Jump to content
mrkstvns

Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

Recommended Posts

On 6/13/2019 at 1:34 PM, qwazse said:

Historical Note: Heritage Scout Reservation started out with patrol cooking at both camps Freedom and Liberty, but the demand for dining hall options was so great that the Freedom dining hall was built. The advantage of the latter is the scouts dine with staff and get to know them. There's more time for songs, skits, and (oh, mercy) announcements.

And the advantage of Liberty is not having to put up with songs, skits, announcements and waiting to be dismissed.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2019 at 2:31 PM, mrkstvns said:

Really?  That's refreshing to hear.  It would be a long trip for us, but I might have to talk to a couple scouts to see if Camp Dieter might float their boats.  I know that most scouts over age 12 really have little to no interest in wasting time at another BSA merit badge summer camp. Maybe if a camp really understood the patrol method and the concept of fun it might change their outlook (and help us retain older scouts).  Camp Dieter....hmmmm....

Your from Texas, right? We get a lot of troops from Texas coming to Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch.  I think many are from the north end of the state, but we get troops from all over.  You are always welcome. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2019 at 10:21 AM, mrkstvns said:

Mess halls proliferate at BSA summer camps...but that wasn't always the case. At one point, BSA summer camps fostered scouting goals like independence, self-reliance. They trusted scouts to do things for themselves and they let scouts learn by doing. One of the ways they did that was by letting scouts cook their own meals: a practice referred to as "patrol cooking". You can read a bit more about patrol cooking here (https://www.summitbsa.org/patrol-style-cooking-not-your-typical-summer-camp-meal/).

Fortunately, there do still exist a handful of outposts where scouts are allowed to have meaningful camp experiences that help them grow into competent, confident young men. An example of this type of outpost is the summer camp where genuine patrol cooking can be done....

Camps that allow patrol cooking include....

  • Camp Liberty, Heritage Scout Reservation  (PA)
  •  Rickenbacker Side, Bear Creek Scout Reservation (TX)
  • Camp Dietler, Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch (CO)
  • Camp Waubeeka, Curtis Read Scout Reservation (NY)
  • Camp Freeland Leslie (WI)
  • Soaring Eagle Boy Scout Camp, Ben Delatour Scout Ranch (CO)
  • Camp Marriott, Goshen Scout Reservation (VA)

Do you know of another summer camp where patrol cooking lives?  Please tell me about it!

A quick search shows that the camp in the article is being sold. Too bad. 

Rickenbacker Side, Bear Creek Scout Reservation (TX) has only 6 of its sites for patrol cooking and  troops have to plan meals and bring their own food.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/13/2019 at 3:11 PM, ItsBrian said:

 

Sabbatis is owned by a NJ council, Patriots’ Path. I’ve heard good things about it but never had chance to visit. They do often talk about shutting it down.

 

https://www.campsabattis.org/

They are not shutting it down! Yes there has been talk about it for a few years, but there has been a great upswell of support and it will now remain open. They are investing quite a bit of money... new buildings & upgrades. Here is a FB post about it.

 

Edited by karunamom3
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just returned from Freeland Leslie, a Patrol cooking camp.  51 scouts, 6 patrols,   23 first time summer campers.  Only 5 adults present all week with 1 - 2 other adults rotating in to provide a bit more coverage.  Adults stayed out of the patrol areas except to eat, check food safety in 1 instance and address a couple of breakdowns that escalated beyond SPLs ability.

Our PLs, SPL and ASPL were busy all week.  Nearly every PL had at least one moment where they had some sort of breakdown.  One quit for a meal after dealing with patrol members that didn’t pull their wait.  One designated another patrol member that they could PL (that scout was mouthy all week and said PL was an easy job).  One went away for a bit and cried after one particular tough day.

At the end of the week we met with the PLC.  100% ... no debate, only positive feedback, wanted to return to this camp.  The PLC members had past experience with dining hall and hated it as it led to lack of what they see Boy Scouts is about.

It was tougher than a dining hall camp, but the experience is invaluable.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MattR said:

 

This was one of the best trips I've been on as the mix of scouts was about as ideal as one could hope for. Everyone was positive even though there was some suffering. (We even got a few frost points!) The teamwork was incredible and so the leadership required was almost trivial. Our guide did tell us that we were the easiest group to work with that he's had. It was the scoutmaster's dream. The adults did nothing. I was feeling a bit guilty because I wasn't doing my share.

I believe the two fastest bonding scout activities are laser tag and treks. They each force the team members to deal with each other weaknesses and strengths quickly to have fun and success. Laser tag is out, so that just leaves treks.

