Culinary Chow-Time Competition

Quebec City, Quebec

This cooking challenge enabled the patrols to practice decision-making, learn new cooking skills, operate a camp stove, and teamwork. It was also a lot of fun!! The schedule was as follows:

Culinary Chow-Time Competition

6-7pm Prepare "Culinary Arts"
7-7:45pm Dining by Candelight, Culinary Judging
7:45-8:30pm Clean-up Time

Rules and Regulations:

1. The main dish must be prepared using one pot or pan.
2. The main dish must be prepared on site and not prepared previously and reheated.
3. Prepare enough food for your patrol and a taste for two guests.
4. Don't forget the accompaniments, such as appetizers, bread, salad, refreshments, dessert, etc.
5. All standard safety precautions and regulations must be adhered to.
6. All food costs will be the responsibility of the culinary team.

Judges will be considering the following:

a) taste of food including visual presentation
b) originality in choice of main dish
c) table setting (eg. matching plates, cutlery, etc.)
d) table decoration (don't forget candlelight!)
e) good manners and hostessing skills
f) efficiency in clean-up
g) co-operation amongst culinary team

I first approached the patrols to see if they would be interested in doing this during one of the meetings. They loved the idea and started planning right away.

You can invite people to this event, such as District Commissioner, favourite volunteers, Camp Advisors, etc. Each patrol decided on their own menus - some brought foodstuff from home and others made a shopping list and purchased the food and divided up the costs. No funding came from the unit.

We had varied menus - grilled lasagna,sandwiches, eggs and sausage, spaghetti, etc. There were table cloths, candles, fizzy pop (wine), caesar salad, "horsey-dervies", desserts, etc. It was quite nice and almost a festive atmosphere developed.

The meals were cooked on camp stoves outside in the parking lot - well supervised! (Remember to get permission/check with Firehall - safety regs!!) Each leader assisted with the patrol, with minimum impact on decision-making. Each patrol had a duty/kaper chart outlining who would serve, cook, clean-up, and play hostess. The one thing lacking was a table grace. Other than that, it was a perfect night. The guests/judges really had a difficult time and it was suggested and agreed that everyone had done really well and they all won! Bravo to all!!

I prefer to introduce camp skills in September when we start in anticipation of camping later on. It is much easier to relax at camp when some skills have already been addressed. Also, it makes a first-time camper much more at ease about going out to camp. The girls can check off many outdoor requirements before the snow falls, and come spring we are not rushed to get the "outdoor stuff" jammed into a weekend camp. I find this type of advanced planning also enables the girls to request more camps, and perhaps we can retain the older girls in the coming years.

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