Category: Quartermaster (QM)

Leaders serving lunch at Blair Atholl Jamborette 2018

Your menu ideas

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If you have any ideas for the menu at Blair Atholl 2022, we would love to hear from you!

Send us an email at

Make sure you include

  • Which meal your idea is for
  • Any special diets your idea caters for
  • The name of your recipe
  • The ingredients and instructions – or a link, if it’s online.

Scottish and Japanese Explorer Scouts cooking dinner at Blair Atholl

Camp menu

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We had started to plan the menu for Blair Atholl 2020 before the camp was cancelled, so here’s a few days of suggestions that you could make at home.

We’ve posted the list of ingredients for all our dinner recipes, if you want to shop in advance. Make sure you check back from 24-26 July to see all the instructions.

Why not pick one or two days to recreate as part of your Blair Everywhere experience? If you can cook over a fire or a barbecue that would add to the fun, but make sure you get permission and do it somewhere safe! Share your photos on social media with #BlairEverywhere.

Day 1:

Breakfast: fruit juice, cereal, yoghurts, bread, croissants, jam
Lunch: Cold buffet
Dinner: Orzo Pasta with veg & pancetta
Dinner Alternative: Orzo pasta with veg
Dessert: Swiss roll & Custard
Supper: Cake

Day 2:

Breakfast: fruit juice, cereal, veg sausage/ sausage, potato scone, rolls
Lunch: Cold buffet
Dinner: Mince & Potatoes
Dinner Alternative: Quorn Mince & potatoes
Dessert: Angel delight and fruit
Supper: Biscuits & Cheese

Day 3:

Breakfast: fruit juice, cereal, yoghurts, bread, pancakes, butter, jam
Lunch: Cold buffet
Dinner: Chicken Curry
Dinner Alternative: Veg Curry
Dessert: Apple Pie & Cream
Supper: Hotdogs

Day 4:

Breakfast: fruit juice, cereal, Bacon, egg rolls
Lunch: Cold buffet
Dinner: Pork stir fry & noodles
Dinner Alternative: Veg stir fry & noodles
Dessert: Chocolate bananas
Supper: Shortbread & Biscuits

Day 5:

Breakfast: fruit juice, cereal, yoghurts, bread, bagel, cream cheese
Lunch: Cold buffet
Dinner: Smoked sausage pasta in tomato sauce
Dinner Alternative: Pasto with pesto
Dessert: Rice pudding & Fruit
Supper: Cake

Day 6:

Breakfast: fruit juice, cereal, Potato scone, sausage/ vegetarian sausage, egg, rolls
Lunch: Cold buffet
Dinner: Chilli & Rice
Dinner Alternative: 3 bean chilli & rice
Dessert: pot trifles
Supper: Biscuits & Cheese

Rows of boxes filled with supplies for the Explorers at Blair Atholl Jamborette

Menu notes

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About the meals

(This page makes a lot more sense once you’ve read our Camp Menu!)

Breakfast would normally alternate between hot and cold meals. That would mean the patrol only have to light a fire in the morning every second day. If you decide to use one of the hot options, if you have the means to do so, then try cooking it over a fire in the morning whether it’s raining or not! Remember the Explorers on camp don’t get the option!

Lunch is provided centrally from the subcamp. This is due to the Explorers not always having the time or inclination to actually prepare food at lunchtime. This method ensures everyone gets the opportunity to eat.

This year it was going to be a choice of bread, wraps, pitta, salad stuffs, cold meats, tuna mayo, chicken mayo, coleslaw, cheese, dressings, biscuits, crisps and fruit. There would also be the option of soup depending on the weather. Other than the soup this meal is always cold, there is no cooked food at lunchtime.

Dinner – main meal, this is the standard provision for those who have a standard diet and have no other requirements.

This can be tweaked depending on what dietary requirements and allergies we are aware of and is normally done at short notice. As there can be so many variations on specific requirements we tend not to have a written plan in place and make it up as we go along using the various ingredients we’re able to buy.

Dinner – alternative, this is a standard provision for those who are simply vegetarian. We are making progress with this side of the menu in trying to make the vegetarian option suitable for a vegan diet at the same time. Unfortunately with the cancellation this wasn’t completed and the menu you see is pretty much only suitable for vegetarians. Although if you require a vegan option then please substitute as necessary. If you have any suggestions for the future feel free to send us some ideas that we can use in 2022 (remember we don’t have ovens on patrol sites.)

Dinner – dessert, exactly what it says on the tin. Fairly straightforward and enough to satisfy the sweetest tooth most of the time. We don’t have fridges and freezers on the patrol site (only at the main QM store) so the dessert menu has to be thought about carefully.

Supper is provided centrally. The Explorers can pick and choose whether they want to take something or not at this time, normally the subcamp would also put on a pot of hot chocolate for those that want it.

