As a Scout, you’ll have the exciting opportunity to plan meals for your Troop’s camping trips. To help you with this task, I’ll show you how to create an epic patrol meal plan and ingredient shopping list. Ensuring you have an excellent meal plan prepared is one of the first steps to planning a perfect Scout campout!
PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Scouting volunteer Lydia and Cole 🙂
This article will guide you through the process of planning a well-balanced menu for the duration of your campout, as well as selecting and purchasing the appropriate ingredients. Armed with this knowledge, you can ensure that you and your Scout buddies are well-fed and energized throughout your outdoor adventures.
What is a Scout Camp Meal Plan?
This plan is a list of meals and snacks that will be eaten during your campout, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. To create a meal plan, you should consider group size, dietary preferences, and trip duration. This will ensure you have sufficient food for every single Scout that’s coming along.
The camping meal plan should include meals and snacks that are nutritious, filling, and simple to pack and transport. Nutrient and energy-rich foods are a great way to quickly and easily fill the bellies of hungry campers. That’s why proteins and veggies are key to successful camp meals!
By creating a camping meal plan, a Scout exhibits thriftiness and preparedness. This ensures the meals chosen will be straightforward to prepare and agreed upon by all Scouts who are eating. Once everyone is on board with a yummy meal plan, you can look forward to good eats at your next campout!
Scout Camp Meal Pre-Checklist
Being prepared is the cornerstone of Scouting — and the official BSA motto. This practice should be applied to all aspects of camping, especially food planning. Here are the top three most important questions to keep in mind when planning:
- Group Size: How many Scouts will be in attendance? Knowing your group size will help you determine how many meals to plan for and how much food you’ll need to buy.
- Dietary Limiters: Are there any diet restrictions? Check if any of your fellow Scouts or leaders have specific dietary restrictions or food allergies. Vegetarians and nut allergies are probably the most common things you’ll need to cater for! This will help you plan meals that are safe and suitable for everyone to eat.
- Trip Duration: How many days and nights? Determine the length of the camping trip, and plan your meals accordingly. For example, a weekend camping trip might require two breakfasts, two lunches, and one dinner if you leave after dinner on Friday and return around Sunday lunchtime. But, if you leave Friday afternoon and return earlier on Sunday, you might need an extra dinner and one fewer lunch.
By taking into account these factors, you can create a meal plan that suits everyone’s needs and ensure that all the Scouts have plenty of food to stay energized and healthy during the trip. Plus, having unexpected allergies or food shortages is never a fun time, so pay close attention to these steps and you should be good to go!
Planning a Patrol/Troop Camp Meal
Since each Troop is different in how they do campouts – I’ll be covering two examples. Sample A will be for the entire Troop and Sample B will be for a Patrol of 8 Scouts.
Sample A – Entire Troop
- Troop Size: 16
- Dietary Restrictions: None
- Trip Duration: Weekend – Friday afternoon through Sunday morning
Sample B – Patrol
- Patrol Size: 8
- Dietary Restrictions: None
- Trip Duration: Weekend – Friday afternoon through Sunday morning
From the duration of the trip, we know we need to plan the following: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners, and plenty of snacks. Having a solid Scout Camp Duty Roster will make meal planning and prep easier, helping your patrol or troop to determine what meals would work best for what day.
This is by far the most important one. It’s best to choose meals that are easy and quick to make, considering that both you and your fellow Scouts will be tired and hungry after hiking and setting up camp before cooking dinner.
This hearty meal is perfect for team collaboration. Every Scout is rested up and will need lots of energy fuel for the day’s activities ahead. So, go big with this one. I’d recommend things like eggs, sausages, and carbs to begin the day. Breakfast burritos could even be a great option! 😀
While out exploring and adventuring, a quick, portable, no-gear-required type of meal is a Scout’s best friend. You will want to make sure to eat some veggies and fiber too, and to prioritize nutrition over junk food with this one. Sandwiches are always a pretty safe bet.
This is the big kahuna! As such, it should be a robust and satisfying meal to fill your stomachs after a long day of camp activities. We often did things like spaghettis, burgers, chili, sloppy joes, or a curry made in a Dutch oven. Dessert is also definitely not off the table!
Keep this meal simple and easy to prepare/clean up afterward, since you will be breaking down camp and heading back home in no time. Aim for an energetic, protein-filled breakfast without the weightiness of a heavy meal. Oatmeal with some toppings is a good option for this one.
Finally, make sure to pack plenty of healthy Scouting trail snacks! These should be compact, nutritious, and of course, YUMMY! Nuts, dried fruits, granola bars, or jerky work well, but be sure to check out my linked article for some other fantastic options. Yes, healthy and delicious are totally compatible! 😉
Now that we have explored which types of meals are best for which days, let’s pick our menus and create our shopping list. Remember to keep in mind safe food temperatures, so foods that spoil quickly should be avoided or used in the first meal or two. You should also check out my other article on recs for good/bad camping foods, along with other camp cooking tips!
An Example Scout Camping Meal Plan & Ingredient List
Now that you know what sort of criteria you’re trying to hit when planning each meal of your campout, here’s a meal list to provide you with even more inspiration! While the options are near endless for the tasty grub you can cook during a campout, planning 1 or 2 crowd-favorite meals will always be a good idea.
Dinner 1: “Late Night Cracker Barrel” Hot Dogs + Popcorn + S’mores
- Hot Dogs
- Condiment Packets
- Graham Crackers
Breakfast 1: Cheesy Scrambled Eggs + Bacon + Biscuits & Gravy + Bananas
Lunch 1: Tuna Salad and Crackers + Clementines
- Tuna Salad Mix
Dinner 2: Spaghetti + Mixed Veggies + Astronaut Ice Cream
- Spaghetti Noodles
- Pasta Sauce
- Dehydrated Ground Beef
- Green Beans
- Astronaut Ice Cream
Breakfast 2: Oatmeal + Freeze Dried Fruit
- Dehydrated Fruit
Snacks: Granola, Trail Mix, Veggie Sticks, Nuts, Jerky
- Trail Mix
- Veggie Sticks
Shopping For Your Patrol/Troop Camping Meals
Now comes the fun part! Your shopping list will include the required ingredients and the quantities needed for your troop or patrol. Make sure to plan this as a checklist when shopping, so you’re sure you aren’t missing any key components. Also, super important, take a pic of your receipt and keep it so your family can be properly reimbursed! 🙂
Sample A: Entire Troop
16 Scouts means we need 16 of each of the meals planned above.
- 4 Packs – Hot Dogs
- 4 Packs – Hot Dog Buns
- 32 Packets – Condiments
- 8 Packs – Popcorn
- 2 Boxes – Graham Crackers
- 6 Packs – Chocolate Bars
- 3 Dozen Eggs
- 2 Packs – American Cheese
- 8 Pouches – Biscuits & Gravy
- 16 – Bananas
- 16 Packs – Tuna Salad
- 4 Boxes – Crackers
- 2 3-lb Bags of Clementines
- 16 Pouches – Spaghetti Sauce W/ Meat
- 4 Packs – Spaghetti Noodles
- 4 Cans – Freeze Dried Green Beans
- 16 Packs – Astronaut Ice Cream
- 1 Can – Dried Oats
- 16 Packs – Freeze Dried Fruits
- 16 Packs – Granola
- 16 Packs – Trail Mix
- 16 Packs – Dehydrated Fruit
- 16 – Protein Bars
- 16 Packs – Nuts
- 16 Packs – Jerky
Sample B: Patrol
8 Scouts means 8 meals, so this will be the same shopping list as Sample A, just half the quantities.
More Creative Scout Camping Meal Ideas
Now you are ready to plan, shop, and prepare amazing troop campout meals! These are just my go-to faves, but if you want to make things even more exciting (and delicious!), here are a few ideas I’ve also done in the past:
- Foil Packet Meals: This is an easy and versatile option. Simply wrap up your favorite combination of meat, veggies, and seasonings in aluminum foil and place it over the campfire or on a grill. Some popular options include chicken and potatoes, sausage and peppers, or shrimp and corn on the cob.
- Breakfast Burritos: Pre-cook some sausage, eggs, and potatoes and wrap them up in tortillas with cheese for a tasty breakfast that can be reheated on a camp stove or fire.
- Walking Tacos: Fill individual bags of Fritos or other corn chips with taco meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa for a fun and portable meal.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: A classic favorite that can be easily made on a camp stove or grill. Add some bacon or tomato slices to take it up a notch.
- Pizza Quesadillas: Spread some pizza sauce on a tortilla, add cheese and your favorite toppings, fold in half, and grill until crispy.
- Campfire Nachos: Layer chips, cheese, and toppings such as beans, ground beef, and jalapenos in a cast iron skillet and cook over the fire until the cheese is melted.
- Mulligan Stew: Mix ground beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions in a Dutch oven and cook over the fire for a hearty and satisfying meal.
- S’mores Cones: Fill ice cream cones with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs and roast over the campfire for a fun and delicious dessert.
I’m sure you already have your own ideas too, and there are tons of recipes out there if you really want to try some tasty new foods at your next campout. Just make a plan of who will be heading your cooking efforts, get everyone on board, and you’ll be a camp meal-prepping-pro in no time! 😀
Whatever you plan for your Scouting campout, always remember the point is fun, adventure, learning, survival, and comradery. Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow Scouts for their ideas or input. You eat as a team, so everyone should have a say as far as the Patrol menu is concerned!
There you have it! By mastering camp meal prep, you’ll ensure that you and your Scout buddies are well-fed, energized, and ready for any challenge your campout may present. From understanding the importance of ingredient lists, to learning to craft a nutritious menu, you’re now prepared for any camp meal prep ahead!
If you enjoyed learning about camp meal planning, I’d also highly recommend checking any of the following articles if they spark your interest:
- The Essential Camping Packing List: A Scout’s Trek Gear Checklist
- Scout Songs: My 7 Favorite Campfire Songs For Troops To Sing
- 61 Amazing Troop Camping Tips And Hacks (From Scouts and Scoutmasters)
- The Value And Benefits of Scouting (58 Highlights From Scouts And Scoutmasters)
- Scout Camping Activities: 5 Outdoor Games Your Troop Will Love
Alright, that’s all for this article! Until next time, I’m wishing you some exciting campouts, delicious meals, and unforgettable memories. Happy camping and bon appétit! 🙂