When Mike Pustay is scouting for a new campfire food lesson for his troops, he looks for ones that are easy, practical and fun.
Campfire Donuts fit the bill.
“I remember doing it when I was a kid,” Pustay, of Perrysburg, said. “When I was in scouts as a kid we did this. It’s pretty simple.”
He uses refrigerated biscuits, cut or rolled into shapes. Take the center out to get an original donut shape, or roll them to get donut holes.
Pustay heats oil in a Dutch oven over the campfire. When the oil is hot, add the dough. Depending on how hot the oil is, the dough cooks about 2-3 minutes each side. The first batch may need a little longer cooking time.
After the donuts are cooked, roll them around in sugar.
“If you want, you can let them cool down a little longer and use icing and sprinkles,” he said.
Pustay was part of a Boy Scout summer camp for Troop 332 in Luckey. He oversees the troop along with Eric Heinemann, Brad Schramm, Paul Perry and Troy King. Greg Cornell is the scoutmaster.
They cook a lot of hot dogs and spaghetti on the campfire, and Pustay thought the donuts would be a real treat.
“That was the first time we’ve done it with the boys and they really enjoyed it. I think I ended up making about 120 of them,” he said.
There are 10 boys, including his son, Nathan, who is 14, in the troop. Pustay and his wife, Jamie, also have two daughters, Megan and Emily.
Scouting has been a part of Pustay’s life since he was a boy.
“I enjoyed the camping and being outside. We were a pretty active troop, going on hikes and camping once a month,” said Pustay, who also grew up in Perrysburg.
“I think it teaches them a lot of life skills. My son, for example, he’s looking at going to Penta (Career Center) to get into welding. He had a taste of it, got a badge in summer camp, plus some STEM camps.”
Scouts can earn merit badges in budgeting and finance and first aid, Pustay said.
“That’s one of the things with Boy Scouts, with all the different badges, they cover so many different job fields, that it will spark an interest,” he said.
Pustay is a route driver for Stericycle, a medical waste hauling company. He also serves on the church council at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stony Ridge.
The family does a lot of camping and Pustay said they cook almost every meal on the campfire.
“We have a camper, and we go all over. This year we’re mainly staying at Ohio,” Pustay said, adding that they vacationed in Branson, Missouri, last year in the 42-foot, fifth-wheel recreational vehicle.
“We’ve been doing quite a few of our breakfast meals over the fire, eggs and bacon,” he said, adding that they’ve also cooked chicken fajitas, brownies, macaroni and cheese and pizza outside.
One of the boys in his troop suggested a big burger dish. They put 3 pounds of hamburger into the Dutch oven, let it cook, then flipped it for additional cooking, Pustay said.
“We’ve kind of encouraged the boys, when we’re planning menus for campouts, look online to see what you want to do.”