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" eye-balling our food."

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Scouts "eye-balling our food."

I was a little upset when I read about this in the other thread.

For me the idea of Scouts drooling over what the adults are eating is just wrong.

It seems to be a really bad case of rubbing their noses in it.

Of course the adults should be able to cook better than the Scouts. - They have been doing it a lot longer. They can afford to bring whatever they want with little worry about cost.

At summer camp the PLC came up with a menu for the camp. All the patrols cooked the same food as did the leaders. The food was bought and divided between the patrols with the adults getting exactly the same as the Scouts got.

Very often at weekends one adult would take care of cooking and preparing the adult meal while the other adults would be working with the Scouts. When the Scouts went to cook and prepare their meal the adult meal would be ready, while the Scouts were eating the leaders would have time to ensure that everything needed for the next activity was ready.

The idea of having Scouts around the adults at meal time is strange to me.

The idea of adults showing off is just plain wrong.


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When we went to the district camporee ( as Webelos) , the adults could not keep 300 feet away. It was more like 50' due to space constraints and following a good LNT ethic.


Add in that 700 people were at a camp designed for around 450, and you ened up with a scout occasionally bumping elbows with a leader.


For dinner, scouts ate fried bologna sandwhiches, hot dogs, cheeseburgers and such. The adults ate beef stroganogh and baked fish fillets with slad and yeast rolls.


Some scouts had watering mouths. Some turned their noses at anything that wasn't in the cheesburger/hot dog food group.


Nobody rubbed it in, nobody pointed it out, nobody purpoely rubbed it in or even thought about it.


Sometimes it just happens.


Could be that younger scout who suddenly remembered that he wanted to get a book signed or to let a leader know that he was going to do "X" later on.


One scout came over to ask dad for a few dollars to go to the trading post.


But it was never thrown in their faces.


I have an interesting side notes here: My father loved hot dogs. He was also a big fan of bologna and salami. His favorite food waqs fish, but he liked his deli mests.


Given a choice of a t-bone or ribeye steak versus a hotdog with spicy mustard...it wasn't even close...he'd eat the hot dog.


It's all a matter of opinion and what you like too.

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The scouts "drool"? We tell 'em, "Hey, there's no rule against you doing this too!"


Then, I swear I can actually see the "lightbulb" go off over their heads. Adults use the same gear and pay the same amount as the scouts ($10-12), so why can't scouts have steak tips and baked potatoes too? Budgeting? Comparison shopping? Are these lost arts? Easy on the cookies and Doritos next time! Don't know how to cook it? ASK! We'll SHOW you! Umm..isn't that what this Scouting thing is all about? I think you can even EDGE method this one! Just sayin'...


Most always, there is an vast improvement in the patrols' menu on the next outing. Eyeballing issue solved!



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I saw that in the original thread too, but I didn't really read it as the adults "showing off."


I think that if patrols are far enough apart (or, at least, if the adults are far enough away from the Scouts) the Scouts shouldn't have much opportunity for hovering at the adult's site during meal times. If hovering becomes a problem, you could try instilling an idea that patrol sites are "private." In other words, you may not enter another patrol's campsite area without express permission from a member of that patrol. That may just be a good idea for other reasons, too.


I'm very much in favor of adults limiting themselves to the same budget guidelines and same equipment constraints as the rest of the troop. That doesn't mean that the adults can't eat well, though.


In fact, I'd hope that the adults might have an opportunity to "show off" a bit, to the extent that they can demonstrate the quality of meals that can be prepared given the budget and available equipment. Hopefully, they'd follow up by offering recipes and advice on how to prepare that type of meal.

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Our Leaders always stayed within budget even with some of the Intresting meals we had...and we were there to help the boys make better meals but we wernt going to do it for them. We could also get the msome of the deals that we got inorder to have some of those meals.


Like we had a young leader whose father was a truck driver so all our produce and things of that nature we got Bags and bags full of for free....leaving us open to do other things with the budget. This was available to scouts as well if they wanted to take advantage of it.



Budgeting planning and finding the best deals possible make everything doable.


We would never make a meal that the boys could not make themselfs if they wanted to....that would be mean. We didnt want to discourage them just push them to do better and it worked.

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>>I'm very much in favor of adults limiting themselves to the same budget guidelines and same equipment constraints as the rest of the troop. That doesn't mean that the adults can't eat well, though.

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Scouts eye-balling adult food???? This is a bad idea?


