Cooking and Food

Planning Meals

Campout at Franconia Notch

The Troop 54 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 send a scan to the person doing the shopping and still have the sheet at the campout.

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.

Packing the Food for Front Woods Campouts - The Scout who is doing the shopping brings home a cooler and a hard plastic tote with lid from the meeting before the trip. Freeze a couple of 2L soda bottles about 3/4 full with water a few days in advance; we usually keep a couple in each cooler, so use those. We don't pack the cooler with ice as it dissolves the food packages during the course of the camping trip (picture sausages floating around in the cooler). Just before the trip, pack the refrigerated items in the cooler and the other food items/non-food items in the tote. This is because everything will get thrown into the trailer, and we don't want a bunch of crushed food. Be sure nothing heavy is on top of the eggs. Bring the food to the church at our departure meeting time. Non-perishable leftovers (e.g., pancake mix) can be kept at the church for use on future trips. The person who shops brings the cooler home to clean it out, drain the water bottles and dry all of it out before returning it to the Troop.

Packing the Food for Backpacking Trips - The Scout who is doing the shopping may bring home a hard plastic tote with lid from the meeting before the trip. The food selected should not require refrigeration. Small, sealed packets of meats or hard cheese may be suitable for the first few hours into the trip. At the church, the Scouts will divide the food into their backpacks. They will include no ice, ice packs or coolers with the packed food as these items add too much weight. If eggs will be bought, they should be placed in a camping egg carrier at home or at the church. Bring the food to the church at our departure meeting time. Non-perishable leftovers (e.g., pancake mix) can be kept at the church for use on future trips.

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. This is ideally done by sending the receipt attached to an email message.

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).

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 10/4/23
J. Froimson

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