Summer is less than a month away, and here in California we’re already feeling the heat. One of my favorite things about warmer weather is getting to spend lots of time outside hanging out with friends, relaxing in the sunshine, and eating good food—especially the food. During the summer, an abundance of tasty fruits and veggies come into season and there are many delicious dishes that can easily be prepared outdoors. I’ve rounded up a dozen classic outdoor cooking recipes for you to test with your Girl Scouts on your next outdoor adventure or troop camping trip!
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New to cooking outdoors or with a group of children? Read through the Outdoor Cooking Safety Activity Checkpoints to ensure a safe and fun experience is had by all.
In the Morning
- Campfire Style Breakfast Burritos—Forget cold cereal and burnt toast! Prep these burritos at home, wrap them in foil, and reheat them over some campfire coals for a warm, comforting breakfast.
- DIY Instant Oatmeal—Sometimes there’s nothing better than good ol’ oatmeal to start a morning off right while your girls are still rubbing the sleep from their eyes (and let’s be honest, you’re suppressing the yawns with some campfire coffee). Hint: it’s the toppings that transform the hearty oats from plain to palatable.
- Eggs in an Orange—I haven’t made these myself, but eggs in an orange sound kooky and fun and like something Girl Scouts would like to try, so I had to include the instructions. If you decide to give these a try, let me know how they come out in the comments section below!
- Ants on a Log—Don’t worry, no actual ants will be harmed in the consumption of this snack, but your girls will be crawling with excitement as they personalize their celery “logs” with peanut butter and raisins, berries, and other bite-sized “ants”.
- Banana Boat—Banana boats are a classic Girl Scout camp snack that can be quickly cooked on coals or a grill without any monkeying around.
- Bannock on a Stick—Also known as campfire bread, adventurers have been gnawing on this simple fare for ages. Serve the sticks as a snack to hold your girls over until mealtime, or cook bannocks to accompany your main dish.
Midday and Evening Meals
- Dutch Oven Sloppy Joes—Running around outside all day makes for hungry campers, so make sure your girls refuel with a protein-rich meal. Have vegans or vegetarians in your troop? You can replace the meat with a meatless ground protein (Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef works well as a base for recipes like this).
- Grilled Chicken Panini—You can turn just about any sandwich into a hot panini by putting it in a skillet for a few minutes, but here’s some finer fare for the campers with more sophisticated palates.
- Veggie Party Pack—Throw some chopped veggies, a little olive oil, and seasoning together in a pouch of folded foil, and heat. Yes, it’s that easy. Foil packets (also called HOBO Packs) are a versatile way to make meals for a whole troop, and a scouting staple. You can prep all the ingredients the day before to let them marinate, or create an assembly line so each girl can choose her own veggies, proteins, and seasoning. It’s best to use veggie proteins like tofu and tempeh for this, but if you include meat, be sure to check that it’s thoroughly cooked before eating to avoid food poisoning. If you need a visual, check out Troop 341 from Southern Nevada’s video tutorial detailing how to safely make and cook foil food packets.
- Foil Pack Cinnamon Apples—This foil pack dessert is fun to make with younger girls because it requires just a few ingredients and doesn’t take too long to cook. Prep the packets together and place them on the coals (or grill) before you sit down for dinner, and they’ll be ready to devour right after the main course.
- Campfire Dump Cake—Nothing quite takes the cake on quick and easy desserts like a campfire dump cake. Simply pick up any boxed cake mix and pie filling and you’re ready to go!
- Ice Cream in A Bag—Proof that cooking is a real science (no freezer or flames necessary)! Let your girls see some chemistry in action as they make this icy treat outdoors on a hot summer day.
Want more recipes? Our sisters at Girl Scouts of Western Ohio recommend eight campfire dishes to tempt your taste buds.
What are your favorite camping recipes? Any tips for cooking outdoors with troops? Make sure to tell us about your outdoor cooking adventures in the comments!
Ashley Redfield—Ashley is the Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she’s constantly planning, creating, and managing awesome content for social media. After graduating from Mills College (a women’s college in Oakland), Ashley joined the Girl Scout movement where she loves being part of a team that helps girls unlock their potential and continuing that legacy of women’s leadership. She has spent much of her life exploring Northern California, especially the Bay Area, so when not behind a blue-lit screen, you’ll probably find her hiking through a local park or at a café planning her next road trip.