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Cooking in Camp...expectations

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Here is what we do:

 

1. I give the boys a list and tell them to create their menus for the weekend.

 

2. RAMEN is also a no-no.....:)

 

3. After I get the lists back, I review them: making sure nothing is the "easy-out".

 

4. I take them to do their own shopping, this gives me an opportunity in helping them choose the proper amounts they should buy.

 

Main Focus:

 

A. A "hot" food item is required.

 

B. I get to review the menus and submit my thoughts

 

C. Thet arrange, shop and prepare their own meals. If they still look lost, they work next to me as I do the adult meals.

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I agree that the best way is to lead by example, rather than by requirement.

However, the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class all require "cooking" (and I think the First Class req. says "hot meals"). Passing out Pop Tarts is not "cooking," and thus would not qualify for these requirements. In my mind, putting boiling water into a ramen cup is also not "cooking," and would not qualify. Eating food prepared at home is not "cooking." Indeed, I'm not sure heating up Chef Boy-Ar-Dee is cooking either--it's reheating precooked food.

Since there will often be scouts needing to complete these requirements, simple reminders of what constitutes "cooking" might be enough to avoid some of the worst meals.

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At our next troop meeting, we'll be having a cooking competition - each of the 9 patrols will cook anything they want to share with the troop. The main goals are for regular patrols to make something they are proud of and for New Scout Patrols to see new things they could cook. Of course there will be some sort of awards decided by impartial judges.

 

On weekend campouts, the troop cooks all Saturday meals. A previous SPL and his PLC said Sunday would be a no-cook meal and it turned out that was because they wanted to get home early for homework. The current PLC has decided we'll cook Sunday breakfast also.

 

Each patrol is supposed to pass its menu by the SPL or ASPL for a check before buying their campout food. Our Troop Guides have been doing an excellent job with the NSPs this spring so they are getting good meals planned.

 

No special requirements.

 

Paul

 

 

 

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We do things similar to MN_Scout. For eating purposes, each patrol is expected to prepare food for 2 extra people (adults and SPL). The patrols are given a relativly high amount of freedom in planning there menus. Depending on the campout we may set requirments such as lunch needs to be cold (if we are going to be eating it on a hike or something), or that Sunday Breakfast needs to be quick to eat/clean up. Occacionally, the PLC will set a requirments such as "Dinner must be in a DO" just to make the patrols think creativly. All of the menus are approved by the SPL or SM for nutritional value.

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When I was Scoutmaster twenty odd years ago, I was fortunate to never have to worry about cooking. The boys taught each other, and planned out good meals they enjoyed. They planned the meals, purchased food and split up the costs among themselves. I was truly blessed.

 

Well, there was one exception. On a rowboat camping trip in Washington State's San Juan Islands, the Scouts were tired and uninterested in the work of cooking breakfast. Only the patrol leader had any gumption at all --- he was heating a hot dog on a stick over a fire when I saw him!

 

Well, enough was enough. I tossed the hot dog in the fire and told him to get breakfast ready. He did, and the Scouts perked right up once they got some food in them. Turned out to be a good object lesson.

 

 

The troop I joined a year ago had problems. The adult leaders LIKED cooking, and they cooked for the Scouts. They had a camp trip they did year after year, and one ASM recalled how he took great pride as a Tenderfoot Scout having great success cooking breakfast for his patrol. I made the comment that no boys in the troop would ever repeat THAT experience.

 

An ASM cooked all the meals on their 50 miler canoe trips too, "assisted" by the Scouts, who were responsible for very little other than paddling.

 

I left that Troop, and cooking was one important reason why.

 

The Troop I'm with now is starting to come around on cooking. The boys are working every camping trip at learning skills, and will be competing in the Camporee Dutch Oven competition this weekend.

 

I've been working at separating the adults from the boys. I had worked to delegate planning for adult cooking to an ASM, who then decided the adults should eat with the Scouts without my hearing about this. The boys might not have heard about it either ---they didn't have enough food for everyone and it caused problems, including one boy whose blood sugar dropped way down after breakfast from lack of enough food. This was during our first aid class, so he as an object lesson in observing Scouts, diagnosing and treating problems. Twenty minutes after eating an orange, he and the other Scouts were impressed by the change some food produced.