Most of the time eye-balling is a good idea. That's how others learn. Lead by example. If others aren't eye-balling, then no one is following.


My boys decided to have the traditional foil dinners. Knowing this, I brought two extra small containers. One with flour the other a mixture of butter/brown sugar.


They made their foil dinners and took off to play around while they cooked.


I took the potatoes and carrots boiled them in my mess kit boiler. Made a patty with the hamburger and added the onions in to saute in the mess kit pan. Near the end of cooking the burger, added some water and flour and made gravy. Then I picked out the carrots from the potatoes and put in the mess kit cup and added butter and brown sugar as a glaze.


Mashed the potatoes, put on the gravy put everything nicely in the mess kit cover and had a nice dinner.


What didn't burn was picked out of crumpled foil and eaten by the boys. Was my meal eye-balled? Of course, and the boys all quickly learned that a mess kit was more useful than a plastic spoon and fizbee when it came to meal time. A little extra time and effort can turn even the simplest of meals into something rather nice.


T-FC learn how to make and deal with the basics. Star->Eagle are the boys that are challenged to take it to the next level.


Anything an adult can do in a mess kit, the boys can duplicate in a dutch oven for the patrol.


I'm not much when it comes to creativity, but I have learned by eye-balling others, I can make things a whole lot nicer for myself along the way. There's a whole magazine industry out there dedicated to food and food prep. There are also tons of photographs to eye-ball, too! You look at the pictures, see what looks good and THEN look at the recipe! :)





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For cost containments sake, our troop has a set dollar limit for food on campouts. That has changed over time as food prices has gone up. Every patrol has the same amount per person to make thier food purchase. Each patrol makes their own menu. Each patrol makes their grocery list and one boy serves as grubmaster to go do the shopping. This skill is taught to them by their Troop Guides when they are in the new scout patrol. The adults work under the same dollar amount as the boys. We always eat better than the boys. From time to time they complain. The answer always is, Mr. Soandso or Mrs. Whatshername has a standing offer to teach you guys how to cook like this using the same budget. More often than not, they decide it's too much trouble and go back to their bologna sandwich lunch. It's a boy led troop that has a tremendous amount of resources at their disposal. They are reminded of this often. You can lead a horse to water........

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Eamonn I disagree. We stay in the same budget and use the same equipment. We often share the recipes, etc with the guys. Always willing to share pros/cons of planning, cooking, and food prep. We have one patrol that is now very competitive trying to out-do the adults with some very ambitious recipes. We may swap tastes.


Yes it is hard when boys made poor choices regarding food or portion size and they wander over to mooch. But if we have leftovers we may "reward" a helpful boy or throw it to the wolves.

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In all the talk about budget and equipment constraints, I notice no one has mentioned time constraints. More often than not, the adults don't cook under the same time constraints as the patrols, especially at things like camporees. As Eamonn pointed out, it's common for an adult to stay behind and act as camp cook for the adults and, experience or not, that's an advantage when baking potatoes or making a proper beef stroganoff.


My Troop's leaders used the same rationale as has been stated here - the "if we can do it, you can do it too" line - when a few of us pointed out that we didn't have someone who could stay behind to tend the fire and get dinner started like the adults did, they, fortunately, took that to heart and limited themselves to the same time constraints we had - it wasn't long before their meals became much simpler than they had been used to, especially on campouts (like camporees) where there wasn't a lot of wiggle room to extend dinner prep, eating and clean-up times.


Instead of creating meals that take a lot of time to prepare and cook, how about figuring out ways to use what the lads are already cooking and punch them up a bit. Hamburgers? With conventional condiments? When the lads are eating hamburgers with ketchup, mustard, relish and maybe processed cheese, lettuce and tomato, the adults could be eating Hawaiian burgers with pineapple slices, swiss cheese, sweet onions and barbeque sauce on kaiser or pretzel rolls. You can make stuffed burgers. Hot Dogs? How about Bratwurst and Chorizo instead. Scrambled eggs for breakfast? How about a "skillet meal" - fried hashbrowns with peppers, onions, cut-up sausage links, ham cubes, cheese with scrambled eggs mixed in?


Just because a food is simple, doesn't mean it can't be interesting. One of the things you can start teaching the lads is how to start preparing for other meals during other meal times. Is there really any reason the lunch cooks couldn't prepare a homemade salsa for the lunch chips during breakfast? It doesn't have to look like a picante sauce - a simple, mild recipe would be to dice up some tomatoes, onions, green peppers (add a few jalapenos if you want a little bite), add some chopped cilantro and the juice of a lime, mix it up, and let sit (in the cooler) until lunch.

