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Dutch Oven Fruit Cobbler

by Bob Maxwell, Scout Leader


Get the charcoal going about half an hour before you are read to cook. Use a charcoal starter can (a large empty coffee can with vent holes) or stack charcoal in a pile. Light the charcoal and let it burn until briquettes turn white on the outside.


Line a Dutch oven with heavy duty aluminum foil. Fill it with a layer of canned pie filling. Choose cherry, apple, peach, berry or apricot. Use two cans for a 10" pan and 3 cans for a 12" pan. For a 10" pan, sprinkle almost all of a box of white cake mix on top of the pie filling. For a 12" pan, use the entire box of cake mix. (For cherry pie filling, you can use chocolate cake mix instead.) Squirt about 1/4 Cup of liquid margarine all over the top of the cake mix. (You can also use pats of butter spread over the top.)


Place a piece of foil on the ground and put 8-10 hot charcoal briquettes on it. Spread them around. Sit the Dutch oven on top of the briquettes. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and place 16-20 hot charcoal briquettes on top of the lid. Bake for about 30 minutes with charcoal both on top and under the Dutch oven. Use heavy pliers or a lid lifter to remove the lid and check on the cobbler. It will be lightly browned on top when it is done. If it doesn't seem to be browning, you can add more charcoals to the lid.


Supervise children around the hot pot and charcoal.



Collect Summer Bugs

Most kids like bugs! To collect bugs, check plants and other areas for harmless ones and put them into an unbreakable jar with a lid that has been prepared with air holes. The jar can also have some leaves, flowers, a sprinkling of water and maybe some tiny scraps of bread. Watch the bugs' activities for a while. After observing and discussing the bugs, release them back into their familiar territory. It's not only fun but teaches respect for life...even if it's bugs.

Make your own table in the woods

It's all done with lashing and knots! It's very easy to do and lots of fun!

Want S'more?

To make a s'more, begin by toasting a marshmallow over a campfire. (Okay, in desperation, we've been known to use the kitchen stove.) If you hold it over hot coals and away from flames, it can become very soft and puffy and not burnt. This is the best way for a s'more. Take a graham cracker and break it in half to make two square pieces of cracker. Place a square of a chocolate bar on top of a graham cracker. When your marshmallow is toasted and soft, place it on top of the chocolate and squish the second piece of graham cracker on top to make a "sandwich". It tastes so good, you will want "s'more"--which is precisely how they were named. For variations, get some chocolate, butterscotch, mint or peanut butter chips and sprinkle them on the graham cracker or on top of the regular piece of chocolate.

Toast Marshmallows


If fire restrictions allow, have a campfire at a campsite, on the beach or in a bar-b-q grill in the backyard. Make your own marshmallow stick using a wire hanger. Straighten it out and then bend one end for a handle. Cover the handle portion with duct tape to insulate it and keep it from getting too hot. In addition to having plain marshmallows, you can, of course, add graham crackers and chocolate to make s'mores. (Another great way to enjoy marshmallows is to take a half of canned peach with a marshmallow in the center and sprinkle a little cinnamon on it. Wrap it all in two layers of aluminum foil and cook it on coals for about 10 minutes.) Always watch children around fire. Marshmallows are especially sticky when melted and can cause serious burns.

Play in a Tent

Summer is a good time to escape to the woods, fields, backyard or wherever you can find a spot to set up a tent. Hike, eat outdoors, fish, look for rocks, bugs, wildflowers and critters. Look at birds with binoculars and listen to their songs. Get a star chart and identify constellations at night. (Look for Perseid meteor showers about the middle of August.) Toss stones into the water or try to skip them across the top of lake or stream. Play games or read stories in the tent. Tell stories and sing songs around a campfire. Relax before the busy season begins.



Here's a link to an article for family camping beginners by freelance writer, Jenny Holt.

Put the FUN in Parenting!

Mother Lode

The Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy

Over 5,000 Ideas for Tots through Teens

Includes Camping Activities!  

By Kas Winters 

USD $30.00

So small it fits in your pocket!


The Little Book of KNOTS

Written by Roger Winters 

Illustrated by Kas Winters

"Mother of Family Ideas"



Things to do While Camping

Watch for animals, birds and bugs.

Look for rocks and fossils on the ground.

Learn to identify trees, bushes, and flowers.

Blow dandelion seeds and make a wish.

Look at the clouds and find pictures in them.

Enjoy the sunset and sunrise.

Listen to the birds. Listen to the sound of a creek running. Listen to the sound of the wind. At night listen to the crickets, cicadas, coyotes and other sounds of nature.

Toss rocks in the water (unless people are trying to fish in the area.) Skip rocks across the top of the water.

Take a hike. Take water with you.

Build things using rocks and sticks.

Make shadow pictures using your flashlight.

Look at things with a magnifying glass.

Look at the stars at night. Find some planets. Identify a constellation. Look for the north star. See the Milky Way.

Learn how to identify poison ivy.

Sing songs while hiking or around a campfire.

Tell bedtime stories around the campfire.

Toast marshmallows.

Cook dinner on a stick or wrapped in foil.

Collect pinecones.

Learn to tie knots and lash sticks together.

Play pick-up sticks with twigs.

Toss a pinecone and hit it with a stick.

Play horseshoes with forked tree branches.

Use a compass.

Sleep in a sleeping bag or a hammock.

Make your own trail mix.

Gather fire wood.


Get OUTDOORS and have some FUN with NATURE.






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