Skip to main content

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

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Cook billy can breakfast beans

Work together to make a tasty and filling breakfast using a billy can, some beans, and a fire.

Back to Activities

You’ll need

  • Ingredients (see recipe)
  • Spoons
  • Chopping boards
  • Bowls
  • Tin opener
  • Washing up equipment
  • Oven gloves
  • Bucket of water
  • Billy cans
Recipe card (Billy can breakfast beans)
PDF – 187.5KB

To watch in full screen, double click the video


Before you begin

  • Split into small groups of between four and six people.
  • Everyone should wash their hands.
  • Everyone should build a light a fire.

Prepare your fire

Once the last flames die down, most of what’s left will be a type of fuel called white coals.

  1. Someone should use a stick to spread the white coals out.
  1. The fire is now ready for cooking. The chefs can use a billy can to cook directly on the coals.

Make your meal

  1. Groups should get ready to cook by making sure their area, their equipment, and their team members are clean and ready to go.
  2. The person leading the activity should give each group a copy of the recipe card, their equipment, and their ingredients.
  3. Groups should follow their recipe card to prepare, backwoods cook, and enjoy their billy can breakfast beans.

Extinguish your fire and clean up

  1. Once everyone has finished using the fire, no one should add any more wood. The fire will die down.
  2. Someone should use a new stick (not one that’s been in the fire) to carefully spread out the wood and embers so they cool down faster.
  3. Someone should pour water over the smouldering wood and ashes to make sure they’re fully extinguished. They should use the stick to mix the water through the ashes.
  4. Everyone should work together to clear up quickly and efficiently – each group needs to wash up their utensils and dispose of rubbish and leftovers.


This activity helped you to value the outdoors. Did you enjoy cooking outside? What did you notice about the outdoors as you cooked? Was the outdoors helpful today, or did it make cooking challenging? Did you enjoy backwoods cooking? How did you keep the outdoors safe as (and after) you cooked?

This activity also helped you to live healthily. The good news is that billy can breakfast beans aren’t just super tasty – they’re healthy, too. How many portions of vegetables do you think were in your meal? Can you remember how many portions of fruit and vegetables we should aim to eat a day? What are beans good sources of (for example, protein and fibre)? Why is it especially important to eat breakfast when you’re camping or being active?


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.


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.

Fires and stoves

Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.


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.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast, and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.


This activity has specific rules and systems to make sure it’s managed safely. Take a look at adventure activities for more guidance. 

Buy pre-diced vegetables so groups don’t need to dice them.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.