scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Meal Time
Larry Tuck (LarryT@FTMG.NET
Mon Apr 03 2000 - 17:41:17 CDT
Getting the Scouts to cook more creatively remains a challenge. We
occasionally do cooking demonstrations at troop meetings ... distribute a
cookbook of basic recipes ... hold cooking contests. Despite our best
efforts we still mostly see spaghetti and hamburger helper. Maybe they just
prefer the familiar.
Our adult patrol has always eaten well - our committee chairman is something
of a gourmet cook. A couple of weeks ago, for instance, dinner was Greek
Garlic Chicken, rice pilaf, homemade curry sauce, salad, and raw vegetables.
Sunday breakfast was a vegetable frittata made in dutch ovens. We think the
good food and the fellowship of eating together is part of the reason we get
so many adults to come on campouts. At our March annual pre-Camporee skills
weekend we had 53 scouts (7 patrols) and 19 adults.
However, seeing the adults eat well doesn't seem to inspire the Scouts much
- maybe it's just too exotic for their tastes, or seems too difficult.
I was encouraged on this trip to at least see some scrambled eggs and
breakfast burritos along with the all-too-usual instant oatmeal, though
lunches were still mostly hot dogs and dinners were mostly spaghetti.
One thing we did differently this trip was to set up all the patrol kitchens
side-by side, away from the tents. Each patrol had its own table (this was a
car camp) and patrol box, and each cooked its own menu, but they were close
enough together so that the SPL, ASPL and Troop Guides could circulate
continuously and keep an eye on things, particularly with the younger boys.
The patrols could also see what others were cooking and share ideas, which
was especially helpful for the new scouts.
At winter camp, for variety, we did a troop-standard menu with beef stew for
dinner. I gathered all the patrol cooks around a fire ring with their dutch
ovens and talked them through making the stew as a group. The scouts
certainly enjoyed eating it, and at least a few of them learned to cook
something new. We also do dutch oven cobblers as a troop on Saturday night
pretty regularly - each patrol sends a cook to help and we make enough for
I've thought about having the ASMs eat with the patrols, but it'll be hard
to tear them away from the Greek Chicken. Maybe as someone else suggested we
could try visiting the patrols for lunch.
SM, Troop 761
Thousand Oaks, CA