Meal Planning

Attention Patrols! 
Planning meals for a campout is a very important task! You will be hungry and unhappy if you don't buy enough food. Also, food is often wasted if you buy too much. A Scout is Thrifty is an important Scout Law to remember. You must know how many patrol members are attending a campout before you plan a menu and go shopping. This is a big part of being successful in meal planning. 

The Goal

The goal for every troop outing is that each patrol is responsible for its food and meals, and that each scout is provided with tasty balanced meals at each appropriate dining time.


1. Get a firm count
Get a firm count of how many patrol members are going on the campout. Once you know the number going camping you will buy only as much food as your patrol will need. Buying too much food will cost the troop extra money and is often wasteful. Stay within a budget.
1. Check with Patrol Quartermaster on status of patrol box
The Patrol Quartermaster, if performing his duties, will be able to tell you if there are any items that need to be replenished in the patrol box. He should have already taken care of that but it's always good to check on the status so that there are no surprises during the campout. For example, if you used up all the foil during the last campout you will want to buy more when you go shopping.

2. Plan the menu with your patrol
Once you have a firm count, use the "Troop 44 Patrol Menu Planner" and plan your menu. Here's some things to keep in mind when planning your menu:
  • Take into consideration the time constraint of activities you want to do at the campout. Plan your meals so they can be prepared, eaten and cleaned up based on those activities. For example, if you know your patrol is heading out to go fishing right after lunch and that you only have 1 hour to fish, then you will probably want to plan a lunch that's quick to prepare, eat, and clean up after, like mac-and-cheese or soup, so that you have enough time to fish.
  • A weekend campout food budget is $15.00 per Scout. When planning your meals, keep the budget in mind.
  • Make sure that your meals are balanced nutritionally. Try to represent the four basic food groups at every meal. breads, fruits & vegetables, dairy/meat, sweets (small amounts)

2. Get the menu plan approved by the SPL and Scoutmaster
Approval is required before any shopping can be done. The SPL and Scoutmaster will need to sign the "Troop 44 Patrol Menu Planner" indicating that the meals are relatively easy to prepare, won't break the bank, and are somewhat nutriciously balanced.

 3. Fill out the Troop 44 Patrol Shopping List
After your menu plan is approved and signed by the SPL and Scoutmaster, fill out the "Troop 44 Patrol Shopping List" form and list the ingredients you need for your patrol's meals. 

4. Fill out the Patrol Duty Roster
Use the "Troop 44 Patrol Duty Roster" form and fill out the duties. Make sure everyone understands his jobs.

Always save all your receipts and turn them in at the next Troop meeting.

5. Go shopping and purchase the ingredients

Pack the food

Save all your receipts

Place them in an envelope labeled with your name and Patrol, and the total cost of the food, ice and supplies. Buying food for the patrol is supposed to be a break-even proposition. As Grubmaster, it is your responsibility to stay within your food budget.  Spending beyond your budget must be approved by your patrol members.


Do you like squished bread for sandwiches?  Pack the food in ways to protect it in the coolers and while it is transported to the campsite.  Remove excess wrappings to reduce weight and trash at the campsite. Zip-lock type plastic bags are an excellent choice.  At-home preparation will also make cooking at camp easier and quicker.

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. Works great and eliminates grease to make clean-up easier.


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!


After the campout

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 okay should be offered to be split among patrol members. 


The Parent’s role

Parental advice, input, and transportation are important to the Grubmaster’s success.  The Grubmaster is the Scout.  He is expected to plan and purchase for the outing.  This means that the Grubmaster goes to the store also, not just the parent(s).  Parental advice about nutrition and price comparison at the store is important. 




Notes on Meals

BREAKFAST: Sunday morning is busy with packing and preparing for the trip home, so a simple breakfast is best. Something warm is good during the cold months. Have a hot drink (cocoa or tea), fruit and an easy to fix main dish that doesn’t need a lot of clean-up.  Consider having bagels and cream cheese or dutch oven muffins baked the night before. 

