Every year, my Older Troop evolves their cooking methods and cooking gear, trying out new techniques and new things to make. To prep for their 2015 campout, they learned how to make vagabond stoves and buddy burners using the traditional #10 can (acquired from the local elementary school for free!) and tuna cans.
In 2016, my Co-Leader and I had a great idea to make a “cook kit” for the girls, so they could take home their own stove (instead of me storing them in my garage) to be ready for the next campout.
Here’s a picture of one of our cook kits next to one of our old #10 can vagabond stoves. The girls managed to abscond with all of the smaller stoves we made for the 2016 campout. However, they looked just like their bigger cousin, only using a 28 oz. tomato can instead. As you may be able to tell in the picture, our buddy burners this year were made out of cat food cans, so as to fit in the smaller stove.
We spent one meeting prepping the cook kit contents in stations, with help from the parents that were spending the night at camp with us.
Station 1 – First Aid Kit
Their first aid kits were made from Altoid tins, covered in white duct tape and a red electrical tape cross on the top. Inside, we gave them wipes and cotton swabs for cleaning a wound, antibiotic ointment, bandaids and larger bandage. While the girls assembled the first aid kits, our camping First Aider talked to them about treating burns: clean the wound, cool the wound with water or ice, and cover the wound.
Station 2 – Buddy Burners
My Co-Leader and I precut the cardboard strips for this project (cookie cases to the rescue!!) because we had the girls cut them last year. Not only did it take forever, but they whined and tried to get out of it, because even in seventh grade, they just don’t really have the hand strength for it not to hurt a lot to cut the cardboard. So, all they had to do was roll the cardboard strips around a birthday candle tightly and insert the roll into the cat food can. Then they took it over to the propane stove, where my Co-Leader was melting and pouring wax.
Station 3 – Vagabond Stove
Here, we had the dad who was coming camping with us. Working with the tin snips made him happy. He cut the doors using the shears, and watched as the girls punched the holes using the church keys.
Station 4 – Menu planning and testing
This was my station. We had a full vagabond stove set up roaring (heating chili for Frito Pie, I think) to show the girls who had just joined our troop how it works. They also got to vote on which meal choices they wanted at this station.
Can Decoration – At Camp
When we actually went to camp, we wanted to surprise the girls with their finished cook kits. So, we got the 1/2 gallon paint cans from The Container Store, and some beautiful mehndi inspired bandanas, and some hotpads. And duct tape. 🙂 One of the activities at camp was to decorate their paint can with duct tape, and label it with their name. Then by the end of the weekend it had been used, filled, and didn’t come back to my garage!
The girls’ final cook kits contained:
- 28 oz. vagabond stove
- 2 cat can buddy burners
- bandana (to hold back their hair, or to wear bandit style if the fire gets really smoky)
- hair elastics (for the girls with long hair)
- first aid kit