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You must get your menu approved and signed off by an Adult Leader

Parents: See A Parent's Guide to Grub Master

Your patrol members are going to be hungry and unhappy if you don't buy enough food and leftover food is often wasted if you buy too much. “A Scout is Thrifty” is an important Scout Law to remember. You must keep track of which patrol members are going and if they have paid their money. Knowing your budget, planning your meals, and managing your funds are a big part of being successful in this leadership task.

The Troop provides the following

Dry Goods

  • paper towels
  • toilet paper (you should be carrying this yourself)
  • dish soap
  • and similar items.

Perishable Items

  • Hot Chocolate
  • Bug Juice
  • Catsup, Mustard, Mayonaise, salt & pepper

The Troop is responsible for ensuring sufficient amounts of water are available and we normally have large water coolers of drink mix and cold water available for all. Orange juice and milk (in small amounts) are permitted when listed on the approved Patrol Menu as a part of a meal.

Patrols should NOT purchase or bring the following items

  • Paper plates, plastic cutlery
  • soft drinks, disposable water bottles, bottled Gatorade and similar bottled 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.

Learning the Grub Master Job

Managing the food-buying task for your Patrol is a very important job!

You may be required to cook meals to fullfill rank requirements. Grub Masters are not cooks, but cooks can be Grub Masters


What requirements does being a Grub Master fulfill? Whether this is your first time or you are a seasoned scout, you should read your handbook and be familiar with the following concepts.


  • Req 3: pgs 327, 329-339

Second Class

  • Req 3g: pgs 102, 316, 320-323, 326, 329, 339

First Class

  • Req 4a: pgs 102-105, 316-317, 320
  • Req 4b: pgs 321-323
  • Req 4c: pgs 324
  • Req 4d: pgs 328-329
  • Req 4e: pgs 325-327, 342

Planning Meals

Plan the Menu with Your Patrol

Get a firm count of how many patrol members are going at the campout prep meeting. If you have 10 patrol members and 7 have said they are going and paid, your budget is $105, not $150. Once you know the number of Scouts going camping, use the Patrol Menu Planner and plan to buy only as much food as your Patrol will need for the campout. Buying too much food will cost your Patrol extra money and is often wasteful. Stay within your budget.


A typical weekend campout food budget is $12-15 per Scout. If you go over budget you will have to cover the difference and go back to your Patrol members to get reimbursed for the difference. If you are under budget, the money should be returned to your patrol members. Ask the Scoutmaster if a budget has already been set for meals.

The Goal

The goal for every Troop outing is that each Patrol is responsible for its food and meals, and that each scout is provided with tasty balanced meals at each appropriate dining time.

Preparation Time

Plan your meals so they can be prepared, eaten and cleaned up within the time constraints of the weekend outing. A camp-out with a planned activity schedule will offer a limited and specific time for meals (Camporees, Klondike). Other outings may allow for more time to prepare meals (Troop Only).

Nutritional Concerns

On campouts, every scout is working hard and burning a lot of energy. Prepare meals that are filling, nutritious, and tasty. Review your menu to see that it is nutritionally balanced.

Represent the basic food groups at every meal.

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Proteins
  • Dairy

Special Notes

Check with your Patrol to make sure the meals are OK with them. No one is a vegetarian, allergic, or has dietary restrictions to any of the foods on the menu (or just hates eggs). A Patrol may decide to still have a food if one member can't eat that food, BUT they must make arrangements to give that scout an alternative meal, and make sure it is “OK” with him.

Food safety

Wash your hands frequently when preparing meals

  • Before starting food preparation
  • After handling raw meat
  • Clean knives, cutting boards and surfaces
  • When switching between meats and vegetables

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. 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 bag 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.


Make sure you will have enough time to prepare your meals and clean up afterwards. Check the Patrol Kitchen Inventory to make sure you have all the pots, pans, and utensils your need to cook your meals.


Something warm is good during the cold months. Consider using a Dutch Oven when the weather is cold to keep food hot longer. Sunday morning is busy with packing and preparing for the trip home, so a simple breakfast is best. Have a hot drink (cocoa or tea), fruit and an easy to fix main dish that doesn’t need a lot of cleanup.


Saturday lunch should be another simple meal as there is often not a lot of time to prepare, serve and cleanup. Have a build-your own sandwich, grilled cheese, or quesadillas with some soup and fruit.


A full dinner is welcome at the end of an active day. Typically there is more time to prepare, serve and clean up so a nice meal can be planned. This should include fruit or salad, a main course, some side dishes of vegetables or starch (potatoes, pasta, etc.) and even a dessert. A carefully planned and prepared dinner can really brighten up a weekend.


During busy campouts, it is a good idea to have snacks available for between meals, like fruit (Apple, Banana, Raisins) or granola bars. It is food to go!

Cracker Barrel

A cracker barrel is an evening snack that consists of finger foods like cheese and crackers, deli meats, pickles, Bug juice, etc. This meal doesn’t require cooking.  

Saying Grace

A scout is Reverent. Meal time is an excellent time to sit down and enjoy each other company. We celebrate the brotherhood of scouting and the fellowship of our friends. Most importantly we should give thanks to our creator for our many blessings.

First Class Requirement 4e To view common Scout Graces check the Saying Grace Wiki page

Handy Grub Master Tips

Developing cooking skills is a goal of scouting. Scouts are required to cook during Troop outings. Bringing completely precooked meals on camping trips goes against the cooking skills we are trying to instill in the scouts. Warming up a fully cooked and prepared meal is not “cooking”. However, with a little forethought and preparation, meal preparation during the camping trip can be more efficient.

  • Things like spices can be carried in small containers. If you get them from home you save some money.
  • Package all the ingredients for each meal in a separate bag to make finding foods easier on the campout.
  • It is sometimes wiser to do some “preparation” of foods before campouts in order to make cooking chores easier. Do not precook your entire meal.
  • Some foods like bacon, hamburger, sausage, spaghetti, and potatoes can be precooked or partially cooked at home. WARNING: Meats must always be fully cooked. Partially cooked meat is dangerous!
  • Buy bulk meats and repackage into individual portions.
  • Repackaging foods in zip lock bags can make meals lighter to carry and quantities can be adjusted. Just remember to either write the directions on the bag or cut them off the package and put them in the bag. Many foods can be mixed/re-hydrated in these bags.
  • The fewer items that require refrigeration, the better. Ice is limited on campouts.
cooking/grub_master_guide.txt · Last modified: 2015/10/20 13:50 by Jack W. Parks