WG37 – Cup, Spoon, and Bowl

One thing is certain; you MUST keep your eating utensils absolutely squeaky clean and sterilized.  A certain prescription for wrecking one of the best outdoor experiences most will ever have is to bring the crew down with stomach problems – problems brought on by poor sanitation practices.

A lightweight cup, a shallow bowl, and a good spoon are all you will need for eating on the trail.  Drill a hole in the lip of the bowl and at the end of spoon handle.  Pass an old-fashioned metal shower curtain hook through the holes in the bowl and spoon, and cup handle.  Tie a 3-foot length of cord or heavy string to the shower hook.  Place assembly in a plastic zip lock bag reserved for your clean utensils.  Your eating utensils are now ready for the trail.  When it is time to eat, simply open the bag, sterilize the utensil assembly, unhook them, and dig in.

Boiling water will be prepared before each evening meal.  All crew members MUST re-sterilize their clean utensils before the meal.  Carefully dunk the cup, bowl, and spoon assembly in the boiling water before the cooks take over and add the dehydrated food. .  Check out the Cup, Spoon and Bowl video in the On the Trail section of the Training Videos page of the Watchu Experience Web site  to see the process.

After the meal, the utensils will be washed in warm soapy water.  Then holding the assembly by the cord, carefully dunk clean bowl, spoon, and cup into the clean clear boiling water prepared for crew utensil sterilization.  This after dinner sterilization helps to stress the need to keep utensils absolutely clean before storing in the “utensils only” zip lock bag.  Hang the sterilized assembly by the sump for drying.  It should take about 5 minutes.

Check with your Ranger for the current bear policy with regard to storing your utensils while in camp.  Past acceptable practices include:

  • Packing the assembly in the zip lock immediately after drying and placing in the bear bag overnight, or
  • Leaving the assembly hanging in the sump area overnight and packing in the zip lock bag in the morning.


Tips:  A shallow bowl is recommended because it will be easy to lick clean!  And some crew members leave either their cup or bowl at home and make do with only the other and a spoon – not the choice of most, but it works for them.


Phil Fact:  What is now known as the “Philmont Grace” was originally used (with slightly different wording) at Worth Ranch Scout Camp, Forth Worth (Texas) Area Council, and was brought to Philmont by Clarence Dunn in 1943, before he joined the Philmont Staff in 1945.

Philmont Grace

Annotated by Fred Goodwin, San Antonio, Texas

For food – for the food of combined thought from all over our great country, to help us grow wiser in Scouting.

For raiment – for our Scouting uniform, which we have not only the blessing to wear – but the duty to honor.

For life – for a life of freedom in these great United States, a nation unsurpassed anywhere on this fragile planet, where we are truly free to live the aims of Scouting.

For opportunity – for the opportunity of Philmont and this scouting event itself – to be here with you – some of the finest in the scouting movement.

For friendship – for those we have met at Philmont – and grown to respect through that common interest – our devotion to the development of the youth.

and fellowship – to share a laugh – to help a friend in some small way – to share a sunrise – a sunset – this scouting event.  And to return, if only for a moment, to our youth again and together climb a mountain – and reach the stars.

We thank Thee, O Lord – our thanks goes to the one who we individually believe allows us to share the scouting experience with all.


Bringing back the fondest memories that a Ranger can’t forget,

Clarence Dunn
Philmont Scout Ranch and Explorer Base
First Chief Ranger (1957 – 1970)