Camp Cook Job Description

Please, if you are accepted as a camp cook and for any reason need to withdraw, notify the Cook Coordinator as soon as possible.

The Hiking Camp Cook is responsible for managing and organizing the kitchen as well as preparing breakfasts and dinners for the 20 people in camp. The cook is assisted by the campers, as determined by the camp duty roster, for meal preparation, cleanup, and hauling water. Listed below are specific duties.


Attend meeting of camp leaders and cooks (if held) to review preparations. Attend pre-camp meeting to explain menus and preparation to participants. At the pre-camp meeting participants decide whether they want borscht, minestrone or lentil soup for the first night’s dinner and also choose between veggie or meat chilli and veggie or meat pasta sauce. If salmon loaf is chosen for a dinner it must be server for Monday. They also can choose between chocolate cake or chocolate zucchini for one of the desserts.


A duty roster is prepared by lottery to assign campers to assist with meal preparation, cleanup etc.

Breakfast is at 7:00 am. The cook will need to start preparation by 6:00 am. or earlier. New cooks may have to start earlier to get their routine established. The helper should arrive at 6:30 am.

Supper is at 6:00 pm. The cook needs to return to camp by 4:00 pm to start dinner. The helper will arrive at 5:15 pm to assist.

Get the supper cleanup started as soon as possible so that lunch making, dishwashing, etc. can be completed before dark. Wash water should be put on to heat as soon as breakfast or supper cooking is finished. NOTE: The wash water does not need to boil. Helpers are responsible for clean-ups after breakfast and dinner. The cook should make sure that all items are cleaned and returned to their proper storage place.


The propane is to be used with care. The two bottles are more than enough for the week-long camp if not wasted. Propane is not to be used for heating water for bathing or hair washing. Water heated for cleanup does not need to be boiling. Always turn off the main tank valve when the propane is not in use (in case there is a leak).


For tips and guidelines from an experienced camp cook, please read Jenny Ballies comments

The cook monitors food supplies and makes participants aware that they should not help themselves to the food. Remind participants to serve themselves a moderate portion to assure that everyone gets a fair amount. If there are problems, the cook should dish out portions. If there are leftovers people can have seconds.

Prepare foods as per the menu. The menu order may be rearranged by the cook, but the menu should not be changed. Ensure all foods provided are used. Prepare meals that may spoil easiest in warm weather (eg. Salmon loaf) first.


On the evening prior, after dinner, once the dishes are all done, the water used for making juice and milk MUST be boiled). Make the powdered milk and orange juice in the morning with this water. Coffee, hot water, and hot cereal are prepared every morning.


Hikers are responsible for making their own lunches after dinner as soon as wash-up is finished. The cook is to assist with lunch set-up by getting the lunch supplies from the coolers to minimize the opening of the coolers (particularly in hot weather).

Lunch supplies include: bread, crackers, multi-grain buns, lunch meats (500 g/day), canned fish, cheese (1 kg/day), peanut butter, jam, mayonnaise, mustard, onions, celery, carrots and cookies (2 /person/day).

Tea Time

The first people back in camp can put on the tea for 4 pm. Allow about 15 min. to boil the water. People can either make their own in a cup (put out herbal, reg, or decaff teas). Or make a pot of tea -use 6 tea bags/pot. Allow 2 cookies/person for tea time.


Soup is made at every dinner - use leftovers from the previous evening's meal.


  • Hand sanitizer is provided for meal and lunch helpers to clean hands.
  • OR - Have basin of soapy bleach water available for meal and lunch prep helpers to wash hands. Use hand towels, NOT tea towels, for drying hands.
  • Save empty tins and containers for pouring grease into or storing leftovers.
  • Baking soda can be used as a fire extinguisher in case of a grease fire.

End of Camp

Camp 1 & 2: Certain items (dry goods, spices, non-perishables, etc.) will not be flown out of camp as they are required for subsequent camps. Some staples are bought by Camp 1 but are meant for all three camps. Check the shopping list and be sure to leave those items required for the next camps. .

All Camps: Each camp takes non-perishable food to the food bank – don't leave for camp 3

Management of Coolers and Frozen Food

It is highly recommended that the coolers be reorganized on Friday evening at the helicopter-loading site in the following manner. In a shady area that will remain out of the sun until loaded on the helicopter, aggregate all the coolers containing frozen food, dairy and meat, and frozen cakes and muffins. The cook and two helpers are necessary. Using two appropriately sized coolers (the older coolers are smaller than the new ones), separate out the food that needs to be kept cold into one for Tuesday/Wednesday, and one for Thursday/ Friday/Saturday morning from the list below. There should be no need to include ice in these coolers if they are full. They should be almost full and kept cold by the frozen and cold food inside along with the other cooling methods used at camp. The cook should be familiar with and have a copy of the menu. If the order of food is changed, those changes need to be made to the lists below. The food for Sunday/Monday that needs to be cold is put in a third cooler with some of the ice and moved to the cook tent. A fourth cooler will contain only ice. A fifth cooler could be used for some of the bread if necessary. The produce cooler is a separate cooler.