What goes into the menu planning?

Cooking experience, fires and equipment

The menu for the camp is designed with the Explorer age range in mind, some who will be excellent cooks and some not so. What is common amongst them all is that few will have much experience cooking over an open fire for between 8 and 12 people at a time. There are no ovens or microwaves on patrol sites, meals are cooked entirely over unregulated fires. From that point of view the meals and ingredients are fairly basic and I’d suggest to get an authentic experience you either cook on a fire, if you have the means or purely on the hob, no oven or microwave!

This year we were aiming to provide the patrols with more raw ingredients and the option to pick up spices and additional supplements from their subcamp base. The thinking being that the more adventurous could add to their evening meals as necessary.

It’s also worth noting that the patrols are provided with a stock of normal household items at the beginning of the camp. Some of these are mentioned in the methods for creating the main meals but not in the ingredient list. Including salt, pepper, butter/ marg and cleaning products!

Recipe cards vs Camp Cook Book

Previously we provided the patrol with a booklet that gave them ideas for alternative breakfast ideas and the basic recipe for the main meal of the day. In 2020 we had already started to develop this into single A4 pages with a list of the ingredients and a recipe idea to fit what they were provided with. From our point of view this should have worked better, as we can adapt that single page on a daily basis if we have supply issues or if we had to tweak some of the alternative menu options depending on particular dietary requirements.

What we left out

We have taken 6 days menu from what had been planned for the camp at the time of cancellation for you to pick and choose what you might like to try. The 4 days that have been removed are mainly the meals that would have been catered centrally within the subcamp setting rather than in individual patrols of between 8 and 12 Explorers and are geared more towards large catering quantities rather than the standard retail products that we provide the patrols.

Wondering about quantities?

All the products we provide are sourced from wholesalers and local businesses and come in standard sizes that you would normally use in the house, we simply scale it up to 12 people. ie 1x500g pack of pasta for 4 – 5 people (75 – 100g per person) would become 3 x 500g packs. That leaves a little extra should anyone be particularly hungry.

You might look at the menu and think, that’s quite a lot of food when you take into account the 3 course dinner each night, maybe even a bit sugary at times. The Explorers are living in a field and mostly taking part in activities that are draining. They are also on the go from around 7.30 am until 11pm and sometimes a bit later. They need the calories!

Note from the Editor: Thanks to our Camp Quartermaster for giving us this behind the scenes insight into how the menu is planned and thought through!

Day 1

Orzo pasta with veg (& pancetta)

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  • Pancetta (if using)
  • Garlic Granules/powder
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Basil
  • Parmesan
  • Orzo Pasta
  • Chopped Onion
  • Sliced Peppers
  • Veg Stock
  • Lemon
  • Frozen peas

For Dessert

  • Swiss Roll
  • Ambrosia Custard


Warm a large pot add a small amount of oil then add the chopped onion, chopped peppers, sliced mushrooms and garlic along with a pinch of salt and fry until soft.

Increase the heat and stir in the orzo. Fry for 2 mins, stirring constantly, then pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. For a full patrol of 12 you might have 1500g pasta, so you’d use 1500ml stock.

Add more stock gradually, stirring constantly, as the orzo absorbs the liquid (similar to cooking a risotto).

After 5 mins, stir in the petit pois and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to add the remaining stock, stirring, as the mixture cooks. Simmer until the orzo is cooked through.

Shortly before the main dish is cooked fry the pancetta in a separate frying pan until crisp and golden (skip this step if you would like the vegetarian option.)

Add the lemon juice & basil

Season to taste, then cover and leave to rest for 2 mins.

Serve and add pancetta, if using, and parmesan as required.

Day 2

Mince and potatoes

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Beef mince/ Quorn Mince
Quartered Potatoes
Sliced Carrots
Chopped Onions
Beef/ veg stock cube

For dessert:

Angel delight
Tinned fruit


Cut potatoes into smaller chunks.
Put potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water and put on heat to boil. (you will want to split your potatoes over a couple of pans to cook quicker).
Boil water and make your stock. (beef stock for the beef mince, veg stock for the quorn mince)
Meanwhile add the oil to a heavy based pan (cast iron is great for this wholesome eat), add carrot, onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t take colour. Add the mince and cook off till completely browned, when browned continue frying for a few more mins. At this point add some salt and pepper.
Add stock and leave the pan slightly covered and simmer for 35 -45 mins. after which time you may season to your taste.
Drain the potatoes and roughly mash with a little butter to taste. Serve the mince with hot buttered potatoes, and bread to soak up the delicious gravy.

