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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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Brilliant baklava

First suggested by Muslim Scout Fellowship
Bake some baklava to celebrate Eid and learn about how it's celebrated.

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You’ll need

  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pan
  • Hob
  • Brush
  • Baking tin
  • Blender (optional)

Before you begin 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Take a look at our guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples.  
  • Make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 
  • Check for allergies, intolerances, fasting, food-related medical conditions, eating disorders, food sensitivities or dietary requirements, then adjust the food items used as needed. This may include making sure there’s no cross-contamination of packaging and no cross-contamination during the storage, preparation, cooking and serving. 
  • You may need to use separate chopping boards, equipment and utensils, such as tongs or toasters, for different dietary requirements, allergies and foods.
  • If you’re unsure, check with the young person and their parents or carers. You can check with the adult directly if it’s a volunteer or helper.
  • Some people may not like certain food textures or tastes and that’s OK. People don’t need to use all the ingredients if they don’t want to, and no-one should be made to try foods if they don’t want to. You can try to find an alternative for them. 
  • Take a look at our guidance on food preparation
  • You could run our kitchen hygiene activities before this session.
  • Always have a hand washing station, washing hands regularly throughout this activity, and taking extra hygiene precautions when handling food. If you're using gloves to prepare food, treat them like your hands. Wash any gloves before using them and in between if necessary.
  • Spray and wipe down all working surfaces and tables with anti-bacterial spray before and after use, and wash any equipment you’re using in hot soapy water.
  • Take extra hygiene precautions when handling raw meat, such as regular hand washing.
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate, having separate equipment for raw and cooked meat, and washing up equipment as soon as it's been used. 
  • Make sure food is properly cooked before you serve it. Always cut through poultry and meat to make sure it's fully cooked, especially when barbecuing food. Make sure it's cooked slowly and thoroughly, and not just done on the outside.
  • Always follow cooking instructions and never use food past its use-by date. 
  • Keep food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible.
  • At the start of this activity, remind everyone of kitchen or indoor cooking safety rules and how to act safely. Always tie hair back, tuck in neckers and loose clothing, and wear closed toe shoes. Take a look at our kitchen safety tips.
  • You may want to run a demonstration on how to use the equipment safely, such as for cooking or chopping ingredients. You could use our kitchen safety activities before this session.
  • Make sure any cooking equipment or heat sources, such as ovens and hobs, always have adult supervision, including during free time and arrival times. If anyone struggles with sensing danger, you should consider providing extra adult supervision. This could be especially helpful at unstructured times, such as breaks or waiting to cook.
  • Remind everyone to keep their fingers away from any knives. You may want to use blunt, child-friendly knives, or you could also have ingredients pre-chopped.
  • If you’re using a gas stove, tabletop hob plates or a mini oven, make sure it’s on a stable heat proof surface and in a clear and open area, with plenty of ventilation. Gas appliances and sources can increase risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Take a look at our guidance on different cooking methods and carbon monoxide.
  • You may want to put child-safe locks on cupboard doors to prevent access by young people, especially for cupboards containing matches, cleaning products or chemicals.
  • People can work in small groups or as a whole group to bake or cook. Each group should have adult supervision.
  • You may want to be in groups, but everyone to use the same cooking source, rather than having each group have their own.
  • You may wish for groups to make or prepare the ingredients in a wider, more spacious area, then invite each group into the kitchen to cook one at a time. 
  • Remember the groups not using the kitchen or cooking will still need to be supervised, always following the Yellow Card
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients ready. You may want to pre-chop or pre-measure some activities.

Scouts is open to everyone. We don’t identify exclusively with one faith, and we welcome people of all faiths and of none.

We know it’s important for people to learn about each other, including understanding different faiths and beliefs. Scouts always respects people’s beliefs, faiths and cultures, and everyone should be open to learn.

As an inclusive and values based movement, we support our members to engage and learn about different faiths and beliefs in an exciting and meaningful way, even if they don’t have a faith themselves.  

Celebrating and understanding differences, including differences in faiths and beliefs, is an important part of our Scout values, which are:

  • Integrity: We act with integrity; we are honest, trustworthy and loyal.
  • Respect: We have self-respect and respect for others.
  • Care: We support others and take care of the world in which we live.
  • Belief: We explore our faiths, beliefs and attitudes.
  • Co-operation: We make a positive difference; we co-operate with others and make friends.

Our value of Belief and its exploration helps Scouts to learn from other faiths and beliefs. This encourages them to develop or build their personal beliefs and understand their shared values, whether faith-based on not. 

