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Help for Grubmasters

Grubmaster information

Now that our troop is encouraging more scouts to be grubmasters, a common response is “But I don’t know what to do!”.  So I put together a set of very basic instructions to help them out.  This is at least enough to get them started.

It also helps their parents who might not be as immersed in the program as some of us. Many times parents have more resistance to the idea of their son being grubmaster than the scout does. After all, even though the scout is supposed to do the shopping, a 12 year old is not going to drive himself to the store and purchase groceries all by himself. A set of instructions sent home with the scout should help the parents understand what is expected.

What does a Grubmaster do?

The grubmaster is a scout who purchases the food (grub) for the outing for their patrol.

Know the budget

For a weekend outing, the food budget is generally about $10 to $15 per scout. Typically, you purchase the food and turn in your receipts and the troop reimburses you for the expense. The expense is divided up among the people eating the food and the troop collects their share of the money from them. Although your unit might have a different procedure or expectations, so check before you go shopping.

official grubmaster apron in white
Get an apron for your grubmaster


It is also usual for each patrol plans its own menu. If you don’t have a copy of it, talk to your Patrol Leader. Before you shop, make sure the SPL has approved the menu to make sure it is reasonable, appropriate, and healthy. The patrol leader can tell you how many scouts you need to shop for.


Do price comparisons when shopping. This will help you stay within your budget. Consider the overall cost of the item, how many servings it will provide, and the cost per serving. Sometimes larger sizes are better, but you won’t save money if you purchase 12 servings and you only need 6.

Try to stick to the menu your patrol planned. Don’t change things just because you like something else better. You can make some adjustments if something turns out to be too expensive or you can’t find what was planned, but try to stick with the general ideas your patrol wanted.

Packing the food for camp

The food should be brought with you to the departure location, already packed in boxes and coolers and ready to go. Pack smartly – ie. keep raw meats away from stuff like fruit. Pack the menu also so the patrol knows what they are supposed to cook for each meal.

You need to pack a large ice block in each cooler to last the weekend. A gallon milk jug which has been filled with water and frozen works well. Plan ahead so you have this when you need it.

More Resources

Favorite Recipes for Scouts and Camping

Get some inspiration for recipes for your camping trip.

How to Store Food Properly in the Backcountry

See some tips from Scouting Magazine on how to store food for your backcountry adventure, where a cooler might not be an option.


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