Introduction to Cooking Outdoors

Introduction to Cooking Outdoors


>>Cooking and eating
a meal is an adventure when you do it in the fresh air. The right planning will
make it even more exciting. How you plan to cook food
at your campsite is key. Talk to your council staff,
Girl Scout camp directors, older Girl Scouts,
outdoor specialists, and anyone else experienced
with outdoor cooking methods. Decide on a cooking source. For example, will you use a
portable camp stove, a box oven, a barbecue, a campfire
ring with a grate, cook over coals or
over a wood fire? Then decide on your
cooking method. Will you make one-pot
meals in a Dutch oven, cook food on a stick,
grill food on a grate or cook food wrapped
in foil packets? Make sure to consider
your girls’ skill levels. There is a progression in
cooking you’ll want to follow. For example, beginning
campers can plan menus and help cook one-pot meals. More experienced campers
can make a foil dinner and use a Dutch oven. Even more experienced girls
can make and use a box oven and build and light fires
if you cook over a campfire. Progression also applies
to using kitchen tools. For example, with knives, girls
would first learn knife safety, then how to safely
cut vegetables, and then how to sharpen a knife. Once you decide your
cooking source and method, research recipes
and how-tos online, or ask your experts
for recommendations. Then start packing. Your cooking source determines
the type of gear you’ll need and the kinds of
meals you can cook. So together with the girls,
make a list of what you need. For example, will
you build a campfire? Depending on where you camp
and what their rules are, you will need fire
starters, matches and wood. Will you cook on
a portable stove? You’ll need the stove and
a fuel source like propane. Will you use a box oven
made from cardboard boxes? You will need foil,
charcoal and a grate. Make sure to pack
your cooking gear in plastic boxes
that securely close. Cooking is creative and fun. Girls can plan and
make meals like these. One-pot meals are easy
because you only use one pot, which means fewer
dishes to wash. You can make pasta, stew, soup,
chicken and rice, oatmeal, mac and cheese and so much more. Food on a stick. There are all sorts
of possibilities for skewer-style cooking for all
three meals from bacon and eggs to meat and vegetables. And for after-meal sweetness,
think about marshmallows for s’mores, fruit
and cinnamon rolls. Foil packet meals; these are
fun and require little clean-up. Find recipes for dishes
like breakfast burritos, French toast, chicken
and vegetables. Have the girls help plan the
meals and go grocery shopping. Make sure to keep in
mind dietary, religious and cultural needs of the girls. For example, you may
need to adapt your menu to a girl allergic
to peanuts or gluten. It may be faster to
do this yourself. But girls will learn a lot
by helping pack the food for their camping experience. Here is what you do. Remove grocery items from
their original packages. This keeps waste down when
you’re at the campsite. Organize the food
by meals and day. Write down cooking
instructions for each meal. Pack high-energy snacks
in baggies like GORP, a fun mix of your favorite
healthy snack foods. Pre-chill drinks before
you put them in the cooler. Pack perishable food in a
sealable cooler with block ice, which keeps food colder longer. Wrap meat securely
and keep it separate from vegetables,
fruits and drinks. Tour the site to find areas to
set up your cooking and dining. Locate your water supply. If you’ll build a campfire,
collect wood and kindling. Put gear in the kitchen area. Make sure to set up the
wash area with buckets for handwashing and dishwashing. Hang up the Kaper Chart so
girls know what they will do, like prepare and cook food,
set up plates and utensils, and most important, clean up. Go over food, knife and fire
safety rules with the girls. Remind girls to always
wash their hands when handling food,
especially raw meat. Show girls how to store food
to keep it away from animals. Remind girls to pack
it in, pack it out. Nothing should remain
at the campsite, including trash and extra food. And no food waste should
ever be thrown in the woods or into water sources. If the campsite offers garbage
service, find out their methods for packing up trash and how to
properly dispose of greywater, the water you use for
dish and handwashing. Remember that cooking
outdoors is about teamwork, creativity
and fun. It’s good to be prepared, but
be open to improvising too. Let girls suggest
a tweak in a recipe or a different way
to prepare something. With your guidance, girls will
feel empowered and excited about cooking outdoors. Bon appetit. The tips and guidelines in
this video are just some of what you need to know. Girl Scouts offers
many other resources to make cooking outdoors the
best experience it can be. Check out the book
‘Outdoor Education in Girl Scouting’ available at
the Girl Scouts online store. Go to Venture Out on the
Girl Scout University website to learn practical tips and
tricks for taking girls outdoors and to read other
volunteer stories. Watch the Camp Hacks videos on
Girls Scouts’ YouTube channel for a playlist of
all things outdoors. Learn more about Leave
No Trace at www.lnt.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *