Jump to content
RainShine

divvying up costs for meals

Recommended Posts

How do your patrols divvy up the cost of meals? Our Scouts parse the meal into ingredients and send Scouts to the store and hope it comes out about right. For instance, for dutch oven apple cobbler, one guy goes to buy cake mix. Another guy supplies butter. Another guy gets a can of pie filling. This cant be right. Come to think of it, this is probably done to distribute the responsibility, not the cost.

In our adult patrol, if the duty roster has me making apple cobbler, I buy all that stuff in one go. And, in a collegial manner, I simply incur the cost knowing another adult will get it next time.

Perhaps one Scout should buy the stuff and do the math, then get reimbursed later by the Scouts that participated. The cooking merit badge requires the Scout to create a shopping list and calculate the cost of the meal, but it doesn't appear to require or advise about getting reimbursed.

What do others do? Please advise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well after I sent this I thought to do a search on this site on the topic. Found some advice. Some folks eat the costs, others have Scouts chip in $3 up front to cover meals. Chipping in up front seems like a good simple approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found for adults and scouts to pay a set fee up front and set the budget for food based on that.  Once they have collected the funds, they have to go buy the food items for the meals.  Menu and budget first and then buy.  It teaches the scouts about budgets and bargain hunting.  I always like to keep the adults with the same amount as the scouts.  The adults often have better cooking skills and prepare meals the scouts wished they made.  By keeping the fund the same amount, no one eats ramen noodles while someone eats steak.

I like to see patrols cooking and not the troop cooking like I'm seeing more and more.  Large numbers do work a better budget, but you lose some of the patrol method.  I like to see different patrols use their imagination and see what they can do.  I still think a dented, blackened, and rough mess kit is better than a big propane grill parents use. 

If someone has a specialty like dutch oven cooking, as I like to use my 5 dutch ovens, it comes out of their pocket mostly.  It may not be part of the patrol camping menu, but things like this are offered to everyone.  A burnt foil dinner is terrible, but a warm cobbler makes up for an empty stomach. 

And I frown on poptarts, soda, and a ton of candy.  Bug juice and cracker barrel are awesome.  If scouts want coffee, first the parents have to approve prior, and second they have to drink it.  I'm sure that will get some one the site fired up.

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Troop my boys were in had a budget for food for every campout. That budget was a certain fixed amount per scout (and was part of the campout fee) per patrol.  One Scout per patrol had to volunteer to buy the food, and they had to provide a receipt to the treasurer and were reimbursed. Generally speaking, unless a scout's overindulgent parent (usually mother) did the actual shopping, we found this worked well over a period of a year.  Sometimes the food cost was a bit high, sometimes a bit low, but unless the food cost was way out of line, it worked well.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our troop budgets an average of $4 per meal per scout (or adult). One person in each patrol is usually responsible for buying for the entire campout, based on a (hopefully) detailed menu agreed to by the Patrol.  Scout or adult submits to the treasurer for reimbursement based on actual costs. Seems to average out pretty well. Patrols share some common items, like condiments, or will share something like a head of lettuce to cover 2 or 3 patrols for sandwiches, so there isn't as much waste.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our scouts make their menus. Pay the fee set for the weekend. (includes food and whatever costs, but generally only food)  The night before they meet at the store and with their budget, shop for their food together. Adults are there getting their food with their menu/budget. We meet and go through the registers, paying out and then loading the ice chests. Drop them off into the trailer and done. Next day, camping fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our troop, one member of the patrol acts as "grubmaster" and picks up the food for the menu the patrol decided upon.  Usually this person is working on either rank or Mb requirements, if no one in the patrol is then it's just a volunteer.  

We reimburse the costs from the fee for the campout.  We don't have a specific budget for the weekend, but it averages out across the year.

We used to have the scouts get reimbursement direct from their fellow scouts, but it was very uneven in its success rate so we switched to the current system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our general practice is to charge a "troop fee" for campouts ($10-20, based on campout, covers campsite fees, transportation, troop gear like propane, etc.).  Patrols get their own food, and deal with the cost themselves.

The "ideal" is that they plan a menu, grubmaster shops, then divides cost by attendance and the boys pay up.  In practice, it rotates...a given scout may be they "buyer" once or twice a year, and it more or less evens out, instead of settling up after each individual campout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/16/2019 at 4:32 PM, sierracharliescouter said:

Our troop budgets an average of $4 per meal per scout (or adult). One person in each patrol is usually responsible for buying for the entire campout, based on a (hopefully) detailed menu agreed to by the Patrol.  Scout or adult submits to the treasurer for reimbursement based on actual costs. Seems to average out pretty well. Patrols share some common items, like condiments, or will share something like a head of lettuce to cover 2 or 3 patrols for sandwiches, so there isn't as much waste.