 

For Camporee, the adult "Silverback" Patrol had signups to cook meals and meal plans posted, so I'm confident that the adults wont be a part of the problem for the Scouts this weekend. They will have to make their own!

 

I'll have to report back next week on the results after the Camporee.

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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I have a troop of 4th and 5th grade girls with a small (tiny!) amount of camp cooking experience. For our encampment in two weeks, each patrol is responsible for a one-pot meal cooked on a camp stove, and a tinfoil meal cooked in the firepit. We broke it down this way, because we have two meal times that we'll be permitted to cook at (it is a council-wide very programmed weekend) and are only alloted one firepit due to the size of the encampment and site considerations.

In order to extend the experience, I challenged (not required!) each patrol to find a way to add one of the foods from a listing of foods that are especially good at meeting nutritional needs of women. (The lists came from a couple different magazine articles, one titled Power Foods, and the other Top Ten Foods for Women. The foods to choose from were 1. Beans, for iron and fiber 2. Dark green brassica veggies such as broccoli or kale, for folic acid, possible cancer prevention 3. Cantalope - beta carotene, vit A and C, 4. fish, particularly tuna or salmon for Omega 3 and protein, 5. Garlic to increase flavor without over reliance on salt and ketchup ;) 6. Oats or oatmeal - whole grain, protein, fiber 7. Soy, tofu, etc for protein, calcium 8. Orange veggies: sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash for beta carotene and potential reduction of cardiac problems 9. Yogurt for calcium and protein 10. flax seed/flax seed oil, for omega 3, lignans - potentially protective against various cancers, fiber 11. water - we require drinking water or real fruit juice or milk with meals) This led to one of the patrols choosing to make sweet potato pie at camp - Youth rarely take "the easy way out" when given the opportunity to achieve something. I'm still waiting on meal plans from the other patrol - they are mostly the 5th graders - too funny, it's almost always the older ones who have a harder time getting things squared away and organized!

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with how this worked - I'm going to try to remember more to just provide the good information I come across and provide opportunities to use it.

Nutrition is definitely of huge importance - several of our girls are very very overweight (uniforms are not made in their size)and subsist on sodas and doritos and fast food most of the time. We are not Draconian about promoting good nutrition - in fact, they are happily surprised to enjoy eating chef salads, melon, and chicken - things they would ever have the opportunity to try otherwise.

Anne in Mpls

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With the troops I have worked with, I tell them that cooking implies the applicatin of heat and that is needed at every meal. With the new scout patrol, that I am currently working with, I have let them plan the menue and shop with them. I don't always like what they pick but as long as they are cooking it and they use the food pyramid it's OK. I expect them to get better before they join the next patrol. I try to have them make 1st class within a year and be adequate campers in that time so by the the time they move on they can focus on merit badges.

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With the troops I have worked with, I tell them that cooking implies the applicatin of heat and that is needed at every meal. With the new scout patrol, that I am currently working with, I have let them plan the menue and shop with them. I don't always like what they pick but as long as they are cooking it and they use the food pyramid it's OK. I expect them to get better before they join the next patrol. I try to have them make 1st class within a year and be adequate campers in that time so by the the time they move on they can focus on merit badges.

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"Only the patrol leader had any gumption at all --- he was heating a hot dog on a stick over a fire when I saw him!

 

Well, enough was enough. I tossed the hot dog in the fire and told him to get breakfast ready."

 

I am curious how many posters see this as the correct response from an adult scout leader?

 

Is this really our role as leaders? If a patrol is tired an not interested in eating... so what? When they get hungry they'll get interested and they'll eat. So what if they choose to eat their lunch in the morning, or their breakfast in the afternoon. If it's time to eat and only one scout is hungry why can't he eat his portion? Do we really take others property and destroy it (even if its just a hot dog) simply because we dislike their actions.