Barry

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add to the list, Cole Canoe Base in northern Michigan is patrol cooking only. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding to the list - Many Point Scout Camp in Minnesota.  They multiple subcamps - take your pick - Buckskin has a dining hall; Ten Chiefs has troops cook 2 meals while the third is pre-cooked and delivered; Voyageur has troops cook all of their meals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Returned from Camp Baldwin, OR couple weeks ago. I am sold on patrol cooking at summer camp. Okay yes it is harder but its better. Our troop is on the path from being 'troop method' to being patrol method. I'm certain patrol cooking at summer camp accelerated the improvement.

The older patrol needed no assistance whatsoever and we received no complaints from them. The younger patrol was consistently 'in the weeds'. From cooking and KP to making their merit badge classes on time, talking over each other and giving contradictory orders. Always just shy of disaster. The older scouts swooped in a couple times to help them. The adults did too. How many times did we tell them to read the instructions? Read. They're called instructions. They instruct. Even on Thursday it was better but still rough. On Friday they rallied and did great.

It was hard but they did it. Smiles all around at the end. I'm certain they developed a sense of esprit de corp in the effort.

We are looking forward to keeping it up at September troop outing.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, RainShine said:

Returned from Camp Baldwin, OR couple weeks ago. I am sold on patrol cooking at summer camp. Okay yes it is harder but its better. Our troop is on the path from being 'troop method' to being patrol method. I'm certain patrol cooking at summer camp accelerated the improvement.

The older patrol needed no assistance whatsoever and we received no complaints from them. The younger patrol was consistently 'in the weeds'. From cooking and KP to making their merit badge classes on time, talking over each other and giving contradictory orders. Always just shy of disaster. The older scouts swooped in a couple times to help them. The adults did too. How many times did we tell them to read the instructions? Read. They're called instructions. They instruct. Even on Thursday it was better but still rough. On Friday they rallied and did great.

It was hard but they did it. Smiles all around at the end. I'm certain they developed a sense of esprit de corp in the effort.

We are looking forward to keeping it up at September troop outing.

Awesome! The scouts got to experience "camp life" as BP explains is very different from "living under canvas" which he didn't care for. From Aids to Scoutmastership, " Any ass, so to speak, can live under canvas where he is one of a herd with everything done for him;"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks to all the scouters who posted suggestions for camps to add to the list and for those who posted comments about how camps implement their "Patrol Cooking".  I searched out the web sites for all camps offering some level of "patrol cooking" and foiund quite a lot of variability, from camps doing an outstanding job and fully embracing the patrol method, to camps that do little more than provide some instant oatmeal and tell scouts to heat their own water.  I read your comemnts....I read the web pages....I looked on other scouting forums....I downloaded the Leader Guides for all of these camps.  

Camps that do offer patrol cooking didn't make "the best" cut for various reasons. Some had patrol cooking in only a couple sites and only by special request. Some on some days of the week, but not others. Some required troops to bring their own food (which is just plain lame). Some offered patrol cooking for a meal or two per day, but otherwise pushed scouts to their mess hall. Some did not offer real cooking at all, just mixes or cold sandwiches (which is also totally lame).   

All this info led me to a picture of which BSA camps are truly THE BEST for troops who want Patrol Cooking...

SIX BEST BSA SUMMER CAMPS FOR TROOPS EMBRACING PATROL METHOD:

Troops that fully embrace the Patrol Method and want a high-quality summer camp experience should seek out these 7 camps...

  • Camp Dietler (CO)
  • Camp Freeland Leslie (WI)
  • Camp Bell (NH)
  • Camp Liberty (PA)
  • Camp Sabbatis (NY)
  • Camp Baldwin (OR)
  • Voyageur at Many Point Scout Camp (MN)


BSA SCOUT CAMPS OFFERING SOME LEVEL OF "PATROL COOKING"

Troops that want some level of "cooking" during their summer camp experience should look into these camps (quality may vary):


 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" Do you know of another summer camp where patrol cooking lives?  Please tell me about it!"

Blue Ridge Scout Reservation's Mountain Man camp....  

Maine High Adventure Base....

Edited by le Voyageur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/25/2019 at 1:07 PM, le Voyageur said:

" Do you know of another summer camp where patrol cooking lives?  Please tell me about it!"

Blue Ridge Scout Reservation's Mountain Man camp....  

Maine High Adventure Base....

Thanks, le Voyageur!  I'm always grateful for any info about GOOD camps that let scouts cook their own meals.

I'm not sure I'd recommend these for folks emphasizing patrol method though.

Both seem to be high adventure programs, and the vast bulk of these have scouts cook meals on treks. Maine High Adventure's says their program has scouts cooking on fires or on stoves. IMHO, it would better meet their promise of "adventure" if the stoves were left back in a storage unit someplace...

The Blue Ridge program seems to be an afterthought program (and their council web site is terrible --- it just doesn't promote anything that really makes their council stand out --- that BRSR is a BIG facility at over 17,000 acres ---- yet their "Camping" tab doesn't even link to it....nor to their Mountain Man program.  Lame web site!   

 

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

×