Day 3

Chicken or veggie curry

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  • Diced cooked chicken (if using. At home, you could use raw breast and chop it yourself – make sure you cook it thoroughly! At camp we use pre cooked diced chicken to make it easier and safer)
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Sliced Carrots
  • Veg stock cube
  • Chopped Onion
  • Coriander
  • Diced Potato
  • Boil in bag rice (again this is for simplicity when cooking rice for 12, you could use normal bagged rice measured out per person)
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic powder/ granules
  • Tinned tomatoes

For dessert:

  • Apple Pie (Pre cooked and can be eaten cold)
  • Cream


Half-fill a saucepan with cold water and add the potatoes and carrots. (split over a couple of pots)
Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes. (make sure they are softish)
Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan or wide-based saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes or until well softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly. Sprinkle over the curry powder and cook for 30 seconds more, stirring.
If you’re using raw chicken, and you don’t need the veggie alternative, you can add it in here and cook for a few extra minutes. If you do need the alternative, cook it in a separate pan to add at the end.
Add the tomatoes to the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the potato, carrots, peas, spinach and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. If the sauce thickens too much, add a splash of water.
If you’re using pre cooked chicken, you can heat the chicken in another pan whilst the curry mixture is simmering – make sure you don’t burn it.
Split out any curry required for alternative diets then add the chicken to the main pot and stir it together.
Serve immediately

Day 4

Pork or veggie stir fry & noodles

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  • Pork strips (if using)
  • Beansprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Mangetout
  • Baby corn
  • Egg noodles
  • Honey
  • Soy sauce
  • Sliced Peppers
  • Ginger
  • Garlic powder/ granules
  • Chopped Onion
  • Lemon juice

For dessert:

  • Chocolate drops
  • Bananas


Season the pork with pepper.
Spray a large wok, or deep frying pan, with cooking spray and place over a high heat. Stir-fry the pork for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
Mix the honey, soy sauce and lemon juice in a bowl (you’ll need a fair bit but not all of it!)
In a different pan, reduce the heat a little and spray with more oil. Stir-fry the mushrooms, onion, pepper, corn cobs and pepper for 2 minutes. Add the mangetout and cook for a minute. Add the ginger and garlic and and stir-fry for a short time.
If you have dried noodles, pre-cook them according to the packet instructions
Separate out enough for alternative dietary needs then return the pork to one of the pans and pour over some of the soy sauce mixture. Cook for a short time, or until the sauce has thickened and the pork is cooked through.
Pour the remainder of the soy sauce mixture over the non pork pan and cook for a few minutes.
Add the noodles to each pan and stir them in. If you’re using fresh noodles, give them a few minutes to heat through.
Serve immediately.

For the chocolate bananas:

Cut a slot down the middle of each banana, stuff with choc drops and wrap in foil.
Place in embers of fire for 5 – 10 minutes until chocolate has melted through.

Day 5

Smoked sausage and tomato or pesto pasta

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Smoked Sausage
Garlic Powder/ Granules
Chopped Onion
Tomato puree
Chopped tinned tomatoes
Veg stock Cube
Oregano/ Basil
Grated cheese

For the alternative:

  • Pasta
  • Chopped onions
  • Pesto (we use jars at camp but you could make your own!)
  • Grated Cheese

For dessert:

  • Ambrosia Rice Pudding
  • Tinned fruit


Boil a pot of water with salt and add the pasta.
Slice the smoked sausage into discs.
Lightly fry the chopped onion, add the smoked sausage discs and heat through.
Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic powder, herbs and stock cubes, simmer.
Add additional hot water if required.
Drain the cooked pasta and add the sauce mix, add salt if needed.


Remove some of the chopped cooked onions prior to adding the sauasage.
Separate out some pasta.
Add the separated onion and pesto to the pasta and heat through.
Ensure you get the timing right so both versions are ready at the same time.

Day 6

3 bean or beef chilli and rice

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  • Mince
  • Veg Stock Cubes
  • Diced Onions
  • Tin of Chopped tomatoes
  • Diced Red Pepper
  • Red kidney beans
  • Garlic Puree
  • Boil in the bag rice
  • Chilli Powder
  • Tomato Puree
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese

For dessert:

Trifle in a pot (or make your own if you like! We use pots on camp as it’s easier to sort out if the weather is hot!)

Alternative additions:

  • Refried beans
  • Baked beans


Large pot boiling salted water, cook rice until soft. (15 minutes-ish)
Prepare your vegetables.
In a pan, add oil, heat, then add the onions, garlic & chilli, cook until soft.
Add the mince to the pan, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, cook this until it is brown.
Add the tomato puree, sugar, tinned tomatoes & red peppers.
Add some hot water (think sauce, not soup!) and the stock cubes, leave to simmer, stir frequently.
Drain, wash kidney beans and add to pot. (Add a bit more water if needed).
Add salt to chilli if needed.
Serve with sour cream, grated cheese & the boiled rice.

Use the refried beans and baked beans instead of the mince