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[Updated October 14, 2009]

Scouts will set up and maintain hand washing, dish washing, trash and sump stations. Germs on hands and in food are a special concern at camp. It is important to keep the site clean. No food is to be left out around the site, and no food is permitted in tents.



A plastic water jug suspended from a tree, with a small hole at the bottom plugged with a twig and a screw top to control water flow. A bar of antibacterial soap is suspended nearby in a stocking. Antibacterial soap only works if hands are thoroughly scrubbed for at least 20 seconds – about the time for one verse of Old MacDonald’s Farm. Wash hands frequently and always before handling food.

Supplies needed: Approx. 1-gallon plastic jug with screw top, duct tape, twine, stocking, and soap.



A garbage bag tied or taped to a tree. Trash should be placed in cars overnight.

Supplies needed: Heavy garbage bags, duct tape or twine.



A perforated garbage bag suspended over a low spot, such as an old tree stump, lined with leaves or pine needles. This is for filtering liquid waste, like soup and dishwater – not for general trash. Special rules may apply near rivers and streams.

Supplies needed: Heavy garbage bags, duct tape or twine.



Before using this system, scouts should scrape dishes clean over trash or sump bags. Dish washing uses at least three stages: First is hot soapy water, second is clear rinse water, and third is cool sterilizing rinse water made by adding a SMALL amount sterilization chemical to the water (e.g., for Chlorox, 1 cap max. to 2 gallons of water.)

Supplies needed: 5-gallon buckets or plastic dish pans, dish detergent, scrub brush and sponge, Clorox bleach or other sterilization agent.



At camp, bacteria from hands or already on food can easily be a problem. Many campers know this from personal experience. Scouts should wash hands frequently, especially before handling food and in between steps preparing food. Food held at modest temperatures is an incubator for bacteria. Meat should be well cooked and eaten promptly. Some meat, notably chicken, commonly is contaminated with bacteria. When preparing food, prepare the meat last so that tools, work surfaces, and other foods will not be contaminated.


Here are a couple songs to make it fun: