You can’t have Scouting without “outing”! Outings are at least monthly activities that are the heart of what Scouts is all about. Boys have a blast, learn skills, have fun, create life long bonds with their friends and have a chance to get outside.
What’s needed to attend outings?
- Be a registered member of the Troop
- Up to date health form
- Signed permission slip (varies by outing)
- Payment for the outing (varies by outing)
Once you’ve got the forms completed and payment made, now all that’s left to do is pack, make a meal plan, and assign a grubmaster!!
Wait, what’s a Grubmaster?
One of the activities that has to happen for outings to be successful is that we need to eat. Like just about everything else in Scouts, this is something that the boys learn to do for themselves, initially with guidance provided by their Troop Guide.
Prior to the outing, the boys attending the outing are divided into eating patrols. Those may be made up of very different individuals than their typical patrols because we have different folks attending different outings. Once the boys know what eating patrols they are in, they work together to come up with a meal plan for the weekend, typically on the Wednesday prior to the outing. This is the opportunity for boys to express their needs, wants, concerns when it comes to food. If boys have allergies or sensitivities or really strong preferences, this is the time to let those concerns be known. It’s also a time for boys to express their interests and creativity. Some folks get excited and inspired to learn how to make fabulous food on outings!
Once the meals are planned, we now need someone to take responsibility for acquiring the food for the weekend…known in Scouting terms as the grubmaster.
Serving as grubmaster for an outing meets a requirement for advancement and provides excellent lessons in planning/budgeting.
So, what’s involved in being the grubmaster? It’s pretty straightforward.
The job of the Grubmaster is to acquire the food needed to implement the meal plan and deliver that food to the outing in appropriate containers to maintain safe storage of the food (including appropriate ways to maintain safe temperature of the food).
So…What are the parameters for the meals?
- The meals have to be balanced
- They have to involve cooking (unless it’s lunch and we don’t have time to cook, which typically means making sandwiches at breakfast and packing them with us)
- They have to include the needs/desires of the boys that are part of that eating patrol
- They need to have enough food to feed everybody
- They have to do this while keeping within a budget.
The budget is $17/Scout for the weekend.
For example, imagine that each eating patrol for the outing has 8 Scouts (the actual number varies depending on the outing attendance, but lets use these numbers as an example).
At $17/Scout, the total dollar amount available to devote to camping meal purchases for the weekend is $136.
NOTE: The boys do not need to purchase basic seasonings (e.g., salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder), aluminum foil, dish detergent, or bleach. Those items are provided by the troop. Assume that the rest of the food will need to be purchased.
Let’s assume that for a theoretical outing with 8 people in the eating patrol that the Saturday night meal is going to be a chicken dish served with French fries, broccoli, and deep fried Oreos. To figure out how much is needed of each item for the meal, I’d suggest budgeting one chicken breast and 1/3 -1/2 pound of potatoes (which will get turned into fries)/Scout; 1/3 lb of broccoli/Scout, and three Oreos per Scout. NOTE: In our experience, boys that eat more than three deep fried Oreos at one time tend to get sick.
When shopping, that means needing at least 8 chicken breasts, ~ one 5 lb bag of potatoes, ~ 3 – 5lb of broccoli, one small package of Oreos for that meal plus whatever seasonings are needed beyond the basics provided by the troop.
Follow the same process for the rest of the meals.
NOTE: meals that the boys need to plan for include Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner; plus Sunday breakfast.
With a budget of $136 for 8 boys for four meals for the weekend and some smart shopping choices, the boys CAN choose to eat really well…if they plan it and they find some deals.
NOTE: We typically stop to eat at a fast food place on the way to the outing on Friday night. We don’t typically stop on the way home from outings on Sundays. It would be prudent to plan the Sunday breakfast to be substantial so that Scouts are not feeling really hungry by the time they get back to the Church on Sunday.
Once you get the items, they will need to be transported to the outing. For that, well need to store the cold items in coolers. The troop has a couple decent sized coolers that folks are welcome to borrow if they don’t have large enough coolers at home. To help keep food cold for the weekend, they will also need to have ice.
For the food that does not need to be stored cold, I’d suggest using some large plastic storage bins to help protect the food during transport and keep it (mostly) dry.
After the outing, there are forms available to request reimbursement for food purchases.
For a list of annual outings:
For a packing list:
For summer camp information:
Pictures of past outings are available at the Troop SmugMug site: