By Darryl Alder
Aug 25, 2015

Who Knew What Day it Was Today?

national-toasted-marshmallow-day-august-30Yesterday  I was home ill. Needing something to do, I turned to my recent subscription of the National Day Calendar (don’t do this unless you enjoy getting lots of email). I amused myself with imagining ways I could use “National” days with Cub Scouts. To get started, lets just look at the list for the next seven days (if you don’t have time for all this, just look at Sunday and Monday):

Monday
August 24
National Peach Pie Day National Waffle Day
Tuesday
August 25
National Kiss and Make Up Day National Secondhand Wardrobe Day National Banana Split Day
Wednesday
August 26
National Dog Day National Women’s Equality Day National Cherry Popsicle Day
 Thursday
August 27
National Just Because Day National Pots De Creme Day
Friday
August 28
National Cherry Turnovers Day National College Colors Day – First Friday of College School Year?
Saturday
August 29
National Chop Suey Day
Sunday
August 30
National Toasted Marshmallow Day
 Monday
August 31
National Trail Mix Day

I don’t know about you, but this calendar suggests a lot of activity, some of which your could or maybe should do with your pack or den.

deseret-industries-459533-wallpaperMonday I had my waffle and the pie crust is ready for filling—Cub Scouts would love making or eating both. Tuesday, I guess Cub Scouts who didn’t live the Scout Law could make up with someone, but they could make up through service; I have a case of clothes to give to our second hand store and the bananas are on the counter. You bring the ice cream and we’ll split together, just after we drop off those clothes.

For Wednesday, come on over to my place, I own two dogs that boys, especially of Scout age, love. They will just be bathed (you know National Dog Day=a bath if needed or not), ready to hug and pet. And for Women’s equality, I could use some help calling lady Scouters to invite them to attend our upcoming Wood Badge course. You bring the boys and help make the calls, I’ve already got the cherry popsicles in the freezer.

For Thursday, I have my “just because” in place and your Cubs will love doing something different, out of the ordinary, something they don’t have to do, but want to. Then tell everyone about it at  #NationalJustBecauseDay to post on social media. And guess what, today I learned how to make Pots de Creme, just because (BTW, they are custard in porcelain cups, but mine are glass [does that still count? not sure]).

There are cherry turnovers waiting my grocery store for a den tour on Thursday and at that store you can pick a shopping bag to show your college colors.

Okay, you’re camping this weekend and need a new Dutch-oven recipe for your Scouts; yeah I found American Chop Suey at Scoutorama.com, but I was looking for something more Asian. If any of you have ideas or success this weekend please share them in the comments section below)

snoopy-marshmellowFinally I am to Sunday and the reason for this blog post: Sunday is National Toasted Marshmallow Day.  To get ready, you could play Snoopy’s Marshmallow Roast or teach this new campfire song to your Cub Scouts or family ahead of time (since it’s not too appropriate for Sunday).

You sing it to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” (thanks to Richard Bourlon, National Council Team Lead, Environment, Health and Safety):

Campfire Napalm (aka The Flaming Marshmallow)
flaming-marshmallow_01

I was sittin’ by the campfire with some real good friends of mine.
We were singin’ lots of silly songs and wastin’ lots of time.
We started getting hungry, but how were we to know
‘bout the flaming marshmallow?

Sweet and yummy sticky danger
Flicked upon a passing stranger
He panicked and he stumbled and fell upon his knees
then crashed into a tree.

The faster that he did run, the faster the flames grew
The whole forest was on fire before we even knew.
His buddies tried to put him out
They tried without a doubt but soon we all freaked out.

Sweet and yummy sticky trouble.
Better get out on the double.
The raccoons they were runnin’ as fast as they could go
from the Flaming Marshmallow.

Odie and MarshmellowsWe scrambled through the forest over hill and over Dale (poor Dale!)
We thought for sure “We’re goners!” won’t live to tell the tale. (we’re dead!)
Then all at once the Boy Scouts came with everything they know
To stop the Flaming Marshmallow (we’re saved!)

They carried in some water with the buckets they had made
They put out all the fires and provided us first aid.
Don’t know how we‘d have made it out
Without those prepared Scouts
They saved us there’s no doubt!

