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peewee

What would you ecpect to see or learn at a round table for outdoor cooking theme.

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I get to do the May round table for my district next month. The theme needs to deal with outdoor cooking. My troop has several differant items that we use to show the scouts how to cook in, (box oven, solar oven, mini can stove out of pop cans and foil cooking). Why would you go to the RT what would you espect to go back to the troop with ????

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Hey Peewee,

One thing I would like to see is more instruction on backpacking stoves, the kind that use several types of fuel such as white gas,unleaded gas, etc. I just think that if these types of stoves are being used, proper instruction on fueling, set-up, lighting and maintaining would make for a very practical roundtable discussion.

I certainly wouldn't dismiss any of the items that you have listed, since they are very unique and also a lot of fun.

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I'm thinking that not all other RT attendees might have your experience with a diversity of cooking techniques. I think you should explain them all (handouts are good) and demonstrate 3 or 4. My favorite is always survival cooking - "no pots, no matches"!

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We have had a tradition of one RT per year was cooking, and each troop prepared a dish on site. Everyone wandered around and tasted each others food, and shared recipies and tips. (good incentive to bring more than one person to RT.)

This was typically dutch oven type stuff, but has occasionally included things like fruit punch.

 

I do like ASM and Trevorum's suggestions. Blue skying here - perhaps asking various troops to demonstrate a specific method of cooking, and incorporate their excellent suggestions into one event, where folks can wander around and see various methods of cooking (and enjoy tasting them).

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Pick a series of ingredients and have a competition on how to "improve" on the tried and true.

 

For example if I were to mention:

 

Potatoes

Hamburger

Carrots

Onions

 

Other than tinfoil dinners what could one do to make a terrific meal for the boys?

 

My boys always carry flour, garlic and brown sugar now that they have gotten over having to do the tinfoil dinner for the 1,000th time.

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Or better yet, ask how can the boys make a better meal for themselves.

 

Or, how the adults can make a better meal for themselves.

 

 

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I'd like to see a potluck, where the attendee/leaders were cooking for each other, using all sorts of different techniques.

 

The only rules would be (a) dinner ready by a set time,(b) bring extra copies of your recipe and (b) be prepared to explain what you're doing (and why) to others.

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All great ideas, although I like ASM162's thoughts on bringing better awareness to backpack cooking. In addition the different types of stoves, I'd like to see information on how to purchase and prepare good backpacking meals from ingredients bought from a regular grocery store, as an alternative to high priced, pre-packed backpacking meals from outdoor stores.

 

Sounds like a really good roundtable meeting!

 

SA

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Our theme for this month is cooking and one of the things I'm going to do at our next meeting is a demonstration for the boys of various things that you can make using only 2 or 3 ingredients..such as making drop noodles with just flour & eggs, or flat breads with just flour & water or even candy using just butter & sugar. These are things that they could easily make on the trail or at camp without having to carry a lot of "extra" things which are high energy and filling.

 

Then, they decided that they wanted to have an "Iron Chef" style competition with the adults supplying each patrol with identical ingredients and seeing what they could make from them, then the adults would judge and they set up their whole schedule of "prizes"

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I think it depends a LOT on your audience. Is this troop leaders only or are you including cub leaders? How experienced are the people who come to your RT? Do you have a lot of folks with relatively weak outdoor skills? Or even a sizable minority of such people?

 

As for me: I'm in the "keep it simple" camp. Handouts are great but all too often what newbie types get is just a barrage of recipes hastily printed off the internet, some of which are better/easier/more realistic than others. I'd prefer to see two or three tried and true recipes for beginners (things they'll actually consider eating too) and then maybe two or three more adventurous recipes. Oh and give them the eggs in a bag, sure, but give them a couple of other options too. Don't give them exactly the same thing they'll get at OLS or Outdoor Leader Training for Webelos Leaders.

 

As for demos: I've always heard about boiling water in paper bags/cups, etc.. But with the exception of my dad (yup, a scout) doing this when I was a little kid, I've never seen it done even by the most "experienced" folks who tend to boast about it. If you expect to have some folks there without much experience, maybe you can demo some of these sorts of things so they know it WORKS. Plus it can be a fun trick.

 

Re: cooking technique, especially if you are working with relatively new leaders, give them whatever hands on experience you can in the confines of RT. Teach them how to build a box oven. Give them the opportunity to set up the backpacking stove. Just like with the boys, hands on training means they might actually use it later.

 

And maybe you split them up according to comfort level or the technique they're interested in learning (maybe have stations instead of one big crowd?). Box oven people over here - backpacking stoves over here - camp stoves over here - dutch ovens - cooking over coals - whatever else. Make clear for your newbies that where they are likely to get the best hands-on basics if that's what they came for.

 

And of course food is ALWAYS good!

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It would be great if RT were held outdoors for a cooking demonstration. Sure the techniques can be explained but there is nothing like seeing it actually being done. Hands on at any level are good. And by all means, include the Cub leaders! They will be amazed at how well a unit can eat on a camping trip!

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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The actual Scouting theme is "Special Cooking:"

http://www.boyscouts-ncac.org/documents.cfm?documentID=1871

 

NOTE: The National Capital Area Council puts the RT guide on the web!!! Huge help for us volunteer RT staffers in the rest of the country, thanks NCAC!!!

 

Special Cooking gives you huge room for play:

 

Charcoal Grilling is in

Duth Ovens are in

Backpacking Stoves are in

 

Home-drying fruit and jerky is in! (High energy, high protein backpacking foods!)

 

Cooking over open fires is in

 

Repackaging commercial foods for the trail is in. (anyone made box mac and cheese using NF dry milk?)

 

If your facility host will let you, having a camp iron chef cookoff would be in. Designate the basic ingredients and the means of heating (ie, backpacking stove, camp stove, bbq, open fire, dutch oven), and let youth and leaders both run wild.

 

While the cub theme is not the same as the boy theme, make sure the cub leaders know what's going on. It can be educational for them, or there may be some who want to compete!!!

 

YIS John

A RT Staffer :)

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As Ed has said real demonstrations and "samples" are the way to go. If your RT site will not allow ground fires try this, saw it at a local Scout Jamboree. Find a metal top card table that can be sacraficed to the cause. Place a piece of DURA ROCK ontop of the table and fasten it down with screws. DURA ROCK is the construction material put down when you have a ceramic tile floor. Don;t try to use SHEET ROCK which is for walls. With the DURA ROCK fastened to the table so it can be transported after the demo just make your charcaol fire directly on the table. Ours last from September till June and then we replace the DURA ROCK. We get two tables from a $14 sheet of DURA ROCK and each table will support 5 or 6 Dutch ovens. When doing the paper cup water boil I surround the cup with the burning coals so I don't char the bottom lip of the cup. Whit the bacon and eggs in a paper lunch bag I support a wire rack on empty soda cans and place the loaded bags on that.

 

Note: The original table I saw and our first set were card tables that had composite tops which had to be removed leaving just the frame and legs. Angle iron is used to strenghten the frame and support the DURA ROCK. I can detail this is anyone likes, just PM me.

LongHaul

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