Campfire Cuisine in Your Own Backyard

Did you know that the best night of each week of summer youth camp is the co-cabin campout?

Picture this – 1 campsite, 2 tents, 16 campers, 2 counselors, 18 bottles of mosquito repellant, and 1,200 silent prayers that we’ll be able to get the fire lit - priceless. Some of the best bonding of the week occurs during this time, as well as some of the best eating.

This is the night where both girls and boys discover it is possible to live like queens and kings in the middle of the woods. This is the night of hours of guessing riddles, of building forts, of playing hide and seek, of conquering that unbelievably large spider and returning glowing and triumphant, and of creating and sharing meals together. Most importantly, during this time, we watch Christ transform lives as we become honest and open with one another.

As a family, the campout food festivities can easily be recreated in your own backyard, or for the truly brave, on your own camping trip. To alleviate the thought that the only things that can easily be consumed on such an outing are hot dogs on a stick, I would like to share with you a typical feast that is enjoyed during our youth camp campouts. For both, you will require some sheets of tin foil, about 9” x 13” or a little smaller works well, and a fire which has been burning for a while so as to produce some hot coals.

Tin Foil Dinner


  • Melted butter or cooking spray
  • Canned mini potatoes
  • Precooked hamburger
  • Chopped green peppers
  • Chopped carrots
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced onions
  • BBQ sauce or ketchup

Take a piece of tin foil and coat one side in butter or oil. Proceed to fill it with any combination and amounts of the above listed foods. Add BBQ sauce or ketchup according to taste. Roll or fold the tin foil around the food, and then place in the hot coals for about 10-15 minutes, rotating occasionally. Sizzling sounds are a good sign. Carefully
remove from 
the coals, place on a plate, and unwrap. Enjoy!

And now, for dessert:

Banana Boats


  • Bananas
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter

Unpeel just one section of peel from your banana, leaving it still attached at the end. Take a spoon and carefully scrape off about a third of the fruit. Spread peanut butter along the surface of this scraped off section, and then sprinkle on chocolate chips. Squish on as many marshmallows as you can get to stick to the remaining exposed peanut butter, and fold the peel back over the transformed banana. Wrap the entire fruit in tin foil, and place in the hot coals to cook for about ten minutes, making sure to rotate. Carefully remove from the fire, place on a plate, unwrap, and enjoy the melted sugary goodness.

If you have a large family (such as, perhaps, 16 girls and your favorite co-counselor), a helpful way to keep track of the various dinners while they are in the fire is to form them into fun and unique shapes. For instance, a pumpkin, a swan, a soccer ball, a basket, a DNA double helix, a working model of the 6 days of creation (naturally reenact the 7th day while waiting for your deliciousness to cook).

And as counselors and campers both learn, the most important part of any meal is not necessarily the food, but the interaction that takes place. Seek to use this time to have fun, go deeper, and make memories that will leave a lasting impression on all of you.

Learn more about our summer youth camps here

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