In 2015, Jeanne Donlevy Arnold, philanthropist and advocate for whole child health, was tasked by former Boy Scouts of America’s National President Dr. Robert Gates to lead the Presidential Task Force to address childhood obesity. Penn State PRO Wellness partnered with Jeanne and the Boy Scouts of America to develop the COMPASS program, which encourages healthy eating and active living.
One of the major components of the COMPASS program includes nutritional modifications and physical activity challenges at Boy Scout summer camps. This toolkit was created to help troop leaders make proven changes successfully.
Measuring success will be important to evaluate next steps after the initial year at camp. This data may also be used to influence Boy Scouts of America policies going forward, and could be used to share success stories in future articles and publications.
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- Dining Hall Modifications
- Always allow scouts to have adequate time for seconds to ensure adequacy of meals.
- Monitor food satisfaction via evaluation forms
- Evaluate food cost difference from year to year using dining hall invoices
- Menus will be evaluated by a PRO Wellness registered dietitian
- Meet the minimum requirements for Registered Dietitian signed menus
- Trading Post Modifications
- Make 50% of the food inventory healthier options.
- Rearrange the Trading Post for healthier impulse buys (on counter, front and center).
- Work closely with the manager to adjust selections based on sales and nutrition.
- Collect a detailed sales report, weekly from the Trading Post.
- Conduct focus groups with troop leaders.
- Complete evaluation forms.
- Have regular conversations with the Trading Post manager.
Budget considerations include: blenders, point-of-sale/end-of-aisle displays, healthy posters, fruit cooler displays, etc.
- Food Access Standards
- Evaluate cracker barrels, campfires, cooking badge class, etc.
- Use taste tests to allow scouts to choose cracker barrel snacks.
- Work with the camp director to finalize alternatives to cracker barrels, cooking badge meals, etc.
- Offer healthier alternatives, giving troops ideas for outings.
- Evaluate through food costs.
- Monitor satisfaction in focus groups.
Budget considerations include: voice recorders for focus groups, transcriptions from focus groups.
- Step-up Challenge
- Have troops compete for the most steps per person.
- Daily winning troops get to go first in the dining hall.
- Collect step count evaluation forms at the end of each week.
- Individual Step-Up challenge
Budget considerations include: whiteboard/markers for troop competition, pedometers.
Measures of Success
The following measures of success can be used to evaluate success:
- Trading Post food sales per person
- Focus groups
- Troop leader evaluations
- Dining hall invoices with pricing
- Actual menus served for each week of camp
- Step count evaluations per troop
- Monitor waste by standing by trash cans and observing food disposed
- Top sellers in Trading Post
- Food costs