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We do it like Dan (the first reply) described. The treasurer collects 7 dollars from each boy going on the outing and doles it out to the respective grubmasters at the end of the meeting just before the campout. We would like to have a no hamburger/no hotdog rule but we are treading softly on this. This fall, we are going to introduce more aluminum fol cooking and cooking with hobo stoves in order to get away from reliance on propane fueled stoves.

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Also, forgot to mention that even though we mostly do family style dining we still do other types too because it isnt always easy to setup the scout kitchen. This is usually the first campout of the year after crossover which is when we do foil dinners by patrols kids coming in from the Cub Pack love it and they get their Fireman Chip also. Patrol leaders coordinate it and they make them in patrols cooking over an open fire. The kids really like this as we cook eggs in a bag, boil water in a cup, etc. Its fun for the adults too as I really like the foil dinners. My favorite is boneless chicken, potatoes, onions, carrots, and stuffing with at little gravy. The only rule is it has to be a foil dinner and I try to keep them away from hotdogs, but occasionally I get a youth with a hotdog foil dinner.


We also do a lot of backpacking and we use a patrol method where every kid has his own food. Other than the foil dinner campout, my wife still always buys the food. Again, this is just because she saves a lot of money by purchasing in bulk at Sams Club.


Actually, as I think about this, we actually use all of the types that everyone has mentioned thats what makes it fun. As I look at it, were on a 2-3 yr rotation cycle with each camping trip being different; the only thing I wont do is go back to patrol boxes and separate cooking equipment, especially since I dont have them anymore.


The success of running a good troop again is letting the scouts do it. We make every campout different from the last and you can only camp two years at one place or do that activity twice. The scouts then have to choice something different. Summer camp is the same way but we rotate in 5 years cycles so the earliest youll be back at that camp is in another 5 years. I do our council camp once every 10 years. By the time the cubs join the troop theyve been at council camp at least 3 years in a row. We also have OA and other activities at council camp too, so the kids arent really excited about going there. Especially when you ask do you want to go to summer camp at council this year or go to summer camp in Colorado, or Kentucky, Gettysburg, Utah, etc.?. Council camp usually drops to the bottom of the list.


Break it up and keep it exciting, weve done chili cook-offs by patrols and individual chili cook-offs too. When we use the troop scout kitchen and family style we occasional use themes like Mexican, Italian, German, etc. This also helps keep the meals from turning into hamburgers and hotdogs. Weve deep fried turkeys and fried chicken wings (the adults handle the hot grease). Weve got Dutch Ovens and cook that way too, which as I think of it we havent used those in a while, time to make a suggestion to the SPL.


I think one of the keys is to not get into a rut. If you get a real fun campout and menu that the kids always look forward to that when it is done dont over do it. If it becomes to routine, Ive noticed the kids dropout or wont go as they say been there done that. I have one campout activity I havent done in over two years and now only small % of the troop did it. These kids brag about it and the new kids say I cannot wait to we do that trip so I can do that. Summer camp is the same way. I only have a couple of scouts that went to Kentucky for summer camp a few years back and they are always saying to the younger kids how great that trip was.

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