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The "eye-balling" statement was mine. Sorry, Eamonn, but you're reading a whole lot more into the situation that what was there.


No problem with interpretation, and your sentiment is appreciated, but there was no "rubbing their noses in it". Actually, it hasn't really happened yet anyway -- it was a statement about how I recruited a BBQ team member, a good friend, into the troop. His first inclination is to want to feed everyone.


The expense? Not even really an issue -- it would be if we picked up a Certified-Angus brisket, but a pork shoulder can be anywhere from $1 to $3/lb, which is sometimes on-par with what ground beef is. Chicken thighs? Not so bad.



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The time constraint is always a problem, but can be worked out. Summer camps with mess halls have the advantage over those with patrol method in-site cooking..... Well, maybe not. I have taken boys to both types of camps and the boys at mess hall camps have extra time to goof off and hang out. The patrol method cooking produces more productive time for the boys, honing their cooking skills. As far as camp programming is concerned, there was no difference between both types of camp, but the boys actually preferred the patrol camp-site cooking over the mess hall camps.


There is a technique to time savings when it comes to cooking. The boys would do well to learn this as well.


I taught Webelos outdoor training with one other person. At 10:30 am, we began our tag-team food prep process. While I was teaching he was prepping. We'd switch and he'd do a session and I'd pick up where he left off, etc. At 12:00 noon, everyone was invited to get their mess kits and get in line for the buffet. Much to everyone's surprise there was no third person who had come in to do the food prep. If adults were going to take cubs into the outdoors they would need to be able to duplicate this process. While we ate, they learned how to do this, tag teaming their cubs while doing the necessary camp chores.


On the Boy Scout level, the boys can do this as well. But! Big one here! They are going to need to learn teamwork and planning to pull it off so everyone benefits with good food and no one person getting stuck at missing out on something.


Two boys get up at the same time in the morning. One's duty is to clean up his tent and get ready for the day. Ever notice that that's never on the duty roster? At the same time scout 2 is getting the fire ready. Tag! Scout 2 goes and cleans up his tent, Scout 1 preps bfast. Tag, Scout 2 sets up dining area and Scout 1 goes back to camp duties, such as water, more firewood, etc. Tag, etc. etc.


Too often the Duty Roster is designed to dump on individuals rather than building teamwork and cooperation in completing processes.


The only time my troop used duty rosters is to keep the boys from fighting over who got to cook and clean up. Cooking was fun, clean up was the easiest, fire prep was way too much fun, etc.



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Stosh -- I've spent a bunch of years at a dining hall camp, and the last two years at a camp with no dining hall. Here's exactly what I found: there is no loss of program time in the patrol-oriented camp. Nor is there any loss of free time (waterfront, etc). There is a slight loss of what I call "idle time". Idle time, just as you pointed out, is mostly that time before and after meals -- the goofing around and hanging out time.


I call it a slight loss of idle time because of this: the cooks are busy for about a half hour to and hour before the meal is served, but have idle time after. The cleanup guys have idle time before the meal, and then are busy about a half hour afterward. Sometimes less, if they are a well-functioning patrol. The other guys -- maybe that's when a small crew might take 20 minutes out to clean a latrine, or walk down to the shower house, or police the campsite, or fill up water buckets, etc. But that kind of stuff is what they'd do in the dining hall camp too.


Now this same camp does not have merit badge classes, so there is no sitting around the camp working on bookwork for merit badges. There is a trading post, but it is open during very limited hours (the free time block in the afternoon, only).


Someone might bring up the announcements and camaraderie aspect of the dining hall -- sure, we miss that, somewhat. That aspect is carried over to our morning and evening assemblies. We still have camp songs, but not after lunch (which is in program areas).


It's a pretty good system. It is not unlike the two summers that my old troop in Ohio did, holding our own camp about six hours north in Michigan.



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No need for adults to scale back their culinary expertise to suffer with the patrols that can't/won't cook.


I wouldn't dine on lobster or some high end foodstuffs on a scout camp out. But if the patrols eye your homemade breakfast burritos while they are dining on poptarts or instant oatmeal, well, that may be the significant emotional event they need to plan a better menu and execute actual recipes next campout. Sure worked for me as a young PL. About the time I got tired seeing the scouters enjoy simple but tasty meals is when cooking became a priority for my patrol. Life was much better thereafter!

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