My oldest boy went from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts this year, and with that change came the prospect of weekend camp outs on a monthly basis. Also, the prospect of me going along on said camp outs...I figured I should check in with the troop leader (a significantly overweight man, with a son in the troop that was on the road toward being even more overweight than his dad) about what the boys eat on those weekends for two reasons, 1) my kid had cancer, so we don't have him eat a bunch of sugary processed crap, figuring he should have fruit and veggies instead, and 2) I sure wanted to know for my own sake. Here's what I found out from the troop leader - the boys that lead the patrols are in charge of the menu and the cooking. I asked 'so, if the boys choose to bring nothing but Pop Tarts and hot dogs...?' and he said "we allow them to fail, it's part of the learning process for them." Stunning. Strangely enough, they don't have that same 'learning from failure' ideal in place at the gun range. He did say though that we could certainly bring along food of our own.
We took a cooler with fruit and vegetables for both of us, and some bread, avocado, cereal, and hummus for me. Guess who else had fruit and veggies at the camp site? NO ONE. Saturday morning my son's patrol leader did not do a headcount, and as a result my son missed breakfast - a breakfast of bacon and gatorade. That's it. That is a FANTASTIC way to eat in the morning to be ready for a full day of activity in the sun! Suffice it to say, I had a bunch of fruit and such to give my boy, along with plenty of water. For lunch the boys had meat sandwiches, and again I doled out some fruit. One of the dads who attended roasted a whole pig for the troop to eat that night for dinner. What went with it? Rice and beans - white rice with zero nutritional value, and canned black beans with loads of sodium, cooked with an excess of olive oil. My spinach and avocado salad was really good.
Yes, I know Scouting and camp outs are not just about food, BUT, I would think that since part of the Scout motto is "I will keep myself physically fit," then some level of appropriate guidance in how to eat would be a worthy idea? They have the boys work on calisthenics, but say nothing about how to fuel their bodies in order to do the calisthenics! Perhaps other troops do it better, or at least I hope so.