Troop 30 is planning its first trip of the year. One of the biggest jobs on any camping trip is that of Grubmaster.
The patrol is going to be grumpy without enough food and leftover food is wasted if it’s too much. The Grubmaster must set a budget, collect money from patrol members and plan meals accordingly. This is a leadership task requiring the scout to learn how to budget, how to plan meals, and how to keep the patrol satisfied while managing food preferences, diet restrictions and allergies.
This is a big job.
As Grubmaster, it is the scout’s responsibility to stay within the food budget. Spending beyond your budget must be approved by patrol members helping to foot the bill. Parents have a role in this, but not as shoppers — parents might be supplying the coolers and driving the scout to the store, but it’s the scout who is getting the shopping done.
It doesn’t stop there: Then the food has to get to the campsite, ready to be cooked no matter what the weather. It is easier to prepare meals inside in a nice warm kitchen with running water than outside in a barren cold campsite with pouring rain. Here are a few hacks the scouts have learned:
- Pack the food in ways to protect it in coolers while it is transported to camp. Remove excess wrappings to reduce weight and trash at the campsite.
- Scrambled eggs? Scramble the raw eggs at home and placed in a tightly sealed container.
- Diced meats and veggies (chicken, carrots, celery)? Wash and dice at home and put in separate zip bags.
- Bacon or sausage? Pre-cook at home and wrap in aluminum foil. This method eliminates grease to make clean-up easier at a camp.
The Scout who bought the food is responsible for removing all food from the patrol boxes and coolers and disposing of it. Spoiled or ruined food is thrown out. Food that is leftover is offered to be split among patrol members.
Parental advice, input, and transportation are important to the Grubmaster’s success. Parents and guardians are a great source for recipes, advice on nutrition and price comparisons. Parents can also offer stories of their own meal failures — because everyone can have one of those. But in Troop 30, it’s always the Scout who serves as Grubmaster.