You will need
- Ingredients (see recipe card)
- Kitchen scales
- Mixing bowls
- Chopping boards
- Wooden spoons
- Oven dishes
- Reusable tubs
Before you begin
- Make sure you’re aware of any allergies and dietary requirements among the group.
- If you want blackberries, August is the best month. Depending on where you are, September and October can also be good. You could also run this activity at another time of year by picking other seasonal fruit, or go to a fruit-picking farm (though going to a farm will involve additional costs).
- If going to pick berries isn’t an option for you (because of where you are or the time of year), you could buy some instead. Just be aware that if you don’t pick the berries, it won’t count towards requirement four of the Cubs Naturalist Activity Badge.
If you’re picking berries
- Decide where you’ll go to pick wild berries. Before you go, make sure you’ll have enough adult leaders to supervise, and seek permission from the landowner.
- Make sure you’re aware of the guidelines around picking wild fruit.
- When you’re picking berries, be certain of what you are picking before you eat it. Only pick fruit from areas where there is plenty, only take the amount that you plan to use, and make sure you leave plenty behind. It’s not just important that other people can enjoy some fruit – you need to leave berries for birds and animals to feed from, and so the plants to reproduce.
Make your bake
- The person leading the game should set up safe cooking stations – they may want to do this before everyone arrives.
- Everyone should get into small groups of 4-5 people, and collect their ingredients from the people leading the activity.
- Each group should prepare and cook their fruity crumble at a cooking station, with an adult supervising.
- People may need to take it in turns at different stations (for example, washing, chopping, and cooking), depending on the space and facilities you have.
- Once the fruity crumble has baked, it should be taken out of the oven. Let it cool down a bit before enjoying the delicious dessert.
- Each group should then tidy up any mess they’ve made, including their plates.
This activity was all about living healthily and developing skills. What are some of the benefits of using freshly picked fruit? People might talk about how it’s not likely to have chemicals on, how it doesn’t generate plastic waste, and how it’s free. Hopefully everyone made a tasty dessert that was also full of fruit. Why is it important to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables? They’re tasty, they help us feel healthy, and they have plenty of vitamins and fibre in.
Everyone also valued the outdoors in this activity. Why was it important not to take too much of the fruit from an area? People might remember that it’s nice to leave some for others, but, more importantly, it’s important that there are enough berries for birds, insects, and other animals, and that there are enough seeds left for the plants can reproduce.
- 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.
- Animals and insects
Be aware of the risks before interacting with animals. Be aware of anyone with allergies, and make alternative arrangements for them.
- Gardening and nature
Everyone must wash their hands after the activity has finished. Wear gloves if needed. Explain how to safely use equipment and set clear boundaries so everyone knows what’s allowed.
- 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.
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 for allergies before you begin and read the guidance on food safety. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.