Sweet and yummy safety error
Can result in hazards, pain and terror
That’s how it ended, that’s all there is to know
‘bout the Flaming Marshmallow

National Marshmellow DayThe US Forest Service suggests:

Some wonderful memories are born around a fire ring. But whether you are camping, “glamping” or sitting with friends and family in your backyard, waning evenings typically include one campfire staple: marshmallows.

So, on the eve of National Roasted Marshmallow Day (Aug. 30), we pay tribute to the sweet ingredient that makes any form of outdoor gathering, well, sweeter.

S’mores

For some, the best use of marshmallows is as the gooey main ingredient of s’mores. Take a graham cracker, place a section of chocolate on it, and then carefully place a freshly roasted marshmallow on top of the candy bar. Top the marshmallow off with another graham cracker, carefully squeezing the campfire dessert sandwich together as the hot marshmallow melts the chocolate.

According to the National Confectioners Association, the history of s’mores is anyone’s guess. However, the s’more recipe is first found in the 1927 Girl Scouts Handbook and some people speculate the organization coined the name.

But as many national forests and grasslands visitors know, there is more than one way to roast a marshmallow.

Safety

First, let’s talk safety. Never start a campfire when there are fire restrictions in place. The restrictions are put in place for your safety and for the safety of others. If campfires are allowed, use an existing fire ring or pit. Be sure you are at least 15 feet from tent walls, trees or other flammable objects.

cub-scouts-marshmallowsMost importantly, ensure you work closely with children and talk to them about fire danger, proper behavior and rules – then expect nothing less. No one knows how many children are burned in campfire incidents; however, you don’t need statistics to know precaution is a key to great camping experiences. Some experts advocate a 10-foot rule between young children and a campfire. For more information about campfire safety, let Smokey Bear guide you.

Marshmallow Basics

Now, let’s get to the marshmallow basics. Use a roasting stick of at least 30 inches in length. The degree a marshmallow is roasted runs the gamut, from the barely cooked, light caramel-colored outer layer to the flaming marshmallow that contains a gooey interior wrapped by a crispy, blackened shell. From there, most people graduate to s’mores and rarely move on.

But there are some innovative ways to roast the little white treats that can help cut down on the amount of sugar intake by the kids, thus making bedtime a little more doable.

Think fruit

Even if the kids – including us older ones – insist on more traditional s’mores, there are some healthy tricks. Grill thin slices of pineapple and substitute chocolate for the sweet, warm fruit. You will still get a tasty treat but by substituting with fruit, it is healthier – as long as you watch the amount of marshmallows used. If you want to cut down even more on calories, try using slices of angel food cake instead of graham crackers.

You can also get a little inventive and move away from s’mores.

Banana BoatGrab a small bag of chocolate or peanut butter chips – or a combination of the two. Take a banana and slice one side open, exposing the fruit but leaving the peel intact. Slice the banana, add a few chocolate chips then top with tiny marshmallows. Or substitute the chips for blueberries from the local farmer’s market. Place the banana in aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Place the foil-wrapped fruit next to but not on the flames. Wait five to 10 minutes or enough time for the chips and marshmallows to melt. Open and enjoy with a spoon.

Another way to limit the amount of marshmallows used is to substitute them with marshmallow crème, a spreadable version of marshmallows that helps you more easily regulate portion. For healthier treats, use large strawberries, apple slices, banana chucks, pineapple or other fruit. Put a piece of fruit on a roasting stick, dip quickly in the crème and roast over indirect heat until a delicious golden brown. You’re still having campfire fun, but the focus is on a healthier evening snack.

There are many ways to make the end of your camping day a memorable time with snacks.

And with that we ask just what the USDA asked last year:  “How does your marshmallow roast?”
Oh yeah, Monday is National Trail Mix Day. What’s your best mix?

Darryl head BW

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18 thoughts on “Who Knew What Day it Was Today?

  1. AvatarTennys

    Hooray for National Toasted Marshmallow day! Marshmallows and especially s’mores bring people together. They are a “secret” tool I use as a mom to gather my family. Some of our best memories are sitting around the campfire with marshmallows, chocolate and grahams. The conversations we have and the stories that are told are of course the important part of our gathering, but it is the food that initially gathers us together. BTW my “secret” tool can also be applied to scouts! The marshmallows or s’mores will gather them, then they will build friendships and you can insert some great scout training!

