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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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Discover what this means

Chippy hike

Put your local chip shops to the test and see who’s crowned the winner.

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You’ll need

  • Scrap paper
  • Pens and pencils
  • Map of local area
  • Clipboards
  • Money for chips
Chip Hike Template
PDF – 65.6KB

The UK tradition of eating fish that had been battered and fried in oil was introduced to the London by Spanish and Portuguese Jewish immigrants in the 1860s. Chips had arrived in Britain from France in the eighteenth century, too. They were known as pommes frites.  

The ‘Rock & Sole Plaice’ opened in London in 1871. It’s London's oldest fish and chip shop and is still in operation today in Covent Garden. A lot of fish and chips were originally served wrapped up in old newspapers, but this has now been replaced with plain paper, cardboard and plastic.  

During the late 1800s, the development of railways connected ports to major industrial cities. This meant that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to heavily populated areas inland.  

During the Second World War, fish and chips remained one of the few foods in the United Kingdom not subject to rationing. During the D-Day landings, British soldiers who were part of the parachute regiment, often found themselves behind enemy lines at night. They needed a way of telling whether someone nearby was a friend or enemy. Their solution was a pair of codewords, so one person would call out ‘fish’ and the other replied ‘chips’. 

The first mention of chips was in 1854 when a leading chef included ‘thin cut potatoes cooked in oil’ in his recipe book, Shilling Cookery. Around this time, fish warehouses sold fried fish and bread, with mention of this in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist published in 1830. 

There are claims to the first chippie from Lancashire in the North and London in the South of England. No matter who may have opened the first fish and chip shop, the trade grew to feed a rapidly expanding population, reaching a staggering 35,000 shops in the 1930s and more than tripling since then. 

In Ireland, it’s thought the first fish and chips were sold by an Italian immigrant called Giuseppe Cervi. In around 1880, he mistakenly stepped off an America-bound ship at Cobh (then called Queenstown) in County Cork. He then walked all the way to Dublin, around 168 miles. Once in Dublin, Giuseppe started selling fish and chips outside universities and local pubs from a handcart, before finding a permanent shop in Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street). His wife, Palma, would ask customers "Uno di questa, uno di quella?" This phrase meant "one of this, one of the other", so entered the vernacular in Dublin as "one and one". This is still a way of referring to fish and chips in the city today.  

There are still around 11,000 fish and chip shops in the UK serving this beloved dish. Collectively these businesses use 10% of the UK's potato crop and 30% of all white fish sold in the UK. The industry generates a turnover of around £1.2 billion every year. The record for the largest number of portions sold in one day by an independent fish and chip shop is over 4,000.

Planning your walk 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here.  Don’t forget to 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. 
  • Have an effective InTouch process in place in case of an emergency 
  • Create a list of your local chip shops and plan a route for your group to walk on.  
  • Make sure you have a way to pay at each shop, including spare cash. You might want to let people know in advance that you’re visiting. 
  • Remember to check for any dietary requirements or allergies in your group and make any adjustments accordingly. 
  • We‘ve included a template for your young people to use to help score each chip shop. You may want to download and print this before you run this session or ask young people to write them out by hand. 

Get hiking 

  1. Meet at your normal meeting place.  
  2. Gather everyone together. Explain to your young people what they’ll be doing. You should explain how to stay safe on busy roads and at night. You might want to remind everyone of their Scouts values when interacting with the public, too.  
  3. Distribute maps with the route marked out, as well as score cards for people to rate their chips. You may want to let people score the chips either individually or as a group. 
  4. As a group, you could talk about what you like about chips and what people should think about when scoring, such as taste, smell, texture or softness. 
  5. Start on your hike and head to your first chippy. 
  6. If you’ve a large section, you may want to split your young people into smaller groups, so your local shops don’t get too crowded. You can either stagger the start times or send each group to a different shop to begin their hike, making sure to always follow the ratios and Yellow Card. Make sure you’ve communicated a set time to return to your meeting point. 
  7. Once everyone has completed their hike, gather your young people back together and tally up everyone’s scores. 
  8. Remember to announce the winner. You could let the chippy know or create a certificate for them to display.   


This activity helped you learn more about your local community. Did you find out anything that you didn’t already know about the area you live in?  

This activity gave everyone the chance to get stuck in and experience food. Why do people think that it’s good for us to try to eat a variety of different foods? Food can give us energy and helping build muscles, so it’s very important. Did you learn anything new about the kind of foods that you like? 

How did you feel about ranking the chips? What did you consider when scoring? Did any of the chips score differently than you were expecting? Did you feel the winner was the right chippy? Which chippy would have gone for? 


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.

Visits away from your meeting place

Complete a thorough risk assessment and include hazards, such as roads, woodland, plants, animals, and bodies of water (for example, rivers, ponds, lakes, and seas). You’ll probably need more adult helpers than usual. Your risk assessment should include how many adults you need. The young people to adult ratios are a minimum requirement. When you do your risk assessment, you might decide that you need more adults than the ratio specifies. Think about extra equipment that you may need to take with you, such as high visibility clothing, a first aid kit, water, and waterproofs. Throughout the activity, watch out for changes in the weather and do regular headcounts. 

If you want to, you can make your hike longer or shorter as needed. You could also integrate it into a night hike. Alternatively, you could combine it with an incident hike and add challenges along the way.  

Remember to consider dietary requirements when planning this session. It may be helpful to remind everyone that they don’t have to eat everything. This may reassure anyone who isn’t sure about tasting new foods – getting to know textures and smells is a great way to experience foods if anyone isn’t ready to try them. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Consider making a certificate from your group to the winning chip shop. 

You can write up a review of your favourite chip shop to help earn your Writers Badge.  

Allow your young people to suggest the chip shops to visit. They may have a favourite that they want to include. Additionally, ask your young people to decide the different categories theyll be rating their chips on. This could be the crunch, colour, texture, smell, sogginess or seasoning on the chips.