Meals at Summer Camp

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Meals at Summer Camp

Postby Chip » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:45 pm

Back when Richard Nixon was president, I first went to scout summer camp. Then most of our meals were in the dining hall but several were prepared in the troop camping area. Nowadays it seems all camps furnish every meal in the dining hall. Have we lost something here?

My suggestion is this: What if, troops were to furnish their own lunches at camp? Lunches tend to be simpler meals anyway. Troops could furnish their own ingredients and provide lunch. The camps would charge slightly less and keep their dining halls clear from breakfast to dinner. Are any councils trying this?
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby cballman » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:33 pm

Personally myself I would prefer to eat in the dining hall at summer camp. Now here are my reasons why. I am on vacation and I dont want have to worry about meals. also with all the critters running around camp I dont want them in my tent or near the boys. to clarify critters I mean mice, raccoons, skunks, copperheads, and timber rattlesnakes. Kids will drop food and draw the animals and about 3:00 in the morning its no fun to chase coons out of the campsite and not scare the first year campers.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby WVBeaver05 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:41 pm

Our summer camp (Buckskin Scout Reservation) still has the campers cook their own meals on Wednesday. The camp provides the food. The units pick it up after Chapel service on Tuesday evening.

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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby divermann » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:55 pm

When I was a yute camper (71,72) at Connestoga in PA, all meals were eaten in the dining hall. Thinking on it now, it probably allowed us to do more "camp stuff". I believe you would still need cooking and cleanup staff at lunch to feed the rest of the camp staff.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:12 pm

Conestoga has two options,Dining hall or cook in camp site. Cook in camp site requires SM Etc to get the food they need and camp will give them all the ice they need to keep things chilled.( There is a 35.00? per person deduction from the camp fee for this) All troops cook in the Campsite on Thursday evening. If you cook in the camp site it takes away from program to prepare and clean up plus you miss announcements in the Dining hall.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby Billiken » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:36 pm

Our troop cooks all of our own meals and sleeps in our own tents at summer camp.
Patrol Method

However, leaders make the lunches as our campsite is a long hike from most program areas.
(Nearly a mile from the shooting sports area.)

The campsite has a shed (concrete floor) with electricity.
Several freezers and refrigerators.

People coming/going during week replenish our bread and milk supply (and other items as needed).
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby scoutaholic » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:13 pm

Our council runs several different camps with differing facilities. Depending on which camp you choose you may have the option of two of these three food choices:

Dining Hall - cost about $75/person - camp staff cooks for you all week. Your troop will probably be assigned dining hall cleanup duty after one meal during the week.

Commissary - I don't remember the cost - camp plans menus and supplies all the food. Troop supplies the pots/pans/utinsels/stove/etc and does the cooking, eating, and cleanup in their campsites. You just send a boy up to the trading post every morning to pick up that days food supplies.

Bring your own - similar to commissary, but you get to plan the food you want, you go buy it, you bring and store it, and you know who to blame if the milk is sour.

All camps allow the bring your own option. Most offer either dining hall or commissary, but usually not both.


I have always felt that part of the experience is lost if you don't include food planning in the pre-camp planning. If someone else does the cooking for you, where is the learning and teamwork experience in that?
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby Quailman » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:20 pm

divermann wrote:...I believe you would still need cooking and cleanup staff at lunch to feed the rest of the camp staff.


The last camp I went to didn't have a cook staff - just food servers. They put the catering contract out to bid every Spring.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:15 am

cballman wrote:Personally myself I would prefer to eat in the dining hall at summer camp. Now here are my reasons why. I am on vacation and I dont want have to worry about meals. also with all the critters running around camp I dont want them in my tent or near the boys. to clarify critters I mean mice, raccoons, skunks, copperheads, and timber rattlesnakes. Kids will drop food and draw the animals and about 3:00 in the morning its no fun to chase coons out of the campsite and not scare the first year campers.

I agree. Plus, there is a camaraderie with the shared dining hall meals.

The boys went to camp last year at Camp Fife in the middle of WA. Lasagna, fresh fruit, steak, real salads. The food was amazing. Being well fed makes a huge difference in their attitudes :-).
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby asm 411 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:37 am

At Camp Manatoc in NE Ohio we have the choice of troop cooking or eating in the dining hall. I think that eating in the dining is a better choice at summer camp. We patrol cook on campouts. The dining hall is also the place where the camp staff distributes information, usually in the form of skits or stunts. In addition there is usually a song sung after the meal except on Thursdays when we have razorback steak and sing the song "Razorback Steak" before hand.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby ccjj » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:01 am

Our camp, Camp Tapico in Kalkaska, MI is campsite cooking only. The only dining hall is a small one for staff.
Several years ago, after about the 3rd day of camp, our boys got together with an idea. They approached the SM and ASM and asked if the boys cooked, that the adults would clean up after breakfast and lunch, that way they could get to their activities quicker. The adults agreed, and it worked for the rest of the week.

