Re: cooking skills
Blaine S Nay (b.nay@JUNO.COM)
Mon, 11 Aug 1997 13:55:21 EDT
Judy Johnson wrote:
> Last week I went backpacking with the young women and young men in our
> ward. Many of the young men on the trip were star or life rank. I was
> surprised at the number of them that survived on cup-a-soup and trail
> On the second evening I pulled out the ingredients for chocolate cake
> baked in the reflector oven. I was astonished at the number of boys
> had never heard of such a device or used one.
> Is this a familiar experience to you out there? Or is my experience
> last week unique?
> Judy Johnson
> 411 West Lincoln Road
> Stockton, California 95207
> (209) 986-7444
> mail to:email@example.com
Yup, I've often seen the same thing -- both among young men and young
women. And the problem involves more than cooking skills. I went
camping with the young women in our ward last year. None could put up a
tent without help. Nor could they start a fire without those nifty "fire
starters" they'd made from egg cartons and a cigarette lighter! Kids of
both sexes just won't learn any more than what their leaders show them.
Like adults, young people enjoy nice meals cooked in dutch ovens, etc.
Unfortunately, in many Scout units (like young women in many wards),
leaders don't expose the youth to quality outdoor cuisine. Leaders and
boys alike often don't feel the confidence to put together good menus on
their own. It's a matter of training -- from the top down.
In teaching sophisticated camp cook skills to youth, I have the youth
leaders plan a good menu while the rest of the troop / class looks on. I
help them explore ways to cook the menu and let them leaf though some
outdoor and dutch oven cookbooks.
When the menu is planned, the youth leaders make assignments so we know
well in advance of the event who is cooking what and when. Each cook
gets a complete recipe with simple but complete instructions. These
instructions are written so that a 12-year-old with absolutely no
camp-cooking skill can turn out a nice product. Each cook is responsible
for assembling ingredients and equipment, then cooking.
I only have to go through this full process once every year or two. The
kids really get excited about being outdoor gourmets -- once they see
it's possible and learn how to do it.
I've found this much more effective in teaching outdoor cooking than
trying to hold a teen's attention long enough to cook a pot roast. I
find that it's sometimes hard to pin teens down long enough to get them
to learn how to use a reflector oven, cardboard box oven, dutch oven,
etc. Boys and girls both would rather get into more active activities
while the adults cook fancy meals.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City