Tuesday/Wednesday cooler
Tuesday dinner (curried chicken), Wednesday dinner (chili), ham for Tuesday breakfast, 2x10% cream (half and half), 2x whipped cream, 3 dozen eggs, one third of lunch meat and cheese, apple pies, cornbread, upside down cake.
Thursday/Friday/Saturday Cooler
Thursday dinner (roast beef), Friday dinner (ham), ham for Thursday breakfast, chocolate cake, 1 tub margarine, 3x10% cream (half and half), 2 whipped cream, 1/4 of lunch meat and cheese, sausages, 3 dozen muffins.
Tape the coolers shut. Label with days of use and contents. Place insulation jackets around and on top of coolers.
Method of Refrigeration
Set up tarps in trees or on the north side of a steep bank to give complete sun protection. Obtain as much snow as possible (tarps seem to be the best way to carry snow but coolers also work. Place the above 2 coolers on a bed of snow, pack snow around them, cover with its own reflective blanket and forget about them until needed. Surround on one side for accessibility with produce cooler and coolers of ice (there will be a great deal of ice left over to keep the Sunday, Monday food cold, and the rest can be stored in a separate cooler on its own). Cover with wool blankets kept wet constantly (depending on temperature, wind, sun exposure) and then reflective tarps

Keep one cooler in the cook tent for that day and possibly the next day’s food. It could also contain most of the dairy if desired. The cook should make a list of all cold food needed for that day and make one trip to the coolers.

If there is no snow
Find an area near next to camp near a creek, lake, or water source and create a constantly shaded area with tarps. If storing in the creek, create a dam in the creek if possible to contain the coolers or stack rocks on them so they don’t float away. Keep watch after large rains or if it is a hot day when the volume of the creek may increase significantly. Close to the creek and not in the water is best. Keep the two coolers for Tuesday to Saturday and a cooler holding ice separate, with an insulation jacket around and on top, under their own tarp and blankets, and keep the blankets constantly wet. Keep the produce cooler and any other coolers you may want to keep in the shaded cooler area separate under their own tarp/blanket system so as not to disturb the two “cold coolers”. Ice can be added as needed to any of the coolers as they are taken down to the cook tent.

Suggested Menu

Cooks are free to rearrange the order of meals but the menu is designed so that the last items will keep frozen the longest. Do not change the menu that has been agreed upon at the camp meeting.

All Breakfasts include - orange juice, coffee, tea, and hot cereal (porridge). All Dinners include soup.


A Previous Cook's Comments

Jenny Baillie


For the first couple of mornings I like to get to the cook tent around 5:30 a.m. to give myself time to get it together without rushing. I put a small pot of water on to boil for hand wash and tea for myself.

Heat the 2 large pots for dish washing. These are taken off the stove later but at least starts the heating process.

The next pot to go on is the porridge which ideally has been soaking overnight. It doesn't take that long to cook but can stand sitting with a last minute heat up just before 7 a.m. In between stirring the porridge I get the milk / juice / condiments / jams etc. out and arrange on table for serving.

Get the bread for toast ready to go. It's a good idea to bring this into cook tent the evening before - one less thing to fetch. The "cook's helper" arrives at 6:30 a.m. and I like to give them the real job of whatever is on the menu e.g. pancakes or scrambled eggs or whatever. I make sure everything is at hand so they don't have to go looking and this job gives them one thing to focus on whilst I manage the coffee and tea.

It is fairly crucial to have the coffee and tea pots on by 6 a.m so that by 6:30 both beverages can be made and ready by 6:45 a.m. when campers start to wander down.

Serve porridge at 7 a.m. with toast on the go to follow with the eggs or whatever.

As soon as there are some burners free put the dish washing water back on AND a second coffee water pot as there is usually need for at least 2 brews of café!


Dinner is served at 6 p.m. Start no later than 4 p.m. otherwise there'll be trouble.

Everything that needs heating up needs to go on the stove - soup/main etc

I usually then get the vegetables together (quantities are important - consult the recipes) and ready for the 5 p.m. 'help' (one person but if another is able and willing it goes quicker of course). I give the making of the salads or peeling of carrots/potatoes etc. to the helper with myself chipping in but I often need to attend to other duties including dessert/salad dressings etc.

The soups need a bit of juggling and imagination with leftovers as a base for the next day.

I hope everyone who is cooking is aware that leaving foods warm and fermenting and gathering bacteria is to be avoided.

As soon as dinner is served put on the water for dishes.

The reason I don't very often join the clan for sitting around and eating dinner is that I like to think about the next day and what I need to get out of the coolers to thaw overnight PLUS the lunch items also have to be organized.