    Reply
  2. Clint lawtonClint lawton

    Smore’s have been a huge part of my life! Memories from around the campfire at scout camp at fathers and sons activities and family reunions have always been accompanied with Smore’s. Thank you for the great ideas to make memories for my scouts and family!

    Reply
  3. AvatarMelissa Boren

    My family loves s’mores around the campfire when we go camping. However the little kids love to make them completely unhealthy and substitute marshmallows for toasted marshmallow peeps. Something about toasted crunchy sugar on top of melted chocolate and crispy graham crackers really hits the spot for the kiddos. I much more enjoy watching the delight on the kids faces while they finish every last ooey gooey bite.

    Reply
  4. Maria MilliganMaria Milligan

    I love s’mores, but banana boats have been our go-to campfire dessert for years. Love that gooey banana with melted chocolate and marshmallows. In fact, this weekend we decided to try making them without tinfoil to see if the peel was enough to protect them from burning. It worked! Even better, it made the marshmallows toasty and more delicious than ever. So even if you don’t have tinfoil, banana boats can still be on the menu.

    Reply
  5. AvatarLeah Overson

    I remember from basic training that one of the first things a Scout leader should do on a camp out is to get the campfire going. It spells “home” to everyone. Best wishes to all you Scout leaders making all those memories at the important turning points of growing up!

    Reply
  6. AvatarJohn Gailey

    I too have been daily looking at the National Day calendar and have had lots of fun experiences these past few weeks with my wife and grandkids. Some of these have included National Root Beer Float Day (did you know you could get free ones?), National Garage Sale Day, National S’mores Day (Aug 10 – and yes, we made some!), National Creamsicle Day (Aug 14 – we had to buy a whole box and put the leftovers in the freezer), etc. My granddaughter now asks me what the current day is so that she can also celebrate – she made sure her dad knew that it was National Father-in-Law day a few weeks ago!

    Reply
  7. Scott MajorScott Major

    I remember sitting around the campfire with a small group of friends when I was probably 12 or so. We were roasting marshmallows and having a rowdy but good time. The boy across from me caught his marshmallow on fire and in an effort to put it out he was flinging his stick up and down a bunch. Well it was so melted that he ended up flinging it right at me! It landed on my chest (still on fire) and it was a very sticky hot mess to put out. It ruined my favorite hoodie.
    But I am not scarred for life! I still roast marshmallows today with only a little bit of fear in my heart.

    Reply
  8. Avatarpei99

    I love these national days! Now I know what to serve for refreshments for Cub Scouts and what to cook for dinner on Saturday night. Does anyone have a good recipe for Chop Suey?

    Reply
  9. AvatarKaren Adams

    I remember playing “fluffy bunny” with marshmallows. It was a choking hazard, and as dangerous as flaming marshmallows. I don’t recommend playing “fluffy bunny” to Scouts.

    Reply
  10. AvatarMark Baldwin

    S’more Safety tip: When yuthing a metl (clothhhh hanger ower other object) skewer, neevvver twy to eat a fweshly toathted marshmallow from the hot skewer. It can still be vewy, vewwy, hot.

    I know thith ith twew

    Reply
  11. AvatarCarma

    My grandkids, including future cub scouts, love roasting marshmallows…with or without the s’mores fixins!
    We have a fire ring at our cabin, and a portable fire pit for the back yard!

    I had to laugh over National “Just Because” day! We do a lot of fun and crazy things….”just because”!!

    Reply
  12. AvatarBrenda Helsten

    Not a big fan of marshmallows, in my family we celebrate Pi day in a big way. Having a Mathematician for a husband is not easy, he finds any reason to celebrate the influence of math in our lives. We eat several kinds of pies and post the pi symbol all over social media… As a Scoutmaster, he had incorporated this tradition to his Troop, the younger Scouts look at him like he is nuts, but the Ventures love this craziness and expect out Pi day celebration every year, Pi rules!

    Reply

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