Hi, You've got a bunch of kids for five days. Work time eh? haha
They need proper food. though. One day of cold cut is OK but next day they want a meal.
Camp has to be fun or it's not fun any more and it puts them off for next time then.
More outdoor fun lost for them later They want fun. And good eats.
They can learn more then, stay interested, stay happy.
Outdoor adventure gets the hunger fairy busy. Hungry young folks tell bad stories when they get home.
Oooooh, no thanks....O the life of a teacher eh?
My daughter does that, teaches in summer camp as well..archery, kayaking, navigation, wildlife, folk dance (island champion here, happy me with a daughter like that, no worries. Brought up with it).
You can hire big camping stoves that will heat a three gallon or even bigger pot or a big Dutch oven which are great at camp for feeding a lot of people cheaply with pasta bakes and the like.
Maybe the local education authority already has some big stoves and pots for groups, or see the local Scouts and Guides and ask if you can borrow some stuff.
If trips like that are a regular thing for the school, even if only twice a year, try to get some funding for a good stove or two.
See local companies. Hold an event. The kids can do lots and the money builds up over the weeks.
It all helps to keep the kids...and the teachers...happy. And the parents.
You can take plenty of pasta of a few varieties and long-lasting whole veg like cabbages which can be shredded to make coleslaw and other concoctions or cooked easily.
You need a long knfe for cabbage for an easy job. Big, big knife with a curved edge, not straight.
Chefs 'looking-good-with' posing knife, haha.
Make a big dish of shredded cabbage, open a jar of whatever to mix in with it, and there's a quick easy and tasty addition to a cold meal in minutes.
Add onion or carrot shredded too or make separate dishes.
Good with cheeses, vaccuum packed cold meats, chopped boiled eggs, etc.
Add grated cheese to it, mixed into the dish.. Goes nice. Or use cottage cheese, lime or lemon, a bit of red pepper to make it look nice as well as for flavour.
Most stuff will be used before the five days is up so you can take more than five-day- lasting stuff.
Some of it only has to last a day.
Loaves can be OK for a couple of days and what isn't good and can't be toasted makes bread pudding or summer pudding with fruits.
From cans if you like. Summer pudding is good. Make a simple one, not a dinner party at home variety. Still OK.
A couple of whole cheeses last better than cut packet cheese. An Edam for example.
Apples and some other fruits also last and you can make loads of different dishes with chopped raw fruits, or cook them.
Bananas, cheap and OK for a while. Make easy things with them with long-life milk and honey or sugar, mashed banana, chopped fruit, and....grated cheese in a thicker style of what could have been a milk shake.
Long-life milk is OK for months outside, no problem. The additions take away the cooked milk taste and for porridge, perfect stable for outdoors, easy, cheap, nourishing and it doesn't need cooking if you just soak it for an hour with the milk. Try it if you haven't already.). It goes fine.
Add dried fruits like sultanas, dried chopped peaches, etc.. Make your own muesli for half the price of buying it.
Fruits and cheese together are standard in the Alps.
Cheesy fruity shakes are easy.Think semi-liquid cheesecake topping without a base, drinkable as a syrup thichness, or a thicker one for a spoon job.
Add biscuit and you've got another sweet treat for them.
Lots of fruit and veg will last for days in the shade and you can make a cool place to keep them in by using a box covered with a wet cloth with the sides draped in tanks of water so the water goes up the cloth by capillary action.
Nothing fussy, they just have to hold water, not look pretty. Logs and a sheet of polythene. 5-minute job.
Teaches the kids practical science too.
And the kids (and you, don't forget you) get fresh healthy food.
Not a single bought 'camp food' in that lot. Those are convenience foods.
Our non-electric coolboxes are made of blocks of local chalk or you can make plaster ones. A depression in the top holds the water which oozes through and evaporates, keepng the inside cool. More practical science, same idea.
Make one...school craft project. Cheap.
Heavy though, need transport for them.
For a book, try Dian Thomas..Roughing it Easy.
It's a gem of simple ideas and good eating outdoors. Amusing to read, nice chatty style.
Cheap from Amazon secondhand or buy one from your local bookshop.
Worth every cent.
You don't have to do everything for them. No point spoiling them. Get them helping.
Have a great time. Take care of yourself. Easy it ain't, sometimes.
Fun though. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100711153137AAcVpxP