4H 802 Revised March 2007
Nothing seems to make food taste
better than cooking it outdoors.
And the experience can be an
excellent learning opportunity
for your entire 4-H club whether
it is a simple one-pot cookout in
the backyard, several cookouts, or
a club campout.
An outdoor cooking activity can
be used to achieve many of the
4-H program goals to help youth.
• Learn practical skills (cooking a
meal without electricity or gas)
• Acquire positive self-attitude
(building a fi re without help)
• Develop leadership capabilities
(volunteering to be in charge of
• Develop abilities to be a respon-
sible group member (“we’ll make
Above all, the cookout should
be fun—and that starts with
Where to start
“Different strokes for different
folks.” One leader gets her club
started by giving suggestions on
when to plan a cookout. Her club’s
cookouts have been planned as
part of a farm tour, evening club
meeting, kidnap breakfast for new
members, family night, or program
on nutrition or fi re safety. Another
leader starts by inviting his club
over for an evening meal at which
he demonstrates all the wrong
ways to plan a backyard cookout.
Regardless of the approach, mem-
bers need experience practicing
basic cooking skills and planning
tasty, nutritious menus at their
own ability level. As they become
more skilled, the menus can be
A cookout is likely to be success-
ful if you are organized and have
planned ahead. Here are a few
pointers to get started.
1. Think about what you can do
if there’s a heavy rain or storm.
Will you postpone? Will you
prepare the food under a tarp,
in a sheltered area, or move in-
doors, or postpone? Do you
have food along that would
require little or no cooking?
2. Make lists so that nothing is
forgotten. Here are some things
you might include.
• Food ingredients and amounts
that are needed
4-H Youth Development
Cooking Over Campfi re Coals
• Recipes and direct