 

This sort of behavior really bothers me as a scout leader and as a parent. Where in scouting is this kind of behavior taught or supported. What leadership style includes destruction of property to make a point? Where is the consideration of the needs and characteristics of boys at this stage of development.

 

It is not the uniform or the office that makes us Scout leaders...it is the methoods we employ in dealing with the scouts.

 

 

 

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"Only the patrol leader had any gumption at all ---he was heating a hot dog on a stick over a fire when I saw him!

 

Well, enough was enough. I tossed the hot dog in the fire and told him to get breakfast ready."

 

I am curious how many posters see this as the correct response from an adult scout leader?

 

 

Since the Scouts perked up & accomplished what they needed to I would say yes it was the correct response. Just because they were tired is no excuse for not completing their task.

 

Sometimes the best method is being direct. And in this case it was the best method.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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OK, so I am not surprised by the first response. Let's admit it Ed this is the huge crevice which separates you and I. I see it as their task to accomplish or not accomplish not mine. I will have my meal if I am hungry whether they eat when I do or not, it does not matter. This is of no concern to me when it comes to the mission of the program.

 

I am trying to teach them to work as a patrol and be able to function independently. Their ability to make the decision to rest rather than eat seems a valid decision to me. The member who said he was more hungry than tired found a food that wood not require him to cook a large portion which might go to waste since he was eating alone. He thought to prepare it in a way that would not require unnecessary work since he was eating alone and possibly was still fatigued fronm the trip.

 

I give these guys credit for making ethical decisions that worked for their needs in their patrol. No one was being harmed, no BSA policies were being violated, there was no cause for interference by the adult leader.

 

Being a scoutmaster means to be a master of scouting...not a master of scouts. If someone really has the need to be "in charge" of a smaller life form then they should get a puppy, not a scout troop.

 

So now we have two divergent sides of scout leadership in action. I ask others to respond "what is your reaction to this situation as a scoutmaster"?

 

BW

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"Being a scoutmaster means to be a master of scouting...not a master of scouts."

 

BobWhite- Great saying.. mind if I use it?

 

I could not agree with you more.

While I would not agree with the Scout heting up a hot dog, I do agree that when they get hungry they will eat.

 

I started this thread by asking if anyone else impossed requirements about the type of meal. My Troop does. Cooking is a Scout Craft and needs to be practiced.

Never once have I suggested that breakfast is at 8:00 am, Lunch at 12:00 and so on.

 

On our last campout the Scouts choose to eat much later. They used the time in the day light to do other activities and cooked when it got dark. The Patrols had the free will to make that choice.

 

I think as a Scoutmaster I might have a talk with the PL and find out what his Patrol was planning on doing to ensure they all eat, but beyond that, I think that they would eventually get to cooking.

 

I have seen the Scouts in my Troop so tired they could not stand up. Then a couple of the guys get out the stoves etc and sooner than you know it a meal is cooked and they are all eating.

 

Unless there are strict timelines that need to be followed, the in camp pace should be set by the Patrols and the members therein.

 

Jerry

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My first few outings with a brand new troop I noticed quite a bit of top raumin and hotdogs being consumed. I only had two boys with any scouting experience, the boys made their own meals, did their own shopping and this is what they picked. I did not say anything to them about their choice. What I did was hang a DO on a tri pod over a BBQ and lit the coals before a meeting. I had been shopping, prepared all the ingredients and before the troop meeting began, showed what I was dumping into the DO. We then had our regular meeting, after the meeting I dished out what I had made. I started doing this quite often, at times a DO, other times a foil pack or reflector oven. This ended the hot dog and raumin fest without me saying a word. I noticed last camp they were eating pretty good in fact better than the adults were.

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In that situation I think one of our adults would have sat down next to him and asked how he (the patrol leader) thought that hot dog was going to be split five or six ways...

 

As far as camp cooking, on regular weekend campouts the adults cook separately from the patrols and the patrol menus are approved by the SPL. For summer camp, since we're all eating what the commissary provides, adults are split up amongst the patrols - gives the scouts a chance to practice guest etiquette!

 

Vicki

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So it's OK if they use an excuse not to do something? What is that teaching them? Not very ethical in my book.

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