Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dr. Pepper Chicken

We had a campout this weekend. With as much rain as we've been having lately, we changed the scheduled backpack outing into a car camp. Next month we have a great backpacking trip on the schedule, so I don't feel too bad about it.

One benefit to car camping is that you can focus on playing games and cooking. With backpacking, you have to focus much more on the actual trip, making sure everyone has just the bare minimum of equipment so packs don't get too heavy. At the same time, you have to make sure you have everything you need, since you can't just drive back into town really quick to grab something you forgot.

Of course the boy, who complained last week that we only ever plan stuff and don't actually do anything, was there when we planned the campout and bought the food but had something more important come up and didn't come on the campout with us. He's the same one who wonders why he's never been called into any kind of leadership role. He's the second oldest in the troop, but only comes about half the time. He doesn't quite draw the connection between his flaky attendance and lack of what he would consider a prestigious position in the troop. We've been discussing making him a Patrol Leader or something that would give him a responsibility and see if it will motivate him to attend more.

The weather cooperated and dinner turned out pretty good. We did a fairly traditional Dutch Oven Potatoes recipe. The main course was Dr. Pepper Chicken. Basically, you mix a cup or two of Dr. Pepper or Pepsi with a bottle or two of barbecue sauce in a Dutch Oven. That's it for the sauce. Throw in a bunch of chicken breasts and let it boil away until done. With the Dr. Pepper mixed in, the chicken gets really tender without needing to be marinated beforehand. The other nice thing about it is that you can use cheap barbecue sauce. Normally I extremely dislike Kraft or store-brand barbecue sauces. I'll go cheap on a lot of things, but not on barbecue sauce. Adding Dr. Pepper turns any cheapo sauce into a gourmet sauce, plus you get to drink whatever is left over.

I supervised while the scouts cooked. It was fun to see them struggle with such simple tasks, partially because they just don't have the skills and partially because they didn't have all the equipment they needed. Sometimes I'll take more control and make sure we have everything we need and be really hands-on with the cooking. I'll always cook a really nice meal for the boys on the last day of our week-long summer camp, since they've been cooking all week long. But I also like letting the boys plan it all and forget certain things, since it helps them learn. If I always put all the equipment and supplies together myself, they likely won't remember what they need if I'm not there. If, on the other hand, they experience a campout without a nice knife and cutting board for preparing the chicken or cups to drink out of or plates to eat on or ketchup for their breakfast burritos, they'll remember for sure next time to put that stuff in.

This coming week's activity is going to be combined with all the Young Men. I'll be hooking up with a former Scoutmaster of our ward to do a Dutch Oven cooking demonstration. We haven't nailed down the menu yet, but it should be fun.

1 comment:

  1. I was looking for a Dr. Pepper recipe for my girl scout campout and came across your blog. Your post was an entertaining read. We'll be eating Dr. Pepper chicken next weekend...only we'll add sliced potatoes with the chicken!
    A Mormon Girl Scout leader in WA