So there we were both trying to plan our 11-year old program, when we came across this activity: a mom’s Early-Bird Breakfast. These were new Scouts, most of whom had had one night of camping. How we were supposed get them to make a decent breakfast for their moms the Saturday before Mothers day?
We started months before with the basics, teaching them the skills they needed as Tenderfoot, Second Class and Frist Class Scouts. That meant fire building first, luckily she had a place in the backyard we could build fires. We showed them all the tips we knew how to make an earthen pad, gather tinder, make kindling and finally how to lay the wood crisscross to get the best coals. We didn’t always get it going with just two matches, which was our goal, but the Scouts found a box of wood matches always makes good kindling.
Next we had to teach them basic cooking techniques. So we made some buddy burners and tried frying bacon and eggs directly on top. Soon we discovered paper bag cooking (see Dian Thomas’ for some techniques). We also discovered that we could boil water in an unwaxed paper cup, which absolutely fascinated the boys, so now we had their attention with a paper bag griddle and boiling water cups, this meant we could serve soft boiled eggs or oatmeal. However, only later when the troop’s scoutmaster gave me his recipe for “Scrambled Pancakes” (see below), did I realize there was no good way to teach Scouts how to turn pancakes and actually make them presentable, so we gave up early on that challenge.
It was time to finalize our menu and the whole thing was taking on a cavemen cookery theme (For more caveman cookery menus click here), which was pure fun for the boys. So we decided to try a few more ideas from BSA’s Program Helps (now Program Features III p.78). The first try was an orange peel campfire muffin, which we put the lid on jack-o-lantern style and buried in the coals—it was another hit and since pancakes were a bomb, this was going to have to be the substitute.
Saturday morning came the boys lit the fires and set the tables. They cooked bacon on paper bag griddles and cracked and fried eggs right there on the paper, dazzling their moms with their brilliance. They baked biscuits in oranges and served oatmeal in paper cups heated on the fire. As they proudly served those moms, Scouting proved once again that it can make gentlemen out of boys, even when they are cooking like cavemen.
Author: Darryl Alder | Director of Support Services, Utah National Parks Council, BSA