scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: special dietary needs
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Sat Feb 20 1993 - 17:06:46 CST
Hey Ken...I am sure that you'll agree with me "can not" and "will not" are
two different issues altogether:
You wrote and asked us all:
>We had one boy that "could not eat" beef and pork--but chicken and fish
were >okay. I inquired why, is it a religious or medical need? (These are
the two reasons I
>find acceptable to modify our menus.) The answer (from the Mom) was:
>"No, we just don't eat beef & pork at home." I tried to press the issue,
>to see the underlying reason. I never got much more than a long winded
That would not be good enough for me, Ken. As a former Scoutmaster, I would
need either a religious or health reason to force the other five or seven
boys in a Patrol to adjust their eating habits.
Mom would have to understand that her son is NOT at home, and while it is
good to get a consensus on foods that everyone eats, that sometimes it will
become neccessary to have on the plate items that individual Scouts (and
Scouters) don't eat.
This is why at every meal at summer camp, there's a jar each of pickles and
>What would you do in this situation? (Since we eat as a troop at winter
>camp, we are talking about feeding 20-25 people for 5 days--personally I
>like a little beef, bacon and sausage during a long term camp.)
I would sit down with Mom away from her Scout son and explain what Scout
camping is REALLY like: Scouts preparing meals for the rest of their
"group", which is developed from menus created (as part of requirements for
various advancements) from the youth. Adults get some input into those
menus, but only to insure that all of the "Pyrimid" food groups (which is
not the same as the four food groups, nor the "walton four food groups") are
being considered (not neccessarily used, but considered!) when those menus
And meals get changed if the *original items* on the menu get ruined or
spoiled, or if the Patrol decides to "eat it earlier" and rearrange their
menus -- or swap out foods with another Patrol.
If Mom still says "because we just don't", then I would politely tell her
that the menus are not mine nor any other adults' to make or develop, and
only those things which are against a youth's religion or medical
relationship gets stricken from the list. Just because you don't allow him
to have ice cream at home does not mean that he's not allowed to have ice
cream after dinner with the rest of his Patrol during Scout camp.
You'll have to go from there, because at that rate, Mom may become irrate.
There's very little you can do about that, Ken, except to attempt to explain
to her that Scouting is not a high-end childcare center, and the youth of
the Scouting unit (be it patrol or Troop) decides on what they are going to
eat and drink...and as long as it's not alcoholic, addictive, or against
anyone's religious practices nor present or potential medical condition,
they're going to eat it. Or eat something in substitute that they choose.
Additionally, a good review of the Troop's policy with regard to menus and
menu creation as well as that Food Pyrimid would also be warranted, so as to
remind all members of the Troop what's acceptable foods and what's the best
for their young growing bodies...
I had a Scout that could not have anything which contained the food dye "red
number 2" or something like that (it's been a long time, and I don't
remember the exact number), which meant that Smuckers' strawberry jam,
strawberry and cherry Kool Aid (tm), and some other things were out for that
patrol. The dye coloring did something to his system and made this Scout
really uncontrollable. The members of that patrol, once seeing this kid out
of control after someone mistaken sharing a drink of Kool Aid with this
Scout, all agreed not to consume that red dye....it forced them to take a
more careful look at the contents of what they were eating, and also forced
them to consider eating alternative things (like Sprite instead of kool aid
even though the Sprites were heavier to carry out; and grape or natural
flavored jams instead). It became an educational item to that Patrol while
at the same time confirmed to that one Scout that "Hey, we want you
around....we just don't want you being crazy and all!"
Hope this helps out!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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