Buying food for a patrol
Buying food for your patrol is a very important job! If you don’t buy enough, your patrol members aren’t going to be very happy. At the same time, if you buy too much food, some of it will be wasted.
Managing the food buying task is very important. Keeping track of who in your patrol is going, how much money they’ve paid in, setting your budget and managing your funds are a big part of being successful in this leadership task.
To start, plan the menu with your patrol. Get a firm count of how many patrol members are going at the campout prep meeting. The best way to keep track of this job is to use our Campout Planning Guide. Once you know the number going camping, plan to only buy as much food as your patrol will need … you want to be as close to the correct amount as possible.
Buying too much food costs extra money and is wasteful. Typically, leftover food is not sanitary by the time the campout is over and must be thrown out. Try your best to stay within your budget. If you have 10 patrol members, but only 7 have paid and said they are going, your budget is $91, not $150 (based on $15.00 per scout). Plan your menu and purchases accordingly. After you have purchased the food, place the receipts in an envelope with the names of those who paid on the outside. Also put the total cost of the food, ice and supplies on the envelope. If there is change, place it in the envelope.
Buying food for the patrol is supposed to be a break-even proposition. You should not keep any change, and you should not run out of money. When you are done, return the envelope to the Scoutmaster. He will keep any extra money in the envelope set aside for your patrol. This way, if you or the next person to buy comes up short, you or they will be reimbursed only to the extent that your patrol has returned their overages in the past. If it is found that you have purchased wastefully and are short on funds, monies to make up the shortage may not be available. It is your job when buying the food to stay within your budget!
Once you arrive for the campout and turn in your envelope to the Scoutmaster, your job is not complete. After the campout, the person who bought the food, is also responsible for removing all food from the patrol boxes and cooler and disposing of it in an appropriate manner. Disposal may mean splitting it between patrol members or giving it to one. Be careful, though … if the food is spoiled or ruined, it should be disposed of in the church dumpster located in the parking lot.
If you used a Troop ice chest for the campout, you are responsible for taking it home, cleaning it thoroughly, disinfecting it and bringing it to the next Troop meeting. If you brought your own ice chest, you are responsible for taking it home immediately.