Scout camp near Vallsta in Hälsingland. Changeable weather.

I’m here as part of the kitchen crew again, but not in charge this time. Just chopping and cooking. Today’s dinner was sausage Stroganoff. I was responsible for the special versions – vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and tomato-free. It was quite a challenge – not just to get four meals done at the same time, but to not mix them up and accidentally pour milk in the vegan version etc.

Cooking at this camp is pretty challenging in general. Because of the long drought, a complete open burning prohibition is in force in most of Sweden right now. That means no campfires, no camp stoves, no barbecues, no fires outdoors, whatsoever, period. For a scout camp, that’s like cutting off our arms.

The campfires that we won’t have this year are just a cosmetic problem. But all food is cooked over camping stoves. All the older scouts normally cook their own meals over Trangia stoves. The meals for the younger scouts are prepared by the kitchen crew over big stoves (large double burners, attached to large tanks of LPG).

With open fires forbidden, all that becomes impossible, so the camp was nearly cancelled when the prohibition was announced. By a massive stroke of luck, the camping ground here turned out to have a garage or shed of some kind where we can put up the stoves, so the camp got the go-ahead after all.