Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer

How much macaroni and cheese should you prepare to feed approximately 29 people? 

I felt a bit panicked, when I realized I had no clue how to answer this question. One, two, three, four boxes...I kept going, ripping open the boxes of pasta and pouring the tiny tubes into a huge pot of boiling water. As I stirred the bubbling pasta, I began to have other worries as well. Aren't kids the most notoriously finicky eaters? Gosh, is it possible to mess up simple mac and cheese?

So, how was it that I found myself cooking macoroni and cheese for such a large crowd? 

On the previous Friday evening, my son Daniel had arrived home from the office looking pale and complaining of feeling dizzy.

"Feel my forehead", he said to his father and I, "Do I have a fever? I don't know that I can go to camp."

This unexpected illness was a bit of a disaster, to say the least. Twenty-nine people were already on their way to the weekend Winter Camp, where Daniel was to serve not only as a leader, but as the camp cook and head bottle washer. My husband, who was also a scouter, could pick up the leadership slack, but who would do all the cooking? 

There was no time left to cancel out on the weekend camp now. So, despite the fact that I had my own plans, I dropped everything and volunteered to be the camp cook. After all, isn't that just the kind of thing we Mom's do!

The camp was held at the Blue Springs Scout Reserve, which was a spectacular setting for winter fun.

The boys and men, who where larger in number camped in the "Station Hotel", while the girls and woman had a cozy cabin just behind the main lodge.

 The atmosphere was very relaxed and casual. Don't you love this fashion-forward cub camp footwear!

Somewhere along slippery slope towards adulthood, most of us stop liking winter. Why is that?

Children have no such dread of the winter season. They may bock about putting on that heavy, cumbersome outdoor gear, and who could blame them, but they are only too happy to spend countless hours outside playing in the cold.

After breakfast on Saturday morning, everybody went tobogganing. 

Then the ball really got rolling.

Don't you just love snowmen? A single arm and a nose and you are good to go!

After lunch, there was a hayride.

Ahh, best friends forever!

And doesn't even the simplest food taste better at camp?

I don't know what I was worried about. After a morning in the fresh air, the macaroni and cheese was gobbled up in no time and I even managed to make just the right amount!

Cub camp is the one place were you won't get an argument, when you tell them 
that they have to help to do the dishes!

Dinner and breakfast the next morning also went off without a hitch thanks to some very helpful parent volunteers. 

The kids were so sweet and polite about the food. One adorable young fellow came out to the kitchen, without any adult prompting I might add, to tell me just how much he had enjoyed his dinner that night. Hey, it was a proud moment for someone who has never been particularly confident about her culinary skills.

As an extra expression of their thanks, the kids and leaders presented me with the flowers that you see pictured here at the next regular Cub Pack meeting.

Special Photo Credits for this post: While the pictures in this blog are usually my own, in this post, my own images have been augmented with those of Filipina Whittaker, Cub Mom and parent helper. Many thanks to Filipina and the other parent helpers for making the camp a huge success.

More Information and Links:
To find out more information about Scouts Canada, please click the link below.


  1. That could be a really exciting adventure with those kids. I can imagine the cold which i dont like, being from a hot climate. Then you said a certain Filipina Whittaker helped you. I guess she is from here, and we are really a helpful people. Congrats for having very well-liked meals.

  2. Looks like a fun time was had by all!

  3. You are such a good mom! I would find that a bit overwhelming to cook for that many people but it sounds as everything went well. Great job and so nice to read about children who have manners and appreciate what they are getting!

  4. Looks like the Scouts had a great time. Activities like these are such great experiences for kids, but wouldn't be possible without the dedicated volunteers who help to plan and coordinate them. Good for you for pitching in--yes, that's an aspect of being a Mom we never grow out of:) The first photo is beautiful!

  5. They all look like they were having a blast Jennifer. Why do they not feel the cold when they are young? Now I dread it. LOL! Your bouquet was a thoughtful gift and beautiful.

  6. I loved seeing the children play in the snow! You're so right - kids don't care what kind of weather is outside! How nice of you to step in, and I hope your son is feeling better. I know the kids had a great time, and you have just gained another memory of sharing, love, and laughter.

  7. This looks like it was a really great time, but I must say I love that second shot of the little pond and the red stemmed shrubs.

  8. Well I know one cub who said "Mrs. Chill she makes the best grilled cheese. Without her we wouldn't ate the whole week-end!"

  9. Just heard about your site on CBQ. It's totally awsome. It'll take time to check it out but I can hardly wait! Please enter me for he book draw. It looks like a book I want in hand, not on Kobo!


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