Before leaving the cook tent verify that: the propane is turned OFF AND nothing that will encourage creatures is left out AND the tent entry is zipped!


In-Camp Recipes

Listed below are recipes that the Camp Cook can use to prepare some of the dishes in camp.


One container of Creamo per day for coffee. If there is any left over, add to the powdered milk for the next day.

Making coffee

Use the percolator. Fill the percolator with water to the bottom of the basket. Fill the basket with ground coffee. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat after percolating for 5 minutes (or to taste). Transfer to thermos.

Morning Tea

Have boiled water in the thermos and put 6 black tea bags in it.

Tea Time

Have boiled water in the thermos, put out teabags – herbal tea, decaff tea, instant coffee and they can make their own (teabags can be shared).

Orange Juice

Use boiled water only to make this! Take out 2 cans the night before to thaw. Make up in the morning.


Use boiled water only to make up powdered milk!. Add any leftover Creamo.


Use the double boiler to prevent burning/sticking. Follow the directions on the packages but mix 3 parts rolled oats to 1 part Red River cereal. Raisins can be added by the campers.


Use 80% whole wheat bread. Do the toast on the grills.

French Toast

Make in the morning. Use 30 eggs, 2 litres. milk, 4 tsp salt, vanilla and cinnamon for flavour. Slice 3 loaves of French bread so that there is at least 2 slices per person. Dip bread slices in batter and fry to golden brown.

Breakfast Sausage

Quick fry in the morning.


Hikers make their own lunches. Lunches are made after supper wash-up is finished.

The cook assists with lunch set-up, gets lunch supplies from the coolers to minimize the opening of the coolers (particularly in hot weather with no snow available for cooling).

Lunch supplies include: bread, crackers, multi-grain buns, lunch meats (500 g/day), canned fish (which is broken up in a bowl and mixed with chopped onions, celery, and mayonnaise), cheese (1 kg/day), peanut butter, jam, cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, head lettuce, onions, celery, carrots, and cookies (2 /person/day).


Soup is served every evening. Save leftovers from supper for the next day's soup.

Save the water used to cook veggies etc. for the next days’ soup. That day's breakfast leftovers can be added as well. Maggi soup mixes are purchased for soup preparation (use 3 pkgs. per day). The barley, red lentils and noodles can also be used for soup.

Green Salad
  • Field Greens- spinach
  • cucumber (1)
  • radish (2 bunches)
  • tomatoes (4)
  • green onions (20)

Toss with oil and vinegar dressing

Bean Salad

Use canned Beans and red onions. Use the Italian dressing or make up your own with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.

Fruit Salad

Cut up into bite size chunks:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 honeydew
  • grapes

Squeeze limes over salad. Serve with yogurt.

Salmon Loaf, Roast Beef, And Ham

Slice these before warming - they'll heat faster. Use the steamer. You may want to serve cold roast beef with a hot gravy. Use the double boiler for thawing and warming.

Greek Salad
  • tomatoes (6)
  • green peppers (3)
  • cucumbers (3)
  • Kalamata olives (250 g)
  • feta cheese (500 g)
  • red onions (2)
  • oregano (to taste)
  • basil (to taste)

Chop up ingredients, toss with oil and vinegar.

Beef Stew

Cook potatoes (20) and carrots (20) separately. Add to thawed and warmed stew.


Slice up

  • 1 apple
  • 1 red cabbage
  • 1/2 green cabbage
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1 green pepper chopped

Use 250 ml of the coleslaw dressing or make up your own using mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

  • Green onions (20)
  • olive oil (2 cups)
  • cucumbers (2)
  • salt (3 tsp)
  • tomatoes (5)
  • pepper (1 tsp)
  • lemon juice (3/4 cup)
  • allspice (2 tsp)
  • bulgur (3 cups)
  • garlic (to taste)
  • parsley
  • fresh mint

Rinse bulgur. Place bulgur in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 20 min. Drain and add to other ingredients. Chill for 30 min. before serving.

Tomato, Green Pepper And Cucumber Salad
  • tomatoes (5)
  • cucumbers (2)
  • green peppers (3)
  • red onions (2)
  • garlic (to taste)

Chop ingredients, toss, and marinate in oil & vinegar. You may add a bit of Italian dressing for extra flavour or make up your own dressing using olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, basil, garlic, S&P.

Apple Crunch

Chop dried apples and apricots. Place in a minimum amount of boiling water. Boil until soft - about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and soak for about 1 hour. (Or soak fruit in water overnight.) Drain. Spread fruit in cake pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Combine 1 cup margarine with 2 cups brown sugar and heat until syrupy. Mix with granola in a bowl then press onto fruit. Serve with whipped cream.

Cream Cheese Icing

Use cream cheese, a little lemon juice and vanilla to make a creamy icing