Camp cooking with tweens is a great way of giving them some responsibility in the running of the campsite. They love feeling like a part of the action.
Camp Cooking Ideas for Tweens
Whether these recipes, or your own family favorites, invite your tween camper to be part of the cooking crew. Camp cooking, combined with tween camping activities, can lead to family camping trips with no pre-teen grumpies!
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Here are our favorite kid-friendly recipes they can make (mostly) themselves.
- Monkey Bread. There is plenty for tweens (and younger siblings) to do making monkey bread. We use this basic monkey bread recipe, mixing the white sugar and cinnamon together in a zipper bag at home beforehand.
Older kids can cut biscuits into fourths, shake in sugar mixture and place in pan(s), while adults melt butter over the fire and mix in the brown sugar.
We have used individual disposable mini-bread pans covered in foil (pictured above) so each of the kids had their own portions and could add raisins or nuts as they wished.
But after trying several pans, we now use a Dutch Oven for monkey bread and cobblers. We find they cook a little more evenly without burning.
They were thrilled to have made their breakfast themselves, and it kept them entertained as well.
- Campfire Cones. These treat-stuffed sugar cones are great for tweens to assemble before the trip and have ready for the first night’s campfire.
We had butterscotch chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, toffee pieces, caramel bits, nuts, and mini-marshmallows available.
I accidentally bought waffle cones instead of sugar cones, which made for a lot of filling space and a super-sweet finished product. (I’d recommend using the smaller sugar cones.)
Note: I tried an apple/caramel/nut cone as a lower calorie option, but the liquid from the apples made the cone a soggy mess. I’ll stick with the sweet kind next time.
Tweens can fill the cones with everything, or take orders for personalized treats, wrap the cones in aluminum foil, and label the foil with Sharpie. Parents can add and remove cones from the fire using tongs.
- Trail Mix. When it comes to camping and hiking, nothing beats good old fashioned trail mix. It’s easy for younger tweens to make by themselves by simply mixing ingredients together in a large zipper bag.
We added mixed nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and candy-coated chocolate pieces. Before we left on the hike, we also added plain Cheerios to the mix. They can absorb moisture from the rest of the mix if in there too long, so they make a better last-minute addition.
Obviously the trail mix was a hit. The kids had it all finished by the end of the afternoon.
More Campfire Cooking Ideas Kids Can Make
The best part about all these ideas is that kids don’t need a recipe for things to turn out great. Prep ingredients ahead of time to make things even easier.
- Anything cooked on a stick. Really. Anything. From hot dogs to chicken strips (pre-grilled to heat up over fire), apples to marshmallows, everything is exciting on a pointy stick over a campfire.
- Grilled Fruit Skewers. Thread chunks of pineapple, watermelon, peaches, and other favorite fruits onto skewers. Grill them over the campfire for a sweet and caramelized treat.
- Campfire Nachos. Layer tortilla chips with cheese, beans, cooked ground meat, and toppings like jalapeños, tomatoes, and cilantro. Place the nachos on a grill or over the campfire until the cheese is melted.
- Grilled Pizza Pockets. Split pita bread into halves, and stuff each with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, peppers, olives, and other favorite toppings. Wrap in foil and grill over the fire.
- Banana Boats. Slice a banana lengthwise (with the peel still on) and stuff it with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and crushed graham crackers. Wrap it in foil and heat it over the campfire until everything melts and gets gooey.
- Scout Dinners. Make old-fashioned, classic foil packet meals traditionally served at scout camp. Add hamburger patties, sliced carrots, cubed potatoes and onions, and several pats of butter to a large foil square. Fold and seal the packet, then cook until burger is done and veggies are tender.
From mouthwatering pizza pockets to gooey s’mores waffle cones, these recipes are sure to satisfy young adventurers’ appetites while fostering their independence and creativity.
So, gather around the campfire, unleash your inner chef, and make memories along with delicious food. Happy camping and happy cooking!
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Until next time…