Scoutmaster Musings - Expanding Cooking

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Scoutmaster Musings

Expanding Cooking
Let's play Jeopardy...

I'll take Scout Cooking for $200, Alex.

And the answer is: Hotdogs

BZZZZZ... "What is the simplest way to get Second Class requirement 2g signed off?"

I'll take Scout Cooking for $400, Alex.

And the answer is: Poptarts

BZZZZZ... "What is an even simpler way to get Second Class requirement 2g signed off?"

I suppose you probably know of some even simpler - maybe heating a piece of bread with a Bic Lighter? So, the question becomes "What constitutes 'cooking' for cooking requirements?"

By expanding the cooking repertoire on a campout, the meals can certainly be much more challenging and rewarding. I really enjoy making meals outdoors using heat from coals burned down from a fire that I started with just sticks, my knife, and one match. As a matter of fact, I'm usually up before anyone in camp just so I can play with fire without scouts seeing me. :-)

There needs to be a consistent definition of 'cooking' across the leadership of your troop. That definition should come from the PLC with the scoutmaster's input. It should then be shared with each scout and adult leader so everyone is on the same page. If you've not done this, give it a try and I bet the scouts will come up with a fairly good definition. Then, they own it and can ensure it is followed for rank advancement.

As leadership changes and troop dynamics evolve, some skills will trend down while others improve. In our troop, cooking has gradually degraded into the simplest prepackaged, precooked, processed foods available. It's time to push that skill back up so the SPL and I will discuss it next week.

boy scout cooking Last weekend, the SPL and ASPL had meals with the adults. They really enjoyed all the dutch oven meals and they even made cookies in a dutch oven. Well, actually one big cookie, but they made it and cooked it perfect.
At the end of the weekend, the ASPL said it was amazing how easy the dutch ovens are and how good the food is and how he plans to have his patrol use them more. Now, the adults have been using d.o.s for 3 years and have been trying to get scouts hooked with virtually no luck. Maybe this ASPL will be the convert that wins the tug-of-war.

Using dutch ovens is just one way to expand the cooking experience at camp. They really are easy, but until scouts are confident using them, scouts will stick with pots of water, hotdogs, and poptarts.

There are many other ways to cook on campouts. We have a few of those pie irons that clamp stuff between bread and roast over a fire. Stuff wrapped in aluminum foil and dropped in the coals can be good cooking with a variety of vegetables and meat and spice. Getting off propane and onto a real fire occastionally is a good move to make towards more expansive cooking.

Scout On
Posted: 13:21 05-20-2009 417
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