Cooking and Food

Planning Meals

Campout at Franconia Notch

The Scouts plan their own meals for each trip following a simple process:

  1. List the menu items (for example, chili) for each meal the patrol will prepare on a copy of the Campout Meal Planner. Indicate any meals the Scouts should bring for themselves. List the Scouts who will participate on the trip by name.
  2. Identify the recipes to be used for each meal. This can be done by taking a picture of a recipe in a book, by recording the URL of a recipe on the web or any other reasonable means.
  3. Create a shopping list of ingredients (for example, ground beef), based on the menu, the recipes and the number of participating Scouts. Check the troop supplies at the church and leave any items we already have off the shopping list (but make sure to pack those in a bin). Add to the shopping list any non-food items needed for your patrol bin (for example, paper towels). If your shopping list includes any kit type items, such as macaroni and cheese, add "ingredients needed for XYZ" to the list; the person shopping will need to read that package.
  4. Hand in the menu to the Scoutmaster so he can distribute it to the participants.

A few useful resources for planning trips:

Note: Before it is finalized, each patrol's menu should be reviewed with the patrol members to ensure that there are no issues with allergies or religious requirements.

Camping Food Logistics

Youth Food Shopping - One Scout signs up to do the youth food shopping for each trip. That Scout should go with his parent on the shopping trip. In some cases, this can satisfy a rank or merit badge requirement, so the Scout should check the requirements beforehand.

Adult / Leader Food - For our car camping trips (most of the trips), we generally have a separate adult menu. In those cases, the adult event registration fee covers the food. Whoever buys this food gets reimbursed by the troop. On backpacking trips, the adult registration does not include the food; we each bring our own. Two people can combine on a meal if they plan that. For all trips, each adult brings any snack items and beverage mixes (lemonade, hot chocolate, etc).

Reimbursement - Each adult who shops for food for the trip gets reimbursed by the troop. Ideally, the one who bought the food keeps any leftover items they can consume and deducts those from the cost. The family that purchases the food should do the math and let the Scoutmaster know how much to reimburse, preferably within a few days after the trip.

Packing the Food - Bring the food to the church at our departure meeting time with refrigerated items in a hard cooler and other food items/non-food items in a hard plastic tote with lid. This is because everything will get thrown into the trailer, and we don't want a bunch of crushed food. If you don't have the containers, let the Scoutmaster know so he can bring those. For the cooler, it is MUCH better to freeze a couple of 2L soda bottles filled with water a few days in advance than to dump ice into the cooler. The melting ice dissolves the food packages during the course of the camping trip (picture sausages floating around in the cooler). Be sure nothing heavy is on top of the eggs. Non-perishable leftovers (e.g., pancake mix) can be kept at the church for use on future trips.

Mess Kit - Generally, adults and youth should each bring a re-usable plate, bowl, fork, knife, spoon and cup. Together, these items (or some of these items) are referred to as a "mess kit". Anyone who does not have one of these items should borrow it from the troop before the trip. We don't usually camp near a convenience store, so the idea is to have everything we need when we leave.

Summer Camp - The above does not apply to summer camp where we are fed by the camp (except snacks).


Page updated 11/13/17.

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