Scout Camp Meals: Dining Hall vs. Provide Your Own Food

This year’s summer camp preparations were very, very, VERY easy for me.  Why?  Because I chose to go with Dining Hall services offered by the camp this year.  Based on last year’s effort, I wanted to see what summer camp would be like not having to worry about the food.  …especially with all the feedback of our location having inadequate shelter from the heat and shade being hard to find.  So with the food taken care of for me, all I did was throw our Springbar’s in the trailer and that was about it.  CAKE!  However…

The one thing I learned at camp this summer was to…PROVIDE YOUR OWN FOOD!  This perspective has nothing to do with the quality of the food BLAB had to offer.  In fact, it was pretty good.  (Case in point, we were served a Flat Iron steak dinner on our last night.)  The issue for me was more about responsibility and accountability.

Because we didn’t have to worry about our own meals, I lost the opportunity to:

  • Help the boys plans meals, make assignments and organize a duty roster prior to arriving at camp.  This did nothing to remind them how to plan for an activity as experienced in First Class requirements 4a/b/c/d/e.
  • Have the boys prepare daily meals and feel the responsibility of cleaning up after each other.  They had it just as easy as I did, and that was a missed opportunity to re-teach Second Class requirement 3g.
  • Offer incentives to work together in keeping camp clean.  At Steiner, we had daily tent inspections to determine who would eat dinner first – I had very little leverage with BLAB’s dining service that lost another chance to reiterate Tenderfoot requirement #3.

So the valuable lesson I learned here: as hard as it may be for a leader to make sure meals happen at scout camp, I think it is well worth the effort for what the boys get out of providing your own food.

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