I’m talking with Joe Glaccum, Director of Services for Many Point Scout Camp. “Always been a food man,” he says. “This has been my calling.”
This calling of Joe’s is providing 128,000 meals each summer to over 250 troops from numerous councils across the United States and Canada.
Many Point provides all of the meals, but the preparation varies based on the subcamp that you choose.
Commissary and dining hall service is offered.
A combination of commissary and dining hall service, which is what Antonio’s troop chooses, means the camp provides all of the ingredients for breakfast and lunch and the patrol prepares it themselves. The evening meal is delivered cooked from the Dining Hall in a hot stack and ready to serve.
Substitutions can be made for gluten, nut and dairy allergies as well as vegetarian and religious observances.
In our group of 19 scouts and 3 adults there are three vegetarians.
Joe speaks in a deep gravelly voice. I rush to write what he’s saying. I’m in the presence of a sage.
“You must be college educated,” I say. Though I know it isn’t true. A person knows when they are sitting in the midst of experience.
“I’ve been hit on the head so many times that I listen,” he exclaims. “Each patrol will fill out a review at the end of the week. I read each and every one of them.”
He goes on to say that a key to his success is having a menu that is extremely liked by the boys and one that adults will accept.
I think back over the meals I’ve eaten. Eggs, sausages, pancakes, hamburgers, hotdogs, macaroni salad, grilled cheese, tomato soup, etc…. and I agree. No one in our troop has gone away hungry. There has also been an abundance of apples, oranges, cantaloupes, etc…..
For those Scouts who might be a bit more particular there is a milk crate of staples that each patrol receives at the beginning of the week and can be replenished. Inside the crate, packed in a specific way is a roll of paper towels, ketchup, mustard, peanut butter, jelly, ramen noodles, oatmeal, brown sugar, dish soap, salt and pepper, packet of sanitizer tablets, matches, garbage bags and a scrubby for washing dishes.
Joe has 12 people working for him.
In 28 years his most major improvement is that he systemized everything. I recognize it as the 5S pillars, Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.
“In the early days, the commissary was a huge store. The only trading post on the property. Each troop would come to the store once a week and put in their order.”
He chuckles. “Red Owl ran it for one year. Lost their shirts. Never came up again.”
Joe still remembers his busiest year. It was 2001. “I was business manager, trading post director, services directory, commissary director, and driver. I worked 16 hour days, 7 days a week. I loved it.”
His staff returns year after year. “It’s a very rewarding workplace. I hire good people. I let them do their job. I ask questions – that is all.”
He’s been on 5-year plan since 1987. “Next year I plan to renew it for 5 more years”, he says.
Our conversation is interrupted by a phone call. He needs to leave. He has 99 patrols to feed next week and he’s tweaking the menu for next year. The lettuce salad that we had last night wasn’t the home run he was looking for.