We know that learning about faiths, beliefs and different attitudes can help to break down barriers, helps us all to recognise what we have in common, and teaches us to value and respect other people. It also helps us to build up respect, acceptance and knowledge for each other, leading to a more co-operative and inclusive society. 

In our diverse society, people can sometimes feel cautious talking about  this sensitive subject. However, it's important that Scouts offers young people safe, exciting and open spaces to explore faiths and beliefs. They should be able to engage in personal reflection, as they question and develop their opinions and understanding of the world around them.

Making time for personal reflection and developing our beliefs means exploring the places, people, communities, celebrations or stories which hold meaning for us, and it may not necessarily mean exploring a faith. 

For example, someone’s shared values may be their Scout Values and that person may choose to reflect on them at important times, such as when they make their Promise. Others may choose to reflect at certain times of the year, such as a faith-based festival, birthdays, meaningful events or at New Year. Some people may still celebrate events, such as Christmas, but use it as a time to celebrate family, friends and loved ones, as well as for charity and giving.

Discover more about Faiths and Beliefs in Scouts.

What’s Ramadan?

  • Ramadan remembers the month the Qur'an (the Muslim holy book) was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
  • The actual night that the Qur'an was revealed is a night known as Lailut ul-Qadr ('The Night of Power').
  • During the month of Ramadan, Muslims won't eat or drink during the hours of daylight. This is called fasting.
  • Young people aren’t expected to fast until they reach puberty, usually around the age of 14.

How’s Ramadan celebrated?

  • Most Muslims fast between dawn and sunset.
  • Fasting allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith. It’s thought to teach self-discipline and reminds them of the suffering of the poor.
  • Children, young people, pregnant women, elderly people and those who are ill or travelling don't have to fast.
  • During Ramadan, it’s common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before dawn and another (known as the iftar), directly after sunset.
  • Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan. It’s a time for prayer and good deeds. They’ll try to spend time with family and friends, and help people in need.
  • Many Muslims will attempt to read the whole of the Qur'an at least once during Ramadan. They will also attend special services in Mosques during which the Qur'an is read.

What’s Eid al-Fitr?

  • The end of Ramadan is marked by a big celebration called 'Eid al-Fitr' (the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast).
  • Muslims are celebrating the end of fasting and also thanking Allah for the strength he gave them throughout the fast.
  • Mosques hold special services and a special meal is eaten during daytime (the first daytime meal for a month).
  • During Eid al-Fitr, Muslims dress in their finest clothes, give gifts, and spend time with their friends and family. They’ll also give money to charity at Eid.
  • Eid marks the end of a month of fasting from dawn to sunset, as well as spiritual reflection and prayer. The day starts with prayers and a big meal is usually the main event, but there’s lots of other ways people celebrate too.

What’s Eid al-Adha and why's it celebrated?

  • Eid al-Adha ('Festival of Sacrifice') is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar.
  • The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.
  • Eid al-Adha celebrates the time when Ibrahim had a dream which he believed was a message from Allah asking him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God.
  • The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.

When’s Eid al-Adha?

  • Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha on the last day of the Hajj. The Hajj is pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
  • It occurs every year and is the Fifth Pillar of Islam (and therefore very important).
  • All Muslims who are fit and able to travel should make the visit to Makkah at least once in their lives.
  • In 2023, Eid al-Adha will begin on the evening of Wednesday 28 June and end on the evening of Sunday 2 July.

What happens during the Hajj?

  • During the Hajj, the pilgrims perform acts of worship and renew their faith and sense of purpose in the world.
  • They stand before the Ka'bah, a shrine built by Ibrahim, and praise Allah together.
  • The Ka'bah is the most important monument in Islam.
  • Pilgrims walk around the Ka'bah seven times and many of them try to touch the Black Stone located at the corner.

How do people celebrate Eid-al-Adha?

  • Eid-al-Adha usually starts with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers.
  • They dress in their best clothes and thank Allah for all the blessings they have received.
  • It's a time when they visit family and friends. 
  • Muslims will also give money to charity, so that poorer people can celebrate too.

 

Planning and setting up this activity

  • Remember to give a safety briefing for the cooking equipment and methods you’re using. You may wish to demonstrate the methods or activity before you all start cooking.

Introducing the activity 

  1. Gather everyone together and tell them that you’re going to make some Baklava.
  2. Explain that Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are celebrated in Islam, which is the second largest religion in the world. It has over one billion followers, who are called Muslims. There are five pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith (Shahadah), praying five times a day (Salat), giving money to charity (Zakat), fasting (Sawm) and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). The five pillars of Islam provide a framework for a Muslim’s whole life – it’s about putting their faith first, not trying to fit their faith around the rest of their life.
  3. Tell everyone that baklava is often eaten on Eid.

