Camp Cookery with Pizzazz
The Leader, May 1992.
Beans and Kraft dinner may be camp traditions with your bunch, but our kids deserve better! We need to
grab every opportunity to help our young members grow.
Take some imagination to the dinner table with you. Camp meals can translate into valuable program
time, if you use them creatively. With some guidance and encouragement, your kids can learn to plan,
use a food guide, budget shop, and prepare some great meals outdoors.
Camp cookery is not only a great learning experience; a good meal can make the difference between a
crummy time and an awesome experience. You can't always guarantee beautiful weather but, after a
days slog through rain and mud, it sure feels great to sit down to a hot cup of tea, pork chops with apple
sauce, zesty rice with mixed vegetables, and chocolate cake for dessert. The leaders I work with are
always surprised to discover that, with a little imagination, you can cook at camp anything you can bake,
microwave, or broil at home.
To make sure your camping or hiking trip is a success, plan well. Here are a few tips to help you
organize your food.
1. Trip duration and type of camp are your first considerations. If you are on a weekend outing, you can
take along fresh fruit and vegetables with little concern for weight or spoilage, but on a 10-day trek, you
need to stick to dehydrated or freeze-dried food.
2. Menu planning is essential. When you are exerting yourself, you need a good daily energy intake of
4,000 calories to keep you warm and happy. Since your usual energy needs are 1,500 to 2,000 calories a
day, you will need to use a food chart to work out a way to double your normal intake.
3. Variety is the key to enjoyable meals. Never rule out a food idea until you have exhausted the
possibilities for making it. For example, if you want chocolate cake in camp, just hollow out an orange,
fill the shell half-full of cake mix, wrap in foil, and cook on an open fire for about 10 minutes.