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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Troop Grubmaster Duties

For the Troop (the Crew and Team may run things differently).
This information is from Brother Mark.
Ideally here's what happens:

The grubmaster is responsible for:

  • planning the meals, 
  • collecting the cash, 
  • buying the food, and 
  • bringing the food to the outing. 

That's about it. I'll explain each in more detail.

Plan the Meals:

After he's assigned, the grubmaster should ask the patrol leader how many meals of which type to plan. They should also understand whether or not these meals will be prepared and eaten while camping, backpacking, hiking, etc and whether or not they should be no-cook meals. For example, on our next campout (August 21-23) we need dinner on Thursday; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday; and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Friday's lunch should be no-cook so that it can be eaten while fishing or hiking.

If the scout is working on Cooking merit badge, they should meet with the merit badge counselor before planning the meals.

The grubmaster then plans the meals. He can get help, if he needs it, from another scout, a parent, a scout leader, or a merit badge counselor.

If the grubmaster is working on a merit badge (either Cooking or Camping), after he plans the meals, he needs to get them approved by their merit badge counselor. (You can do this by emailing the plan to your merit badge counselor.) If he's not working on a merit badge, he doesn't need to get the meal plan approved.

(At the moment the Cooking Merit Badge Counselor is Sister Morriberon & the Camping Merit Badge Counselor is Brother Wilkinson)

Once he has the meal plan, he gets the head-count for the outing from the patrol leader. He then calculates the total cost of the food, and divides by the number of participants. This gives the cost per person.

For example, for our August campout we'll have 9 scouts and 3 leaders. However, 1 of the leaders will prepare his own food (me), because of dietary problems. So, there will be 11 participants. Calculate the cost of the food to feed 11 people, then divide by 11 to get the cost per person. Round up to the nearest dollar value. If this cost is estimated to be $8.25, round up to $9.

Email cost per person and the completed meal plan to the entire troop.

A note on dietary restrictions: before the meal plan is made, any participant may opt out of the meal plan and bring their own food. I always opt out because of problems I have with preservatives and other chemicals.

Collect Cash:

On the Saturday or Sunday before the outing, the grubmaster sends an email to the whole troop, reminding them to bring their food money to the Tuesday Scout meeting. Remind them how much to bring, and remind them to bring cash in exact denomination. If the cost is $9, they should bring $9 -- not a $20 bill! The grubmaster is not expected to provide change.

Scouts that forget to bring cash (or don't have the exact amount) to scout meeting will need to bring cash to the grubmaster's home the day after the scout meeting. The scoutmaster will give the grubmaster any money left over from the prior outing. At the scout meeting before the outing, it is also be appropriate for the grubmaster to pick an assistant to help buy the food (if the grubmaster wants an assistant).

Buy the Food:

The grubmaster (and their assistant if they want one) go shopping at their convenience. They will likely need a parent to drive them, and youth protection rules must be followed. A parent can only be alone in a vehicle with their own son. They cannot ever be alone with a scout who is not their son.

The grubmaster should pay for the food with the cash they collected at the scout meeting. They should keep the receipt. The receipt and the change should be given to the scoutmaster at the outing gathering.

If any food is perishable, it is the grubmaster's responsibility to provide ice to preserve the perishable food.

If the grubmaster has planned individual meals, the grubmaster should break the food into individual food packs for each scout. (This is occasionally done for trail meals, rather than camp meals.)

Bring the Food to the Outing:

The grubmaster brings the food wherever the scouts gather to depart for the outing. The patrol leader then takes responsibility for it. At this time, the grubmaster gives the food receipt and any change to the scoutmaster. The grubmaster should provide guidance to the cooks for preparing the planned meals.
Grubmaster will assist Patrol leader in loading and distributing food as needed.

That's all the grubmaster does.

Other Non-grubmaster Food Responsibilities:

It is the responsibility of the patrol leader:
  • to assign the grubmaster, 
  • to tell the grubmaster what types of meals to plan for the outing, and 
  • to tell the grubmaster how many people will be attending the outing. 
  • to assign cooks, clean-up, etc. for each of the meals. Obviously, the grubmaster will assist the patrol leader in making these assignments. The patrol leader may also delegate some of these responsibilities to other scouts (but not back to the grubmaster who's already done a lot of work). 
  • to load the food into the vehicle (either packing it in troop boxes or distributing it to everyone's packs). 

It is the responsibility of the scoutmaster
  • to save left-over money for the next outing. 
If you have any questions, please let me know.


Brother Mark