Bake your baklava

Ingredients

  • 200g roasted, shelled pistachios
  • 300g shelled walnuts
  • 500g filo pastry
  • 100g melted ghee
  • 100g honey
  • Half teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 300ml water

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20–25 mins

Serves: 8

Make the baklava

  1. Finely chop or blend 50g of your pistachios, then keep them to one side to use later.
  2. Blend the rest of the pistachios and all of the walnuts into a fine crumb.
  3. Lay out the filo pastry sheets and cut them to fit the shape of your chosen baking tin.
  4. Layer 150g of filo pastry into your tin one sheet at a time, brushing each sheet with melted ghee.
  5. Sprinkle half of the pistachio and walnut mixture evenly over the top.
  6. Layer another 150g of filo, again brushing between each layer with ghee.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture on top.
  8. Layer the final sheets of filo and brush well with ghee.
  9. Carefully cut shapes into the baklava.
  10. Each group should, wearing heatproof gloves, carefully place the baklava in the oven, with an adult volunteer to help. It should bake in a preheated at 180C for 20–25 minutes, until it’s golden brown.

Making the syrup

  1. While it’s baking, put the honey, orange blossom water, sugar and water into a pan and bring to a simmer for two minutes.
  2. An adult volunteer should take the pan off the heat source using heatproof gloves, then place it on a heatproof service, away from young people.
  3. An adult volunteer should transfer the syrup into a heatproof jug for young people to use to pour the syrup onto the baklava.

Bringing everything together

  1. When ready, an adult volunteer should wear heatproof gloves and carefully remove the scones from the oven and place the tray on a heatproof surface, away from young people.
  2. With adult supervision, pour the syrup over the cooked baklava.
  3. Allow the baklava cool to room temperature before serving, then try tasting it.

To watch in full screen, double click the video

Reflection

This activity was a great introduction to baking and was hopefully lots of fun, while also developing your kitchen skills.   

Has anyone had a baklava before? What was it like to make them? Was it how you expected? 

Cooking and baking often involves lots of teamwork. Did you work well as a team? How did you make sure everyone got to take part?  

Kitchens can be dangerous places. When cooking in the kitchen, how did you keep yourself and each other safe while you were cooking?  

This activity was also a chance to learn about Islam. What can you remember? Were there similarities between the five pillars of Islam and your own values or attitudes?

One of the Scouts values is beliefs. Scouts always respect people’s beliefs, faiths and cultures, and everyone should be open to learn. Ask everyone why it’s important for people to learn about each other's faiths and beliefs, even if we don’t have a faith ourselves. Tell everyone that part of being a global citizen, as well as being a Scout, is learning about different faiths, cultures and beliefs and identifying the things people have in common.

Explain that if people don’t have a faith, that’s OK. They might have beliefs, values or a shared community, like in Scouts where we have shared values of integrity, respect, care, cooperation and belief. Whether you’ve a faith or not, what are your most important values or beliefs? For example, you may believe in kindness or value honesty and compassion. 

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Food

Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Cooking

Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.

  • Check your ingredients against any allergy or dietary requirements to make sure everyone can enjoy the recipe. This may mean using alternative ingredients. 
  • If anyone needs extra support, let them the opportunity to work in pairs with another young person, with a young leader or an adult volunteer. If needed people could swap out the items for something easier to handle. 
  • Make sure the objects are placed in areas accessible for everyone in the group, and all the materials are at a level that can be easily worked on by wheelchair users. 
  • You could have print-outs of the recipe, including large print versions, to help everyone follow the instructions. 
  • There are lots of loud noises and different smells in a kitchen or while cooking, which may overwhelm some people. People may choose to wear ear defenders while in the kitchen, take a break from the activity or prefer to stay a distance away from the activity and that’s OK. You could use fragrance free soap or washing up liquid or have items pre-chopped to reduce noise. You might also want to keep any blending, electric whisks or noisier equipment to being used in one room and shut the door, so people have an option to step out if it’s too loud.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

If you enjoyed this activity, you could try our other activities linked to Eid. You may want to look at our badges to do with World Faiths.

If you’ve any Muslim members in your group, you could offer them the opportunity to share their experiences, but only if they want to and are comfortable to do so. You may want to ask or chat to them before the session, so they don’t feel put on the spot or singled out.