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Camping Checklist

Boy Scouting is primarily an outdoor program and Troop 13 schedules campouts every month during the school year, summer camp each summer, and a high adventure camp every other summer for older scouts. Additionally, troop campouts for the venture patrol, or older scouts may also be scheduled. Each year in August, the PLC with the assistance of the adult leaders, plan the troop campouts for the whole year. It is extremely important that the scouts attend these campouts as the basic camping skills and advancement requirements, such as cooking, compass skills, fire building, nature, camp set-up, first aid, hiking, and knot tying, are all done at the campouts. Special activities such as canoeing, water skiing, wilderness survival, camporee practice, etc. are also planned.

The PLC plans and organizes the campout activities with assistance from the adult leaders. It is not imperative that the parents attend each campout. However, sufficient adult supervision and transportation are needed for every campout. The campouts are announced at least two meetings prior with each patrol leader responsible for sign up sheets and meal planning for his patrol. The scribe should make the final roster and turn it in to the Scoutmaster or adult leader responsible for the campout.


  • Canteen
  • First aid kit
  • Candle
  • Compass
  • Pencil and small notebook
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Fire Starter
  • Poncho
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Sewing kit
  • 50 feet or meters of parachute cord
  • Signal mirror
  • Whistle
  • Waterproof matches
  • Heavy duty rubber bands
  • Twine
  • High quality pocket knife with at least two cutting blades.
  • Plastic or metallic container
  • Water purifying tablets
  • 2 folded 10 yard or meter strips of tinfoil
  • Saw wire
  • Safety pins
  • 4 bouillon cubes
  • 10 hard glucose candies
  • 10 Teabags
  • Roll of dental floss (to be used for making shelters)
  • Fishing kit:

    50 yards or meters of 25 lb test fishing line
    10 fish hooks of various sizes
    2 small fishing lures


  • Soap
  • Insect repellent
  • Moleskin
  • Salt tablets
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton applicators
  • Bandages
  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic
  • Tweezers
  • Thick blunt needle
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer


The purpose of this guide is to help simplify the task of purchasing food for a patrol for a campout, ensure sufficient food without waste and limit the risk of illness from improper food handling.  Whenever possible, the scout himself should participate in the purchase and packaging of the food.  For those scouts who are attempting to satisfy the First Class cooking requirement, a separate workbook is required.  Adults should use these guidelines as they assist the scout in fulfilling his duties.

Purchase only what is needed and on the menu.  On the foods listed on the patrol menu should be purchased.  It is important to note the number of boys scheduled to be present on the menu sheet and purchase for a group of this size, allowing for no more than one extra person.  For example, if the menu calls for hamburgers, condiments like lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes can be assumed to be included.  Side dishes like chips and French fries should only be purchased if included on the menu.  When “warehouse store” quantities are purchased for a single meal for 4 or 5 boys, this food often goes to waste.  Should additional unplanned scouts come, the adults will provide food as required to insure nobody goes hungry.

Prohibited items.  Patrols should not purchase or bring the following items:  Paper plates, plastic cutlery, soft drinks, disposable water bottles, bottled Gatorade and similar drinks.  This policy is to reduce waste, trash and litter, reduce weight and keep the ice necessary to prevent spoilage of food from being consumed to cool drinks.  The troop provides paper towels, toilet paper, soap and similar items.  The troop is responsible for ensuring sufficient amounts of water are available and we normally have large coolers of drink mix and cold water available for all.  Powdered drink mixes, orange juice and milk are permitted when listed on the approved patrol menu as a part of a meal.

Avoid “pre-cooked” food.  While some campouts, such as backpacking trips, require special foods that require no refrigeration and limited preparation, for normal campouts, cooking meals is part of the planned activity.  Developing the boys’ cooking skills is a goal of scouting.  Thus, if the menu calls for “beef fajitas”, the patrol should not have precooked, sliced fajitas that require only warming. A good choice would be pre-marinated, ready to cook fajita meat, rather than expecting the boys to prepare a marinade and keep the meat at a proper temperature while marinating.  Canned vegetables are perfectly acceptable.  Use of “just add water” pancake mixes is fine, while prepackaged pancakes or pre-mixed batter should be avoided.  The fewer items that require refrigeration, the better.

Packing tips.  Each patrol should have its perishable food packed in such a manner that it will remain cold in an ice chest for at least 36 hours.  Any item placed in the ice chest should already be refrigerated when it goes in the ice chest.  Otherwise, the ice needed to keep the ice chest cold for two days will be consumed in cooling the items.  This includes any authorized drinks, fruit and other items.  The best practice is for the scout bringing the groceries to take an ice chest home the Tuesday night before the campout and have the ice chest packed and iced down when he arrived at the church Friday afternoon.  The troop can top off the ice prior to departure.  The troop has plastic storage boxes available for storing items that do not require refrigeration.  These can be picked up on Tuesday night or the person bringing the food can arrive early enough on Friday to pack dry goods into containers prior to the designated departure time.

Food safety.  The troop generally does not have access to additional ice during a campout.  By Saturday night, most patrols have an ice chest with all the contents floating in ice and water.  We have seen raw meat packages floating alongside cheese, fruits and vegetables.  This brings significant risk of cross-contamination and illness.  To limit this risk, all raw meats should be repackaged, with the store container removed, and DOUBLE PACKED inside a Ziploc or other container that can be sealed to prevent the escape of blood or other liquids.  Any food items that will be consumed without cooking, such as lunch meats, cheeses and fruits, should be similarly double sealed to prevent contamination to the product or its packaging.  Whenever possible, items should be separately packaged (and marked) by meal (e.g., “Sunday Breakfast”) to minimize the chance of the contents being disturbed before proper consumption time.