 

We kept the leftover condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.) in the fridge we have in our Scout hut.  Saved a lot by not having to rebuy.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/16/2019 at 9:48 PM, T2Eagle said:

In our troop, one member of the patrol acts as "grubmaster" and picks up the food for the menu the patrol decided upon.  Usually this person is working on either rank or Mb requirements, if no one in the patrol is then it's just a volunteer.  

We reimburse the costs from the fee for the campout.  We don't have a specific budget for the weekend, but it averages out across the year.

We used to have the scouts get reimbursement direct from their fellow scouts, but it was very uneven in its success rate so we switched to the current system.

 

In our old Troop, the grubmaster was usually either somebody that needs rank/MB requirements, or it usually ended up being a leader's son. Why? We could usually say "yes/no" at the time, and the answer was rarely no. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our patrols plan their menus, and a pair of scouts from each patrol buys the food (usually $10/scout/weekend) and then get reimbursed from their patrol members. They rotate through all the younger scouts for rank requirement, as well as Cooking MB requirements. Adults plan their menu separately, and one or more serves as grubmaster, split costs evenly. Simple process, and has worked well for years. Patrols occasionally challenge other patrols and the adults to cook-offs (chili, desserts, etc.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our troop does it this way.

Grubmaster for patrol is selected at meeting before campout.  They work out the menu.  He knows then what to buy.

Mom of Grubmaster takes Scout to store and loads up grocery cart, incurring an $80 grocery bill.

Mom turns the receipt into the treasurer, with list of scouts in the patrol who partook of the meals prepared with ingredients bought so that their accounts can be debited this amount/and if negative, their parents can get a statement showing how much they owe.

Mom gets either a credit to the scout's account or a check back.  Generally, she elects to leave it in there for the next time, another event, or for dues.

Mom prays her scout doesn't need to be Grubmaster for a while.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Mom2Scout said:

Our troop does it this way.

Grubmaster for patrol is selected at meeting before campout.  They work out the menu.  He knows then what to buy.

Mom of Grubmaster takes Scout to store and loads up grocery cart, incurring an $80 grocery bill.

Mom turns the receipt into the treasurer, with list of scouts in the patrol who partook of the meals prepared with ingredients bought so that their accounts can be debited this amount/and if negative, their parents can get a statement showing how much they owe.

Mom gets either a credit to the scout's account or a check back.  Generally, she elects to leave it in there for the next time, another event, or for dues.

Mom prays her scout doesn't need to be Grubmaster for a while.

 

Grubmaster is a developing skills job. Budget, quality, taste, and so on. The position shouldn't be shoved from one scout to the next. A couple of helpers makes the responsibility more fun. If the GM gets the money up front, then mom doesn't need to worry about it and can relax in the car while the scouts purchase their food. If the local supermarket is close, she doesn't even need to drive.

There is a typical cost per scout that usually works out most of the time. It was $10 fifteen years ago, probably closer to $13 or $14 now. Scouts get good at it. 

If the adults start dreading parts of the program, they will translate that dread down to the scouts. If the scouts dread a part of the program, then they need to change it to make it more fun. The troop is the real world experience scaled down to a boys size, so the adults need to grab every opportunity to give their scouts that real world experience. Shopping under a fixed budget is good skill to learn.

Barry

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barry is spot on. This a great opportunity for scouts; adults should not deny them by doing what the scouts can do for themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our troop is like many other troops.  Patrols cook and eat together.  Only required role in patrol is patrol master.  The patrol picks the menu and gives it to one of their members to acquire.  That scout (and parent) shops and brings food to campout.  Scout (or if needed parent) submits receipt to treasurer.  We reimburse or put in scout's account.

Our troop has a camp out charge.  Usually $20 to $25 for a standard simple camp out.  Food + specific weekend costs + general troop overhead.  It has been drifting up in cost lately.  We usually don't charge for gasoline (and we don't reimburse).  We don't subsidize campouts.  Each event should break even on it's own ... generally.

Of that, $12 to $15 is for food.  $2.50 to $3 for each full meal.  3 Saturday meals.  $1 to $1.5 for each cracker barrel.  Two crackers barrels.  $2 or so for Sunday breakfast.  So that's $12 to $15 for food.  A smart shopper will have scouts eating like kings for $10.  A sloppy shopper can horribly overrun the budget.  Always hard to figure out whether to penalize the scouts in his patrol for poor shopping or unwise spending.

 

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

×