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In order to calculate and divide the budget correctly, it is important to consider in advance what you need and how many people will participate in the camp.

That makes it necessary to establish the menu for the entire time well before the start of the holidays. It is also useful to calculate the age of the participating children because their nutritional needs are different at different stages of age and development. Also, children have different energy needs than adults. If you factor all that in, then you can plan the meals in a way so that nothing is missing, nothing is left over, all meals and even the budget are balanced. Using seasonal fruits and vegetables will additionally help with the budget.

In the spring

There are various fruits and vegetables, which are typical for spring. On of the most important spring vegetables is spinach. It is grown in autumn and winter and freshly harvested in spring. Likewise, mushrooms, radicchio, red and white cabbage, radish and celery fall into the same season. Then there is also asparagus as a typical spring vegetable. Popular fruits of spring include rhubarb and apples and later in the season strawberries.

In summer

June and July are great for vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and green beans; but also, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage and iceberg lettuce. Some of the all-time favourites are peas, spring onions, leeks and kohlrabi or just tomatoes, onions, carrots and radish, zucchini and cucumbers.

Equally diverse are the types of fruit, which can be purchased relatively cheaply in the summer. These include not only strawberries and cherries but currants, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Also, there are also apricots, peaches, plums, pears and apples, gooseberries and of course melons.

In the autumn

When the days get shorter, and the weather is bad, it is the right time to take a healthy dose of vitamins. Typical fruits and vegetables for fall include numerous varieties of cabbage such as white and red cabbage, chard, spinach and sweetcorn. Likewise, onions are inexpensive, and pumpkins have high-season in fall. But it is the beans and tomatoes that are the purest vitamin bombs. There is still some fruit to be obtained fall; especially apples and pears and quinces, plums and cherries.

In the winter

While the offer on fruit is limited to apples, quince and rhubarb there is quite some vegetables which are great during winter. Those are Mushrooms, Chinese cabbage and potatoes, salsify and sprouts. However, a variety of other vegetables is still available. These include red cabbage, white cabbage and beetroot. Since the supply of fruit and vegetables is relatively extensive in any season, you can come up with a variety of recipes and therefore always surprise the entire camp with your fantastic meals.

Cooking for large groups
Cooking for large groups | ©:


Anyone planning a camp must know in advance is what costs are to be expected. In this respect, it is important to calculate in advance how much money each child or their parents respectively have to pay. This must also include, the fees for the campground, rent for a bungalow or whatever else the accommodation you choose. Then there are the costs of food, as well as any applicable fees, for example for fishing licenses.

If you have to hire additional staff, then you need to calculate their salary as well. To get the budget right, it is important that you have the exact costs for everything so that you can calculate it. Don’t forget to calculate for activities such as a trip to the swimming pool, to the movies or other entry fees. On top of that, all kids will need a small amount of pocket money to buy a few things themselves. When you have all the costs calculated, you will need to inform the parents in writing.

Important for the budget

are the following questions:

  • How should the camp set up? Caravan, a tent or in a house?
  • What are the rental costs?
  • How many young people will participate?
  • Do I need additional staff?
  • If so, how many people do I need?
  • What would I like to cook and do I want to buy food fresh food or ready cooked meals?
  • What can you buy inexpensively and what can you bring in cans or jars?
  • Do I need stuff for the kitchen?
  • Is there any storage already all there?

If you found your answers to all those questions, you divide by the number of kids, and that will tell you exactly what the cost per capita will be. The real art starts now: To stay within your budget. Since prices can change, maybe you should calculate for emergencies as well. That will make sure you are not out of pocket at any time. And equally important, always have a plan B ready. This will make it easy for you to respond to high prices; just change the menu and stay within your budget. Resorting to canned food instead of fresh food will help you greatly to save money. After all, for items such as rent, there is nothing you can do about the costs. This is one of the fix costs you can negotiate well before camp time, and you also can rely on the fact, that they won’t be more then you have agreed to. In any case, the moment you feel the budget is getting a bit tight, look for possibilities where you can save money.


Everyone working with young people must take great care to find the appropriate balance between all the different food groups. This means meat fruit and veggies are not enough and must be supplemented with dairy products and rice.

When putting the menu together, it is not about following a certain diet but to give it some thought, which foods you will put together.

However, those chosen foods should be balanced and real. A balanced diet requires vitamins and minerals as well as carbohydrates, protein and fat. This calculation lets you divide the food into different food groups which you can calculate beforehand and buy, if possible at the wholesale or if you prefer to buy them fresh later. Finally, the food must be stored and cooked accordingly. The food must finally be stored and used accordingly. The food groups and their respective amounts are important and decisive for the required budget.

Here are some basic rules

  • Carbohydrates in the form of:> Rice, pasta, potatoes, bread or cereal, sugar

  • Proteins in the form of: Meat or fish, sausage and cold cuts

  • Calcium in the form of: Dairy products such as yoghurt, cottage cheese, cheese or normal drinking milk

  • Vitamins in the form of: Fresh fruits and vegetables or canned with similar content

If combining the different food groups, this will create a balanced diet. That makes it almost easy to put the menus together. However, you can wait with this until shortly before the trip. Important is to know in advance just how much you need from the various food groups to provide for young people and adults accordingly.

To decide how much of the different food groups you have to combine to come up with a balanced meal you can use a chart which will give you all the information you need. This will help you to make sure that everything is balanced and nothing falls short or is consumed too much. There are many fruits and vegetables, which do not need to be processed but can be eaten fresh. You will notice, while you are thinking about the different foods and food groups you will already get some meal ideas.

For littler gaps in the menu, you can compensate for easily later. For example, if the meal does not contain enough carbohydrate you can make up for that with a slice of bread. Vitamins you can supplement with either fruit as a dessert or a salad. In this respective, you can avoid any lack of trace elements such as iodine or carbohydrates and calcium. You can also use salt or sugar as a regulative measure. Basically, the reason for a menu is, so that you can find out which foods you will need in which quantities. This way you will have no leftovers, yet, you get all the goodness of the food while at the same time.

Volume planning

The amount of food you will need greatly depends on the age of the children and whether there are boys or girls. There are a few rules of the thumb, which will later find their application. Basically, the younger the children, the less food you have to plan for; teenagers, however, will need accordingly more. All the amounts listed here, are but a rough guide but have proven themselves on many camps.

After every camp, I have determined the consumed quantities and therefore could come up with an exact calculation for the next time. Nevertheless, there were camps where kids suddenly ate a lot more while the favourite cheese was left untouched in other camps.

The planning of the amounts of each food needed should be adjusted in a way so that you shop at the campsite for the last 1 – 2 days. Then you will see what is still left and just buy what is missing.

Some flexibility will go a long way. Just in case you run out on sausages, it can be a Nutella or jam sandwich instead. Or a salad; or maybe even a yummy soup with some bread.

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