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Cooking the Dutch Oven way

Many Scouts love the weekly programmes which are planned by the Patrol Leaders’ Council, however, there is always one activity which commands great response for everyone in the Troop and that is Dutch oven cooking coupled with backwoods cooking.

What is a Dutch oven, you may ask? A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot (usually cast iron) with a lipped tight-fitting lid. Dutch ovens were used as cooking pots for hundreds of years. The pioneers who settled the American West took Dutch ovens with them.

The Dutch oven is loved because of its versatility and is used to, bake, stew, fry, and roast. Dutch ovens are great for any type of outdoor cooking so one can well imagine that this piece of equipment is always in the Scouts’ camping necessities.

Dutch Oven Tools

The Scouts in Barbados capitalise on the tools which are used with the Dutch oven. Tools such as the long handled hook to be used when removing the cover from the utensil, the tripod, gloves and such like are designed to help make the oven experience easier when cooking out of doors.

On February 2nd 2013 the Bridgetown District Scout Committee held a Dutch Oven Cooking activity at the Harrison College Scout Hut. These specialised activities are designed not only to fine tune the training of the older Scouts in the craft but to introduce the concept to the newer ones.

It is also seen as part of the ongoing training for Scouts and Leaders within the Scout Section of the District. Nineteen Scouts from a number of Troops in the District participated. Before the commencement of the actual cooking, the Scouts were introduced to Fire Lighting by District Scouter Hamilton Roach.

In his presentation he taught the Scouts the basics of fire lighting, the types of fires that can be built as well as the safety precautions which should be taken in the lighting of fires.

Another critical session on Hygiene was presented by Scout Leader Stephen Sobers. This session covered among other areas the correct way to prepare food under camp conditions. As soon as the theory was completed the Scouts were anxious to put it into practice as they prepared macaroni pie, Baked Chicken and a cake under the supervision of the leaders at the activity. While the older Scouts were preparing the fare, the newer Scouts were being taught about the Dutch oven.

It was fun to see the otherwise shy and at times inattentive Scouts really enjoying this aspect of cooking. They prepared the items for the meal, placed in the Dutch Ovens and left them to be baked. Once the meals were finished the Scouts had the chance to sample their handiwork. It was a successful culinary display.

After the activity the Chairman of the Bridgetown District Scout Committee, Ryan Charlemagne, admitted that he was quite pleased with the activity and the fact that the young Scouts easily grasped the concept of cooking with the Dutch oven. He acknowledged that this is but one of the ways that meals are prepared while in outdoor camps and in any terrain. He promised some backwoods and more Dutch oven cooking in the very near future to hone the skills and interest of the Scouts.

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