LUNCH: Saturday lunch should be another simple meal as there is often not a lot of time to prepare, serve and cleanup.  Have a build-your own sandwich with some soup and fruit.

DINNER: A full dinner is welcome at the end of an active day. Typically there is more time to prepare, serve and clean up so a nice meal can be planned. This should include fruit or salad, a main course, some side dishes of vegetables or starch (potatoes, pasta, etc.) and even a dessert. A carefully planned and prepared dinner can really brighten up a weekend.


Friday night
Suggest a cracker barrel after camp setup. 

Breakfast - Fully cooked from scratch.

Lunch - Suggest a cold buffet type w/ soup or chili.

Dinner - Fully cooked on the campout. Meal should include entree, vegetable, bread and dessert.


Breakfast – Quick and Easy.



Adult Leaders and Parents

Adult leaders and parents camp and eat together.  They do not camp or eat with the Scout Patrols.  They intervene only when the safety or health of a Scout is at stake. The Scout Patrol Leader is responsible for seeing that all arrangements for patrol cooking are completed.  An adult leader or parent may mentor (demonstrate once) or offer advice (talk to) the Patrol Leader, Grubmaster, or Scouts, but they do not do the cooking or cleanup for the Patrol.


Make sure you have your Patrol flag. 


Meeting Before Campout

Load personal gear in trailer.

Make sure Grubmaster has cooler and dry food storage box.

Make sure you have fire wood if it is needed.


The day of departure

Make sure you have your Patrol flag.

Make sure you have your Patrol Duty Roster.

Make sure you have your Patrol Box Inventory form.

Make sure the Patrol Grubmaster is ready.

Make sure the Patrol Quartermaster is ready.


Recap Menu Requirements


7. Food preparation is always directed toward fulfilling the requirements of the 1st Class or cooking merit badge.

8. Recipes should come from the Scout Field Book, the Boy Scout Handbook, or other approved cookbooks.

9. Stay within your budget.








Menu Suggestions



Entrée                           Sides                           Beverage                                 Fruit

Cold Cereal                   Toast                            Orange Juice                            Bananas

Regular Oatmeal           Bagels & CC                 Apple Juice                               Raisins

Scrambled Eggs            English Muffins             Grape Juice                              Strawberries

Egg McMuffins              Canadian Bacon           Milk                                         Fruit Cups

Breakfast Burritos          Sausage                       Hot Chocolate                           Apples

Omelets                        Bacon                           Water                                        Oranges

Pancakes                      Ham                                                                             Tangerines



Entree                          Sides                            Beverage                                  Dessert

P & J                            Bananas                       Fruit Punch                               Cookies

Grilled Cheese/Ham       Apples                          Ice Tea                                     Fig Newton

Hoagies                        Oranges                       Milk                                          Snack Pies

Tuna Sandwich             Crackers                       Lemonade                                Twinkies

Chicken Salad               Energy Bars                  Hot Chocolate

Soup or Chili                 Fruit Cups                     Tang

Beans & Franks            Cheese / Salami            Water



Entrée                           Sides                           Beverage                                  Dessert

Beef or Chicken Stew    Bread/Rolls                   Fruit Punch                               Cake

Spaghetti                      Potatoes                       Water                                       Cobbler

Macaroni & Cheese       Dumplings                    Milk                                          Canned Fruit

Hamburger Helper         Corn                             Lemonade                                Snack Pies

Chili                              Carrots                         Hot Chocolate                           Pudding

Pot Roast                      Celery                           Ice Tea                                     Jell-O

Tacos                           Coleslaw

Foil Meals




An adult’s advice, guidance, and help are needed to get to the store and prepare the food.  The Scout plans the menu, goes to the store, selects and purchases the food and may need to do some pre- preparation before the campout.

Menu planning allows for a maximum of $15/person for the weekend.