fall cookout food

Last May, our Girl Scout troop went camping for the first time as a troop. Actually, we went glamping, staying in a troop house, complete with an indoor fireplace, electricity, and a kitchen. This time, though, we’re camping in tents. No electricity, no indoor kitchen, no sink or oven. And, no, no parma-wrapped monkfish in red wine emulsion. You wash all the pots, pans, plates and mugs in basins. You want hot water to wash those dishes? You need to boil it over an outdoor grill. And, there’s no lighter fluid or Match Light charcoal allowed. Together with most of the moms, we’ll be a group of 30 people. Imagine planning one of the menus below to feed 30 people? Do you know how long it takes me to figure out how much to buy to feed my own family? Now, how many ingredients to feed 30 mouths?

In May, I created these camping menus (see below). But this time we’re trying to simplify the menu. Though, to be fair, the meals took a lot of time in May because we didn’t do any of the prep work at home. This time, we’re going to assign tasks to parents and daughters, for food prep to be completed at home. Translation: moms will silently bitch about being given homework. And if not, they’re better than I am, as I’d be the first mom to moan.

Camping Breakfast

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It’s a LOT of work coming up with these types of lists, including all the instructions and equipment needed. The recipes and steps all spelled out for each “patrol” to be able to execute the meal in an orderly fashion. This, and coming up with a menu of foods everyone can eat and enjoy. I care less about how gourmet the meals are, and more about teaching the girls the different outdoor cooking methods available. I also want everyone to know that camping doesn’t have to mean hamburgers and hotdogs and store bought desserts. I want them to learn how to make soup in a cooler, to make a cobbler over coals, to bake brownies in a cardboard box. Wish me luck… will update later with a plan hopefully.



  1. You are awesome! This looks very fun – way more organized than I am. We have done dutch oven cooking and it’s a blast – digging a hole, putting coals in there and then cooking over that. It’s so awesome and the kids love it. Also, pudgy pies – you use bread and ingredients (make pizza, ham and cheese, dessert ones) – put it in the little pie maker and throw it in the campfire – turn once and perfection in just a few minutes.

  2. We camp a LOT. I can pitch a tent in about 10 minutes with no help, 6 with help. I can set up a complete campsite for 2 in about 30 minutes, and that includes the shlepping of the fire water.

    We love being outdoors, and eggs and hashbrowns are about the easiest thing on earth to make on a wood fire. (Though if I am reading correctly, you are using charcoal, no?)

    I think your menus look awesome! I would caution you to bear in mind how many dishes are being created that will need washing. There’s nothing wrong, just make sure if you are planning out activities, you leave ample time for that. You’ll want to have groundwater safe dishsoap, which can take a little longer than the bubbles to which we’re accustomed. That coupled with no running hot water, well, it’s a time consuming process, that’s all.

    I know all the food will be delicious. I hope the campfire stories are wonderful and that your girls all sleep like stones. I always do my best sleeping in a tent, I swear.

    PS: My mother was my troop’s leader, and I loved that. Lucky little miss, your daughter.

    1. Author

      That was the menu LAST TIME we went camping. This time, we were working with 3 charcoal pits and 2 outdoor stove tops. The big hits were the chili and my Thanksgiving Dump & Run Cornbread Pudding!

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