This Guider takes her Smartphone to Camp: A Coleman App Review

This guest post was graciously prepared by guest blogger and Guider Sarah. Recently, Sarah heard about the Coleman Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner App for the iPhone, and decided to download it for a camping trip. She wrote this review from the point of view of a Girl Guider!

Coleman Canada's Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner App for the iPhone

Coleman Canada’s Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner App for the iPhone

Going through the Girl Guide ranks growing up, it was always a given that each meeting and camp I attended, everything was planned out for me. Never once do I remember sitting around with nothing to do. I took that for granted.

But when I became I leader, I realized I couldn’t just follow the suggestions in the Guider resource books or Canadian Guider magazine; I needed new ideas, creative games, and interesting discussion topics. For all of this, I turn to the internet. I look back on all my leaders in the pre-internet era, and give them props; my Smartphone has become my best Guiding tool.

And yes, I bring my Smartphone to camp (fortunately, working with Brownies, I don’t have to face the debate over girls bringing cell phones to camp). I use it to take pictures of the girls and email them to parents over the weekend; we play music on it to dance around shaking our bag of ice cream ingredients; and I use it for last-minute resources.

Recently I found out that Coleman Canada launched a Smartphone app – the Coleman Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner.It’s a free app and with a camp coming up, I immediately downloaded.

Coleman Canada iPhone Camping and Meal Planner App: Screen Shot

Coleman Camping App: Screen Shot

The app is easy to use, you can search by cooking method (all the Guiding favourites are there, foil, Dutch oven, on a stick), by meal type or by ingredients. I liked that you can mark your favourites, but didn’t find there was much variety or choices in their breakfast, desert and sides menus (although lunch/dinner has every protein with a recipe which was nice).

If you are new to Guiding and/or camping, most of these recipes and ideas will be new to you (but if you’ve been around, chances are you know how to make s’mores and GORP). What I personally liked about the app was the Meal Planner.

Search screen shot

Search screen shot

You start by inputting the amount of people you plan on feeding and for how long. Then you easily pick or add recipes that you plan on cooking. The app automatically breaks down each day’s meals for you and lists what you’ll need to purchase, the equipment you’ll need to pack and the cooking directions for each meal. It’s all completely organized in just a few minutes and right at your fingertips at camp.

I didn’t know when I was a Brownie how organized my leaders were, but as a Guider I value tools like this Smartphone app. Now to submit my garbage can turkey recipe…..

By guest blogger Guider Sarah of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Check out her own blog ‘Sarah Smells the Roses‘, as well as her blog posts for Girl Guides of Canada:


If GGC had its own ‘Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner’, what super-delicious-easy-to-make-camp-recipe would you submit?

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8 Responses to This Guider takes her Smartphone to Camp: A Coleman App Review

  1. Anonymous says:

    “And yes, I bring my Smartphone to camp (fortunately, working with Brownies, I don’t have to face the debate over girls bringing cell phones to camp). ”

    This is really key. I have Pathfinders and it’s impossible for me to use my phone while not allowing them to use theirs. Even if I use my phone to check the time they get upset. Whether it’s phones or iPods, getting them to put the electronics away is almost an impossible feat. And if I’m using mine, then it just makes things worse.

    Maybe I should just switch back to Brownies, haha!

  2. I’d include in the cookbook app a recipe my daughter made up – honey, any type of fruit, and a spoon. Mash and mix ingredients together and voila! A sweet treat. (Yes, I’ve told my daughter that the berries are likely sweet enough to begin with 🙂 )

  3. Sarah says:

    Personally my Brownies loved cooking a turkey in a garbage can!

  4. Melanie McLaughlin says:

    Thanks for the review, I immediately downloaded the app and am hoping next year to use it as I become a quide leader. I’m so excited, its something I’ve wanted to do for a while and am going to sign up for a branch here in Fredericton this fall.

    Would love any advice, tips or resources you could offer

  5. Sarah says:

    Hi Melanie and congrats on becoming a Guide leader! Is this your first foray into the world of unit guiding?
    My advice for the Guide group and outdoor cooking would be to have them involved in the planning process. You can use the Coleman App to familiarize yourself with new types of cooking (ie: foil, dutch oven) and then I would make an interactive session with the Guides at a unit meeting to plan the meal. I would talk to the Guides about ways to cook, proper nutrition at camp (it’s more than just hot dogs and english muffin pizzas). Give each girl a post-it for each meal. Have them write down what they want to eat and place it on the posters for when. You can then narrow it down and talk about ways to cook that meal.
    I use the Canadian Guider (a resource you will get a couple of times a year when you are registered) to learn what other guiders are doing. Then I go to the internet and Google the ideas. There are so many Guiders out there who are posting ideas on various forums/blogs! (And by reading this G.G.C blog you’ve already started the research process – way to go!)

  6. Melanie McLaughlin says:

    Hey Sarah, Thanks for the tips, I’m sure they’ll be helpful and yes this is my first time as a guide leader. I was in brownies and guides when I was little and last year my youngest asked to join and loved it.

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