not wash pot. With reasonable technique, it should be clean. Pack pot in rucksack and enjoy last cup of tea while others are dirtying entire series of nested cookware.

          Lunch: Boil pot of tea. Have snack of rye bread, cheese and dried beef Continue journey in 10 minutes if necessary.

          Dinner: Boil pot of water, add Wylers dried vegetable soup and beef bar. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and potatoes from dry potatoe powder. Add gravy mix to taste. Eat potatoes from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and boil for tea. Fortuitous fish or meat can be cooked easily. You do not need oil or fat. Put half inch of water in pot. Add cleaned and salted fish. Do not let water boil away. Eat from pot when done. Process can be done rapidly. Fish can even be browned somewhat by a masterful hand.

          Do not change menu. Variation only recedes from the optimum. Beginners may be allowed to wash pot once a day for three consecutive days only. It is obvious that burning or sticking food destroys the beauty of the technique. If you insist on carrying a heavier pack, make up the weight you save with extra food. Stay three days longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   *(( The true author of this article is unknown. It is here copied from the COME HOSTELING newsletter, Sept. 1980, of the Potomac Area Council of the American Youth Hostels, who received it from Dick Schwanke, Senior PAC Staff Trainer, who read it in the APPALACHIAN HIKER by Ed Garvey, who got it from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Conference Bulletin, which quoted it from THE RAMBLER of the Wasatch Mountain Club of Salt Lake City, which reportedly cribbed it from the I.A.C. News of Idaho Falls, which reported it from the 1966 PEAKS & TRAILS. I offer it here for your enjoyment and inspiration. Note that some of the ingredients are a bit dated. Adjust as necessary. Enjoy!))

 

 

"Courageous Cookery"          by John Echo*    

            Once the convert backpacker or cycle camper has accepted the subtle gustatory nuances associated with sustained operations beyond the chrome, he should try the advantages of ultra fringe living so that he will realize what he is paying for his nested pots and pretty pans carried so diligently and brought home so dirty after every "wilderness experience". The following system works. It is dependable and functional. It works on the big rock. It even works when the weather has gone to hell, you are wet and cold and the wind is blowing down the back of your hairy neck. It is not for the timid. It consists of a stove, a six inch sauce pan, a plastic cup and a soup spoon. If you insist on a metal cup, you must never fail to mutter "I'm having fun, I'm having fun", every time you spill the soup on your sleeping bag.

          Breakfast: Instant wheat cereal-- sugar and powdered milk added-- ready two minutes after water boils. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water, boil, and add powdered eggs and ham. You'll never taste the cereal anyway. In three minutes, eat eggs. Do not wash pot. Add water or snow and boil for tea. Do not wash pot. Most of the residue eggs will come off in the tea water. Make it strong and add sugar. Tastes like tea. Do not wash pot. With reasonable technique, it should be clean. Pack pot in rucksack and enjoy last cup of tea while others are dirtying entire series of nested cookware.

          Lunch: Boil pot of tea. Have snack of rye bread, cheese and dried beef Continue journey in 10 minutes if necessary.

          Dinner: Boil pot of water, add Wylers dried vegetable soup and beef bar. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and potatoes from dry potatoe powder. Add gravy mix to taste. Eat potatoes from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and boil for tea. Fortuitous fish or meat can be cooked easily. You do not need oil or fat. Put half inch of water in pot. Add cleaned and salted fish. Do not let water boil away. Eat from pot when done. Process can be done rapidly. Fish can even be browned somewhat by a masterful hand.

          Do not change menu. Variation only recedes from the optimum. Beginners may be allowed to wash pot once a day for three consecutive days only. It is obvious that burning or sticking food destroys the beauty of the technique. If you insist on carrying a heavier pack, make up the weight you save with extra food. Stay three days longer.

 

Keep saying that until the bears show up at 3:00 am, then yell it as loud as you can while waving your arms..... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just heard our local camp, which has a robust MB program and prides itself on that program, is likely dropping Cooking next year.  Just way too much to squeeze in during a camp setting.  They have some tougher MBs as 90 minute blocks for all 5 days.  Climbing is 3 hours a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why I miss Old School Scouting from my days as a Scout

 

1. Summer Camp had no Mess Hall at Our Favorite Camp...We Did the Cooking for every Meals..just went to the Quartermaster and drew our allotement of supplies for the meal

 

2. All meals were cooked on an open fire...Using WOOD...NO STOVES 

 

3. We had Fun as Scouts doing all kinds of Activities

 

 

 

Why I don't Miss New School Scouting from my Days as an Adult Volunteer

 

1. Arguing over the Rules because of Interpretation on the Wording

 

2. Seems like the fun has been taken out of Scouting with to many rules..Which in my Opionin is what is Killing scouting. To many overly restrictive Age limits, and Age Approriate Activities..A Rural Scouter is not the same as an Urban Scout. So a Young Scouter might have been hunting along with Dad or Mom since they were like 7 or so...They get turned away when Told ..your to young to this or that. They don't want to be Scouts any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...