Boy Scout Troop 98 chuck boxes

This site contains the details regarding the chuckboxes (aka chuck box or chuck boxes) used by Boy Scouts of America BSA Troop 98. 

The goal of the design and development process was to devise a chuckbox system that was convenient and safe for Scouts to use during camp outs.  This goal was met by using a combination of off-the-shelf components and custom assemblies.  A chuckbox can be safely set up by two ten-year-old Scouts working together, or one one older Scout working by themselves.

Other design goals:
  • Inexpensive
  • Use commonly-available materials and hardware
  • Can be assembled without the need of fancy tools
  • Efficient use of space
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Easy and safe to set up
  • Provides both storage and working space
One guiding principle that helped simplify the requirements for these chuckboxes is that we decided that the chuckbox should focus on storing, organizing and protecting the 'tools of the trade' --- that is, the chuckbox is for cooking utensil, tools, pots, pans and related equipment, and is NOT to include other things one typically finds in the 'average' chuckbox:

  • No food - no spices, no condiments, no staple ingredients.  These are better stored separately, either in a central troop pantry, or in a separate tub or container for the patrol.  The eliminates contamination, insect or animal attraction and a host of other complications caused by having food, liquids, powders and other materials together with what we are trying to keep clean and sanitary.
  • No personal mess gear - each Scout should be responsible for their own personal gear, and have their own storage bag, everything marked with their name, ...
  • No cleaning supplies - again, no liquids, powers, contaminated sponges, rags or other materials in the same place as our tools.  Again, these are better stored (and monitored for cleanliness) centrally for use by the troop, or in a separate container by patrol.
  • No fire-starting materials - we store these centrally as well.
Given these design decisions, what does this chuckbox actually look like, and what does it contain?

The core of the chuckbox is a Contico model 3514-NLBK or 3514-BK structural foam storage bin.  These storage bins can be found on sale for as little as $30 or so, but availability and prices vary widely.  This bin is available from a variety of suppliers including WalMart, Amazon, various Fleet and Farm stores and some big box home improvement stores.  One example here: 

 The dimensions shown in this site are specific to this exact model of storage bin, but the basic principles of this construction can be generalized to most other similar kinds of bins if more storage space is desired, or if this exact model is not available in your area.

The remainder of the chuckbox features are constructed as part of the folding frame, work surface and leg assembly.   You can click on most pictures to see a more detailed view.  

 Here's what a completed, assembled chuckbox looks like in the field, in action: