My son is in Cub Scouts. We just went on our fourth camping trip in the time he’s been a scout. We always have a great time. The Cub Scout ranches that our pack visit offer many similar activities. There are cabins for sleeping. They have areas where you can pitch a tent. There are scheduled activities such as archery and BB guns. Some have lakes for swimming when the weather is warmer. While you’ll find tips on all of these, I thought I’d provide some Cub Scout camping tips that are more practical. These are tips I’ve learned only from experience.
Plan Your Meals
Your pack should get together and plan meals. They should be simple yet filling. You’ll want to keep them simple because many kids have simple tastes. It’s best to find things that most kids will eat. We do things like hot dogs for lunch and pasta for dinner. They’re pretty easy to make and we generally don’t have complaints.
Do The Math On Serving Sizes
One thing our pack has NOT figured out is how to buy the right amount of food. We estimated 35 people for our most recent trip. This was pretty accurate. Yet we bought three times the amount of pasta and sauce that we needed. Three times! How? Because we always forget that of the 35 people, many of them are small people. They won’t eat a full serving!
Have Backup Plans For Food
With just about every trip, there’s been one meal that didn’t work out according to plan. One time there was a plan to cook packets of food over the fire. It took a whole lot of time to get a fire going, and stuff was either getting burned or not cooking. We had a lot of hungry scouts and a bunch of food that nobody wanted.
This past time we had planned some of the food to be baked in the oven that was listed as in our cabin. The only problem is that the oven didn’t work. So, we had to figure out how to cook some items on the stove.
A backup plan would have helped in both of those cases.
Inventory Your Supplies
We found that we didn’t have a few things that would have been helpful. Among the missing items:
- Aluminum foil
- Ziploc bags
- A strainer (for pasta)
- A ladel
One of the reasons that we fell short is because, for many, this was the first time camping. Every year there’s a new group of parents and kids, so things get passed around. Therefore, many of the people simply don’t know what we have and don’t have. A master list would have been helpful and is something we will definitely do.
Divvy Out Responsibilities
Both scouts and parents should have clear responsibilities. On our most recent trip, we sort of forgot about this when it came to cooking. We didn’t have parents signed up, and two parents ended up making every meal! As one of those parents, it got exhausting. We should have had people sign up and share responsibility.
Plan Down Time
As I noted above, there are lots of scheduled activities at many cub scout camping trips. These are important and can teach great skills. But, some down time is necessary as well. Kids need a chance to rest or find other things that they want to do. During some of our down time, we had some kids sit and play board games. Other kids found a gaga ball pit and got a game going.
Pack Extra Shoes and Socks
There are a lot of outdoor activities. Kids need dry shoes. Kids will inevitably find a way to make their shoes wet. Have extra shoes and socks. Trust me on this.
Enjoy The Experience
Parents are busy keeping an eye on everything, and getting the kids to their next activity on time. If not that, then it seems there’s something going on with regards to eating. It’s sometimes hard to stand back and enjoy it, but make sure you do. There were times I just stood back and watched the kids for a few minutes. I watched kids that didn’t really know each other share in a cool game. A kid that was not doing well at something would get encouragement from a fellow scout. Watching the kids interact and form bonds was really cool. Don’t miss it.
These are just a few cub scout camping tips I’ve come up with. The biggest tip, though, is to have fun and make sure your scouts are having fun. That’s really the biggest goal.
Readers, do you have any cub scout camping tips or similar tips you could share? Please share in the comments below. Thanks for reading.