Special notes.  Please follow any special requirements noted on the menu.  If a meal is noted as “provided by troop”, this means that the patrol is not responsible for purchasing food for that meal.

Questions?  Start with your son.  If he does not know the answer, he should ask his patrol leader or a member of the staff.  If they cannot answer the question, they can consult the adult leadership.  Remember, we are trying to teach the boys how to solve problems and be responsible for one another.  They cannot learn these skills when adults solve all their problems for them.  Where time is limited, parents should call or email adult leadership with any questions.

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The Dutch oven was an essential part of daily life for the American pioneers and was noted by Lewis and Clark as one of their most valued pieces of equipment. There are several theories of when the ovens were first used. Some have credited the Pilgrims with introducing both the pot and the name to this country as a tribute to their former hosts in Holland. A more likely scenario attributes the origin of the name to cast iron cookware made in Holland and imported in to England in the early eighteenth century, or to a Dutch casting technique patented in England in 1708. Actually, these cast iron kettles might have been more appropriately titled "American ovens," for it was in the great wilderness of the new nation where the pots found their widest use.

How to Season a Dutch Oven:

There are many variations on the process for seasoning a Dutch Oven. However, they all have the same basic approach. The objective is to bake onto the surface of the oven a coating of oil, which becomes like lacquer. The seasoning does several things. First, it prevents the metal from rusting, second, it creates a non-stick surface making clean up easier, and third, it adds a delicious subtle flavor unmatched by other types of cookware.
Dutch Ovens come from the foundry with a thin waxy coating designed to prevent rusting until the oven can be properly seasoned. This coating will be washed off and any residue burned off in the seasoning process.

To properly season a Dutch Oven:

  1. Warm utensil - Peel off any labels.
  2. Wash, rinse, & dry. Grease inside lightly with solid shortening, e.g. Crisco.
  3. Bake at 300? in a conventional oven for one hour. [Don't be alarmed by the smoke that will come from your oven as the shortening is burned onto the metal surface of the Dutch Oven.
  4. After the oven has cooled, wipe out any excess grease and store with a paper towel in the Dutch Oven with the edges hanging out from under the lid to absorb any excess oils and to allow air to enter the oven.
  5. It may be necessary to repeat this process if part of the oven did not season properly.
    Over time your oven will develop a hard, smooth, black coating on the inside of the oven. When you reach this point you will truly have a "seasoned" oven that you will not want to part with.

How to Clean a Dutch Oven:

" Do NOT use dish soap or detergent (it can leave a soapy taste in the oven that may transfer to the food.)
" Do NOT use a metal scrapper or scouring pad (it can remove the "hard-earned" seasoning.)
" Do NOT put cold water on a hot Dutch Oven (it can cause the oven to crack.)
" Do NOT "burn out" your Dutch Oven over the fire. (It can warp or crack the oven.)

For best results, Dutch Ovens should be cleaned immediately after they are used. If needed, you can put some hot water in the oven to let it soak while you finish your meal.

Using a plastic scraper, carefully scrape out the excess food. Using a plastic scraper, carefully scrape out the excess food.
With a little warm water and a dish cloth finish cleaning the inside of oven. Drain wash water and rinse with warm water. With a little warm water and a dish cloth finish cleaning the inside of oven. Drain wash water and rinse with warm water.
Thoroughly dry the Dutch oven with paper towel or warm it on the gas stove or over a fire just enough to completely dry the oven. Thoroughly dry the Dutch oven with paper towel or warm it on the gas stove or over a fire just enough to completely dry the oven.
Using a paper towel or soft cloth, wipe a thin coating of oil over the entire oven. (If the oven is well seasoned you will only need to do this step once in a while.) Make sure to wipe out excess oil so that it doesn't turn rancid when not in use. Using a paper towel or soft cloth, wipe a "thin" coating of oil over the entire oven. (If the oven is well seasoned you will only need to do this step once in a while.) Make sure to wipe out excess oil so that it doesn't turn rancid when not in use.

How to Heat a Dutch Oven:

The best way to heat and control the temperature of a Dutch Oven is with Charcoal briquettes. Keep in mind the briquettes must be applied to both the top and the bottom. Use only quality charcoal briquettes for consistent temperature control. Allow at least 20 - 30 minutes for them to heat properly before placing them around your oven.
The chart below shows how many briquettes to use for a desired temperature.

Temperature 10" Oven 12" Oven 14" Oven
Degrees F Top Bottom Top Bottom Top Bottom
300 12 5 14 7 15 9
325 13 6 15 7 17 9
350 14 6 16 8 18 10
375 15 6 17 9 19 11

Adding one set of briquettes (one on top and one on bottom) will raise the temperature of the Dutch Oven approximately 25 degrees.

Cooking Methods When Using a Dutch Oven:

There are four different methods of cooking with a Dutch Oven over a campfire - each achieved by altering the source of heat. Remember not to rush the cooking process. Whichever you choose, always preheat the oven before cooking.

Roasting - In roasting, the heat from your coals should come from the top and bottom evenly. You will place coals on top, as well as pulling the coals up under the pan to create an even heat. Place the same amount of coals on the lid as under the pan. Roasting is best achieved at high temperatures and short cooking times. This will seal in the juices.

Frying and Boiling - When frying and boiling, all the heat should come from underneath the pan. The temperature should be high and kept even during the cooking processes.

Baking - Baking requires cooking mostly from the top. You should place the coals on the lid and underneath the pan at a three to one ratio, with most of the coals on the lid. You will want to watch baking foods very carefully.

Simmering and Stewing - Most of the heat should be from the bottom of the pan. The coals should be placed on the lid and underneath the pan in a four to one ratio, with the bulk of the coals underneath the oven. Regulate the heat in stewing and simmering by moving hot coals underneath the pan.

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