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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby Cowboy » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:08 am

Camp Phillips (Northern WI). The same options are available as many others. Mess Hall or in camp site. As I am usually only a day camper, I am not up on all of the details, but the camp encourages some in site cooking by use of an award each year. One of the requirements for the award is that a certain number of meals are prepared in camp. There are also a number of meals where attendance at the mess hall is mandatory. Mess hall is nice to foster the comeraderie of 300 boys, but the in site cooking is also necassary for some of the "younger" guys to complete rank requirements. Our camp had the mess hall burn down many years ago, and when they rebuilt it, they moved the location to make it more centrally located.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby Hubert » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:35 pm

One camp we atended, they had the option of meals at the dinning hall or prepare yourself. We all agreed it wasnt Boy Scout camp if you didnt do it yourself. So we were the ONLY troop there preparing our own food. We missed a lot of announcements because they made them at the gathering just before meals. Which we thought was a bit unfair since they gave the option to cook in your site. However we got by and we didnt much care for the camp itself, and all agreed that we wont be returning.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby Mrw » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:52 pm

asm 411 wrote:At Camp Manatoc in NE Ohio we have the choice of troop cooking or eating in the dining hall. I think that eating in the dining is a better choice at summer camp. We patrol cook on campouts. The dining hall is also the place where the camp staff distributes information, usually in the form of skits or stunts. In addition there is usually a song sung after the meal except on Thursdays when we have razorback steak and sing the song "Razorback Steak" before hand.



This is where we go too. They offer the troop cooking option, although I don't know how many take that. Apparently the one year our troop did the bring your own option, long before we joined, the kids decided they were spending way too much time cooking and cleaning up and it took away from their other activities. Besides, they all very much enjoy the camp songs and such at meals.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby ronin718 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:41 pm

Camps Marriott and Bowman at the Goshen Scout Reservation both offer the option of heater stack or patrol cooking. We always do patrol cooking for summer camp. This gives our NBPs the chance to bond and learn to work together, not to mention knocking out various cooking requirements.

There are not dining halls in the woods, so why do you need them for camp? :P :lol: :P
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby Chief J » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:03 am

Heritage Reservation has 2 boy Scout Camps located within its borders. Camp Liberty is a Patrol cooking camp, and all rations for all meals are drawn from the commissary and prepared in your campsite. They provide the patrol boxes, camp stoves, and propane. Camp Freedom has a dining hall and all meals except Thursday dinner are prepared by kitchen staff and served family style in the dining hall. Thursday evening meal is prepared patrol style and the rations are picked up at the Dining hall after Thursday program.

I have had the experiences of both styles. Both have good points and both have bad points. While I as an adult prefer the patrol style dining experience, the Troop prefers the Dining Hall at summer camp. Troop leaders are OJK with this decision as the Troop patrol cooks on all other camping trips during the year and the dining hall allows them to focus on program at camp.

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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby jr56 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:40 pm

I will be going to Ed Bryant Scout Reservation in Wisconsin this summer. I am told my troop cooks breakfast and dinner, and eats lunch in the dining hall. Will see how it goes.
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby alex gregory » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:14 pm

In my Council (Cascade Pacific) Camp Baldwin is a patrol cook camp where troops do their own cooking. System works very well. Ingredients are picked up at the Commissary. Left-overs and garbage are immediately removed to garbage central after the meal is done. Nobody starved. Nobody got the runs. Satisfying rank advancement cooking requirements for new scouts was a no-brainer. If your troop wants to earn Horsemanship Camp Baldwin has a great program.

Have to admit that the dining hall method is pretty nice. The food last summer at Camp Meriwether was great. I prefer the family style dining over cafeteria style.

I remember as a kid in Transatlantic Council summer camps were always on Army bases and we ate in dining tents. It felt like we were on set for an episode of MASH. SOS was always a staple (I think SOS is now referred to as Sloppy Joes).
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Re: Meals at Summer Camp

Postby pipestone1991 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:42 pm

I like meals in the dining hall. It allows for more time devoted to activities. Meals in camp can deter younger troops, IMO. Also, it's tradition in alot of councils to have dining halls during summer camp. Now that being said, on regular campouts, I think it's the scouts/patrols duty for meals.
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