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Boy Scouts ‘cook up’ good time at Pt. A

This past weekend at Point A Lodge, Boy Scouts with Troop No. 46 learned just what it means to cook up a good mean in the great outdoors – and in the freezing cold.

Troop leaders led the boys through what is called a “skills outing” where scouts practiced their cooking skills.

Each patrol was assigned different dishes to prepare from chili, beef stew, meatloaf, teriyaki pork chops, corn bread, two different cobblers and pineapple upside down cake.

They also had to prepare dinner for their patrol’s Friday night meal and breakfast on Saturday morning consisting of eggs, bacon or ham, grits and canned biscuits in a dutch oven. On Saturday night, scouts prepared dinner for their parents.

“We cooked for ourselves, and the adults went to the store and got our food,” said Johnathan Bryant, a sixth grader at Andalusia Middle School. “Normally we get our own menus and go to the store, but we cooked outside. We stayed in that building for those two nights; it was too cold to stay outside, nobody would let us.

“Outdoor…we had gas stoves and hooked them up to our propane tanks,” he said. “We had a lantern that we light. We do have a fire, it’s usually in the middle of our camp, but we didn’t use it for cooking. We used coals and Dutch ovens to make the cobbler.”

Stephen Caton, a Life Scout and 15-year-old Andalusia High School freshman, said the weekend got off to a great start Friday.

“We went up on Friday and we were going to teach proper cooking and sanitation methods,” he said. “We cooked our supper on Friday night, and we woke up and cooked breakfast on Saturday morning. All day Saturday, we fished and made a potato gun that shot potatoes into the lake. And then they made their lunch, and worked on different scout crafts and skills. And then they had a cooking and sanitation class.

“And then Saturday night, each boy made a different meal, and the parents were invited to come and everybody went around and sampled everybody’s meals,” he said.

“That was all done over an open fire or with gas grills, Dutch ovens and charcoal. Since the peanut butter salmonella scare, they talked about not cross-preparing your foods. And how to properly clean and prepare your cooking utensils after you’ve eaten. The importance of a well-balanced meal, the right temperature to cook, and stuff.”

Troop leader Matt Mancil praised the scouts for their participation in the event.

“Cooking is a skill that every man needs to possess, so some of these boys were able to get a head start,” he said.