Menu Planning

Feeding the Troops Pt.1 : Food on Trips

Scouts – Food is generally handled by Patrols. For any specific trip, a scout should ask his Patrol Guide or Patrol Leader about what the patrol plans to do for food. If the Patrol makeup is unbalanced, the Senior Patrol Leader may choose to form Cooking Groups headed up by Patrol Leaders and intersperse Scouts between them accordingly. First Class and Second Class both have requirements that involve cooking on a campout. When you are interested in being the patrol cook for at least one meal of a campout, let your patrol leader know. The cook then will collect money from each of the scouts he fed. Meals should not cost more than $2.50 -$5.00 per meal per person.

Adults – As a general rule, adults cook for themselves on trips. However on larger trips (e.g. Joshua Tree), the Troop Grubmaster may take over the duties of feeding all the adults on the trips. Trust us, on those occasions, the adults eat VERY well. Please note, that doesn't mean he does all the work - instead his primary job is to organize and direct the whole process. Other adults are expected to pitch in with the food prep, cooking and clean-up. Adults can also form their own smaller cooking groups for other trips as well, but it's not organized by the Troop.

Food Restrictions – It's very important that all Scout families share any food allergies and/or religious restrictions with the Patrol and Troop leadership. PLEASE NOTE > It is the FAMILY'S responsibility to make the Troop actively aware of any situation that may impact our menus and scouts. This knowledge is necessary to preparing a healthy, safe meals that everyone can share and enjoy. If you have any questions about this, please contact the SPL or SM.


Feeding the Troops Pt.2 : Planning Your Menu

Scouts like to eat. Leaders too … but Scouts can really put it away. The goal is that what they’re eating is as healthy and balanced (and hopefully as cheap) as we can get them to make it. To that end, Patrol Leaders are required to submit Patrol Menus two weeks prior to every trip. Additionally menu planning is a requirement for the First Class Rank and the Cooking Merit Badge (now Eagle Required). These menus must meet the following guidelines:

  • They must be a meal the scouts will eat - it is recommended that the Patrol discuss amongst themselves what they like and what they'll actually eat to reduce food waste.
  • They must be nutritionally balanced.
  • Food items must be checked against Supertracker for both measurement and classification.
  • They must not contain any food allergens (peanuts, lactose, etc.), or religion-specific restricted items (pork, etc.).
  • Prior to any trip, the menus must be completed by the scout and submitted to the Troop menu review representative who will then review and approve (or request revisions) the menu. Menu planning not following these steps will not be accepted for rank or merit badge completion.

Ready to get started? Here are some helpful resources:

  • Menu Planning Template – This blank template is what scouts should use for all their rank and merit badge menu planning. Before every trip, a menu plan must be completed, submitted, and approved by the troop reviewing representative.
  • Menu Example (Sample) – This is a completed sample menu showing how the Menu Planning Template should be filled out. It also shows that everything input should add up to 100% (or more) of the total daily recommended amounts.
  • Daily Food Plan - This pdf shows the recommended daily amounts for the five major food groups.
  • Choose MyPlate - This is all about the nutritional information needed for your menus. This site contain the nutritional information for foods and food products to be used when filling out the Menu Planning Template. Use the links on the left of that page for individual food groups.


Feeding the Troops Pt.3 : Cooking For Rank
As mentioned above, several ranks and merit badges have cooking requirements associated with them. Make sure you talk to your Patrol Leader to find out when and where you can complete them. Remember, he can't help you if he doesn't know you need help.


  • Scout – None
  • Tenderfoot – 2a) On a campout, assist in preparing one of the meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup. 2b) While on a campout, demonstrate an appropriate method of safely cleaning items used to prepare, serve, and eat a meal. 2c) Explain the importance of eating together as a patrol.
  • Second Class – 2e) On one campout, plan and cook one hot breakfast or lunch, selecting foods from MyPlate or the current USDA nutritional model. Explain the importance of good nutrition. Demonstrate how to transport, store, and prepare the foods you selected.
  • First Class – 2a) Help plan a menu for one of the above campouts (See First Class Req. 1a) that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner, and that requires cooking at least two of the meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from MyPlate or the current USDA nutritional model and how it meets nutritional needs for the planned activity or campout. 2b) Using the menu planned in First Class Req. 2a, make a list showing a budget and the food amounts needed to feed three or more boys. Secure the ingredients. 2c) Show which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals. 2d) Demonstrate the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable food products. Show how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, and other rubbish. 2e) On one campout, serve as cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in First Class Req. 2a. Supervise the cleanup.
  • Cooking Merit BadgeSee this page for the most up-to-date requirements of this Eagle-Required Merit BadgeNote > The meals prepared for Cooking Merit Badge requirements 4, 5, and 6 will count only toward fulfilling those requirements and will not count toward rank advancement or other merit badges. Meals prepared for rank advancement or other merit badges may not count toward the Cooking merit badge. You must not repeat any menus for meals actually prepared or cooked in requirements 4, 5, and 6.
  • Camping Merit Badge – See this page for the most up-to-date requirements of this Eagle-Required Merit BadgeNote > Meals prepared for rank advancement or other merit badges may not count toward the Cooking merit badge.