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Well, my son is not a Boy Scout yet, so my opinion is not from experience.


I'd not be a fan of the boys eating Pop Tarts for breakfast, but I also don't see anything wrong with a convenient breakfast if it a little more healthy, especially on the day they are going home. Oatmeal or grits (we're from the South), a banana, and some oj should be fine, if that's what the patrol prefers. I can understand them being excited about the activities for the day and putting their energy into other areas where breakfast is concerned.


Putting 30 minutes of prep in the night before, as someone suggested, is not something I would care to do after camping/setting up camp..I'm usually pretty darn tired at the end of the day, and my family the same. To each his own, but I don't see anything inherently wrong with a quick breakfast, if it provides enough fuel.


Definitely encouraging some ingenuity for dinner would be what I would stress...boys should have a huge appetite at the end of the day (unless it's summertime in Texas, and then it may be just too doggone hot!)

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Troop has a rule: No poptarts, hotdogs, or ramin noodles. Well, ramin noodles are allowed if there are a compoent of a meal but not the only item.


PLC sets a theme for Saturday evening meal. Mexican, Asian, Seafood, Box Oven Cooking, at least one item in Dutch Oven except dessert, etc. Patrol competition is fierce with SM/ASMs being served a presentation plate from each patrol and then judged. Morning meals are cooked. The PLC may encourage a quick meal (oatmeal, grits, granola bars & fruit) on one morning to provide enough time to complete the activity of the day or to leave in time for some specific reason.


Friday evening meals are about 50/50 bag lunches vs. cooked. It depends on the travel time. Local trips are must cook Friday nite meals where distant trips are bag lunches.


We have had weekends where all patrols are given the same ingrediants but differing cooking methods. All recieve the same protein, starch, vegtables, and spices but each patrol is only provided one cooking method: a box oven, a dutch oven, a stove, a turkey fryer. All patrols are provided receipes that will work with their cooking method but encouraged to free lance. The patrols get to sample the same food prepared in different methods.


Great pride is taken in cooking and eating well. We had a glutten free scout join and the menus were modified to meet the scouts needs. We have had backpacking weekends where all food had to be shelf stable without refrigeration/coolers. Don't have to backpack to have backpacking meals.


Adults can place a single limit on the PLC. Choose a theme, cooking style, or some requirement for ONE meal during the weekend. A suggestion list of type of limitiations is provided to help fuel the thought process for the scouts. The PLC chooses the limitation and lets the scouts go from there. Once the scouts start cooking, the process feeds itself.


The adults eat as a patrol. We are given the same budget and other limitations that the scouts are. We show by example that food does not have to be be boring or repetative. We prep, cook, and clean as a patrol within all the same constraints at the scouts. Lead by example.


The hardest lesson for the scouts to learn is there is a third speed when cooking besides off and high. Everything cooks much better on medium. Growling stomachs and microwaves have to be trained to wait for the food to cook at its own pace.

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FWIW, we had extra oil, so one patrol of boys asked about deep-frying the potatoes on steak night last week. Although this was a drastic deviation from the menu that the commissary sent, I gave them some pointers. They then experimented with different cuts (started trying chips then settled on fries).


The other patrol caught wind and made up some pancake batter to deep-fry onion rings. It wasn't a contest, but they went around to the adults (who were waiting patiently to be invited for dinner) offering samples.


The chocolate chip cookies seemed to be a special favorite for the frier. (I passed on those. These old arteries have limits!)

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