Menus and Recipes
A typical weekend camping trip, from Friday evening to Sunday morning, will have five meals:
Friday night Cracker Barrel: a simple snack eaten after camp has been set up
Saturday breakfast: this should be substantial, with a protein and starch, to fuel you for the day's activities
Saturday lunch: this is typically eaten on the go, or during a brief in-camp break from activities; keep it simple!
Saturday supper: this should be substantial, especially in fall and winter, to help keep you warm through the night
Sunday breakfast: keep this simple! If you can make it without cooking at all, or just heating water, that's best: we will break camp as soon as breakfast is over
Many patrols have a handful of recipes that they like to use on each campout. This can be a good thing, because it keeps meal planning simple and because everyone in the patrol knows how to prepare them. But consider trying something new on each campout, especially for Saturday supper. Try a Dutch oven meal, or foil dinners, or an international dish (Indian rice dishes are easy to prepare at camp, and can be made as mild or spicy as your patrol likes!).
When planning your meals, consider how your ingredients will hold up to storage at camp. Use fresh foods--dairy, meat, vegetables--early, and rely on boxed or canned foods later in the camp. Consider using some ingredients across multiple meals; for example, it's often cheaper by the serving to buy a bigger box of crackers--use some of the crackers on Friday night, and some for lunch on Saturday. Just be sure you ration the food so you're not left without anything at the end!
Your menu will be reviewed by an adult leader to ensure that it will be healthy, safe, and give you sufficient fuel for the day. When planning your food, think of it as the kind of fuel that you would use to build a fire:
Sugars are like kindling, they flare up fast but don't last long. Use things like M&Ms and Twizzlers as a quick pick-me-up during the day's activities, but they won't do more than give you a boost to get to the next meal. A whole weekend of candy bars might sound like fun, but you won't have the energy you'll need to keep going!
Starches are like tinder, they can be used by your body soon after eating and make a good foundation for your meal. They're easy to combine with other foods. Rice, potatoes, breads, and pastas fall into this category.
Proteins are like fuel, they take longer to be put to use but they're the building block of your muscles and are necessary for recovering from strenuous activity. If you're exhausted, a good protein--meats, poultry, tofu--will go a long way toward helping you recover for your next challenge.
Here's an example of a weekend campout menu:
Block of cheese
Crackers (Ritz, Saltine, etc.)
Sun butter and jelly sandwiches
Foil dinner (hamburger, vegetables, and seasoning wrapped in foil and cooked in the coals)
Baked apples for dessert