Saturday, September 29, 2012

Our Troop's Tried-and-True Camp Meals

We still have a few more weeks until our troop's fall camping trip, but the girls have already started talking about it. And by talking about it, I mostly mean talking about what we're going to eat. I can't say I blame them - there's just something about camping where the food always tastes better. Maybe it's partially due to the fact that by the time you're done prepping and cooking it, you're usually so ravenous that even tree bark would taste good.

But I digress. Our girls love to plan the meals, but the challenge for us as leaders is getting them to break out of their mold. If we left it entirely up to them, they would eat the exact same thing trip after trip. And interestingly enough, the meals they would choose to eat happen to be identical to what we ate on their very first camping trip. Maybe it's nostalgia, or maybe they just know what they like. Don't get me wrong - we've shown them plenty of other options and have at times used our veto power to introduce something new. But I can guarantee each of these will come up when we start the meal planning discussion.

1) Walking Tacos - I secretly don't mind too much when they vote for walking tacos, as I kind of love them too. They're inexpensive, easy to prepare and each girl gets to make her own - a sure recipe for success. If you have somehow gotten this far in your life without experiencing the joy of walking tacos, here's the gist. Take an individual bag of Fritos crush them up a bit and load in your favorite taco toppings. Eat directly out of the bag with a spoon or fork and enjoy.

Here's what we bring for our tacos:
  • Individual bags of Fritos (don't wait until the last minute to buy these - they can be somewhat tricky to find.) We usually bring 1 regular bag along too to refill for seconds.
  • Seasoned taco meat. For convenience, we usually cook ahead of time and then all we have to do is heat it up.
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Black beans
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
In our troop, the majority of the girls tend to go straight for the meat and cheese, so we usually serve these along with some cut veggies and ranch for a more well-balanced meal.

2) Pita pockets - Yes, I know these are really just a form of sandwich. No, I do not understand why our girls seem to treat them as some novel delicacy. I guess there's just something about putting meat and cheese in a new delivery vehicle that makes it all so brand-new and exciting. But I can't complain too much because they make for an easy, no-cook lunch when we're in a hurry.
  • Pita pockets
  • Luncheon meat - ham and turkey
  • Sliced cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Condiments - mustard and mayo
3) Garbage - Sounds disgusting, looks disgusting - but makes for a great filling breakfast. This is one that's a little more divisive in the troop (some don't like their breakfast items combined), so we usually end up separating out some scrambled eggs and hash browns.
  • Eggs - We pre-crack all our eggs at home and place the yolks/whites into a container to save space
  • Sausage (could also use diced ham)
  • Hash brown potatoes
  • Shredded cheese
  • Butter (just a bit to oil the pan)
If you want to keep it to a one-pan meal, the easiest way is to cook the sausage first, add the hash browns and then the eggs. On one particularly cold morning when we were in a hurry (and dealing with a less than wonderful fire), we started the hash browns and sausage in separate pans and then combined once they got going. I only mention this to say that there's really no way to screw this one up as long as you get it all cooked.



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