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Meal planning for leadership scouts

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I am looking for some feedback on how different troops handle meals for scouts in non-patrol leadership positions. Specifically, I am looking at where you may have your SPL or JASM take their meals. Do they eat as a guest in a patrol? Do they prepare their own meals, or do they eat with the adults?

 

Just trying to get some ideas to present to our PLC.

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Since we shop and cook as patrol. The adults and youth leadership are invited prior to the campout for the entire weekend. No invitation no biggy we cook our own.

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The JASM generally eat with the patrol, although they are welcome to eat with the adults.

 

The SPL and ASPL generally eat with the adults. There are times they don't like what the adults are having and will go off to beg from the patrols. On occasion they will eat with their friends in their home patrol.

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In my old Troop when I was a scout, the SPL and ASPL were de facto PL/APL for the "old kid" patrol (we'd call it a Venture Patrol these days). It was basically the High School kids who were still in. The patrol ate and camped together on Troop outings, and planned its own HA trips too. We didn't have any official JASMs, but they would've been members of that patrol.

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I've seen it where the older scouts, back in my day called the Leadership Corps, would work together as a patrol, and I've seen it where each patrol invited LC members.

 

Oh I've also seen it where each LC members cooks for themself, but that is usually at thje "survival campout" when everyone is doing that.

 

I'd put JASMs with the adults

 

Good luck.

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Our SPL, ASPLs, and JASMs always eat with adults. They help cook and clean, but we usually take care of the planning and shopping so they can concentrate on getting troop ready to go. They do visit patrol sites during cooking and mealtime to keep an eye on things and to decide on the recipients of the coveted "Golden Spoon" on Sunday morning.

 

They are strongly discouraged from hanging around the patrols - especially their former patrol - for any significant length of time so they don't distract from the PL's authority to run his patrol.

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These are facts. Patrols should eat as a unit. The SPL and ASPL are not members of a patrol. Adults Scouters and non-Scouters, are not members of a patrol.

 

Now for opinions. The way to handle the above is to either invite the adults, SPL and ASPL to eat with various patrols or to have them all eat together as a defacto patrol. In our troop, we instituted the latter. I wanted the adults to cook as a patrol so that they would not over critique how and what the patrols were cooking (when they ate with them they were apt to takeover too much of the cooking duties) and it allowed me, the Scoutmaster to spend some much needed time with the SPL and ASLP to review, mentor, etc. Also, it was generally known that the adults put more emphasis on what was cooked and how it tasted and less on just what was easiest to cook. I wanted the adults to showcase what the boys could do if they were motivated. Also as a perk, I usually exempted the SPL and ASPL from cooking or cleaning up (exept for their personal utensils) afterwards. My expectations were that they concentrated their efforts on other more important things (my expectations for them were high).

 

For us, it worked out real well although I still had some father-son bonds I had to de-emphasize.

 

They are strongly discouraged from hanging around the patrols - especially their former patrol - for any significant length of time so they don't distract from the PL's authority to run his patrol. Exactly! It's hard to get the troops to listen to the lieutenant when the general is right next to him!(This message has been edited by acco40)

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Acco,

 

I beleive at one time, there was literature that stated the ASPL was the PL of the Leadership Corps, and the LC should be treated as a patrol. I'll look it up when I get home if you want?

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When I was a lad we had a staff patrol; of which the SPL and ASPL acted as PL/APL.

 

It comprised the troop leadership positions; quartermaster, scribe, bugler, librarian, JASMs, etc.

 

We camped and ate together as any patrol.

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Two schools of thought here. SPL, ASPL, JASM's and adults eat ...

 

... with the patrols as their guests. Advantages: You get to know the boys better, Adult association (the boys can learn good manners from the adults - how many nowadays sit down and eat a traditional family meal?) and there is an instant feedback loop on the patrol meal planning and execution. Disadvantages: some boys do not how to plan/cook and you end up eating burnt pancakes with no syrup.

 

... as their own patrol. Advantages: The food is better and the scout patrols get to see "how cooking is supposed to be done". But, does the patrol with the burnt pancakes really come over to the "senior patrol" area to marvel/salivate over their Denver omelets?

 

I didn't mind eating with the patrols. Sharing a meal is a good way to bond with them and I always had a backup meal - cup-a-noodles, can of tuna, candy bars, etc - in my backpack. I never went hungry on a campout.

 

Food can be a very emotional thing. As a Scoutmaster, I made a habit of not letting my emotions get out of hand when I was doing my job. My attitude was, I did not volunteer to eat well - I volunteered to teach the boys how to lead and grow up to become responsible adults.

 

Cooking is just another way of teaching the boys how be responsible for themselves and others. If they end up learning how to cook well in scouting, that a bonus.

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For us, the adults camp, cook and eat as a patrol. We have invited the SPL, ASPL and QM to eat with us, but they usually ask a patrol if they can eat with them (they each ask a separate patrol, not all asking the same patrol). I guess they would rather eat with their peers instead of with the adults, which I think is a good thing. Works for us.

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I like the patrol method of operation.

 

Patrols mess as a group. They can, if they wish, invite guests.

 

Leadership patrol is developed if the troop is large enough. (Older boy patrol could also double function as this patrol in that the position) They mess together as a group.

 

Adult patrol mess as a group.

 

No rule should be implemented that interferes with how a patrol wishes to operate. The other patrols form out of a necessity.

 

If the SM has to eat alone because the ASM has been invited as a guest chef instructor for the new boy patrol for the weekend. So be it. At least the SM has no one to worry about dietary likes/dislikes, or other needs for the weekend.

 

Or one can do like a lot of troops do it. Mess as a troop and then you don't have to worry about any of this. (And don't roll your cyber-eyes at me... I see it all the time in various troops!)

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

Stosh

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Or one can do like a lot of troops do it. Mess as a troop and then you don't have to worry about any of this.

 

OK Stosh, you've piqued my curiosity. I get as a troop with a dining facility, like Summer Camp, but on a regular campout? Is it like family style, where different patrols fix different items and then the whole troop eats together. Or is it more like the family camping from Cub Scouts where you have a group of people cooking everything for the whole troop. I can honestly say, I've never seen a troop do that outside of an extended camp environment. If it is family style, I might be intrigued by that, just to foster a sense of total community or village, and maybe some healthy competition between patrols.(This message has been edited by OwnTheNight)

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