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Value menu

Choose a cause to support as you plan meals for an international camp.

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You’ll need

  • Device with access to the internet

Activity introduction: 

In this activity, everyone will create a camp menu that works for people with different dietary requirements. They’ll then split into teams and shop for their menu as though they've different values around food. For example, one group may focus on finding the lowest prices, some may only want to be buying organic food and others may be keen to choose local produce.

The activity introduces the idea of value as something which means much more just the price of a food – for some people, it includes supporting certain businesses or causes with their money choices. 

You may want to run this activity over two meetings. In the first meeting, you could ask who’s on the camp and choose your value; in the second meeting, you could make the menu and serve your budget. This activity works both online and face-to-face.

Before you begin

  • 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.

Setting up this activity

  • Make sure have some information at the meeting about different dietary requirements, so you can help groups if they get stuck. We’ve included some information below. 
  • If anyone in your group has an allergy or dietary requirements, they may want to focus on that as their value for their group. However, they also may not want to and it shouldn't be presumed that they're comfortable sharing this with the group. Ask them if this is something they're comfortable sharing and discussing first.
  • Decide how you’ll run the activity. We’ve included suggestions for running it online and face-to-face. You’ll need to decide whether to research online, go to a supermarket or ask people to figure it out between the sessions.
  • It’s important that everyone respects other people’s choices and religions – even if no one who makes that choice or follows that religion is in the group. Decide whether you want to set ground rules to guide everyone. 

Step 1: who’s on the camp?

  1. Gather everyone together and set the scene: you’re about to go on an international camp – and they’ve put you in charge of the food! What would you need to think about?
  2. Encourage people to think about how they’d feed everyone, taking into consideration people’s different dietary requirements. How would they make sure that they got the best value? 
  3. As a whole group, people should chat about the importance of including everyone when they plan the camp meals 
  • People in your group may have different dietary requirements. What do you already do to make sure people are included? How can you make sure they feel comfortable during this activity?  
  • How many different dietary requirements can the group can think of? What are the similarities and differences between them? You could think about the foods people do and don’t eat, as well as the reasons why.
  • If you’re not sure about something, do some more research into what foods different people do and don’t eat. You could also respectfully ask people if they’re happy to explain more 
  • Hindu – most Hindus don’t eat beef and many are vegetarian. They may eat fish, eggs, and dairy. You can find out more on the BBC Bitesize website.
  • Muslim – most Muslims only eat ‘halal’ (meaning lawful) food. This includes preparing meat in a halal way, where the animal does not suffer, and not eating pork or shellfish. You can find out more on the BBC Bitesize website. 
  • Jewish – most Jews only eat ‘kosher’ (meaning pure, or suitable for consumption) food. This can include not combining any meat with dairy and not eating pork or shellfish. You can find out more on the BBC Bitesize website. 
  • Buddhists – most Buddhists are vegetarian or vegan. You can find out more on the BBC Bitesize website.
  • Coeliacs – people with coeliac disease must remove all gluten from their diet. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. People with coeliac disease could become unwell if the food they eat touches gluten. You can find out more on the Coeliac UK or NHS website
  • Gluten free – some people who aren’t coeliacs avoid gluten because they’re sensitive to it. They may avoid foods containing wheat, barley, and rye. You can find out more on the Coeliac UK website. 
  • People with allergies – people can be allergic to lots of different things. In the UK, we’ve identified 14 major allergens that have to be mentioned on labels and allergen menus. You can find out more on the Allergy UK website.
  • Vegetarians – most vegetarians don’t eat meat or fish. You can find out more on the Vegetarian Society or NHS website.
  • Vegans – vegans don’t eat anything from animals, including milk and eggs. You can find out more on the Vegan society or NHS website.
  1. Everyone should make a list of foods that would work for people with different dietary requirements. Are there foods that would work for everyone? How many different combinations can people make – can they make up some new dishes together?
  2. It doesn’t matter whether you write or draw your list. You could do it together – it’s just to help everyone understand different requirements and get everyone thinking.
  3. Everyone should agree on a menu for their camp and choose the dishes they’ll serve. They should work together to write a shopping list of the things they’ll need to buy. They should agree on serving sizes too, so everyone knows how much they’d need to buy.
  • Rice 
  • Potatoes 
  • Gluten free pasta
  • Gluten free bread or wraps 
  • Rice noodles 
  • Meat-free products (for example, vegan mince, sausages, and burgers). What would you need to look for in the ingredients? People might think about avoiding common allergens like egg, nuts, sesame, and soya. 
  • Vegetables 
  • Fruit  
  • Beans, pulses, and lentils 
  • Sauces – what would you need to look for in the ingredients?
  • What about desserts? 
  • What else can you think of? 

Step 2: choose your value

  1. Explain that whenever someone spends money, it affects someone else. People often choose where to spend their money by deciding what they want to support – their spending can represent their values.

For example, something might cost more if it’s organic, but it might have less of an impact on the environment. 

  1. Everyone should split into small teams. Each team should choose a value to support. They don’t have to support this value in real life – it’s just to plan a menu.

Make sure you represent lots of different values across the teams. This activity’s about making informed decisions and thinking about the impact of spending money. 

  1. Each team should think about the products they’ll need to make the menu they agreed on. What will they need to look out for when they’re shopping for their value?

For example, one team might be looking for the cheapest apples, while another team might be searching for fruit grown in the UK.

  • Lowest price 
  • Closest country of origin 
  • Organic 
  • Fair Trade (you can find out more about Fair Trade with Fairly baked bananas)
  • Made in the UK 
  • Made locally
  • Something else? 

Step 3: make the menu 

  1. The teams should find out how much their menu would cost if they shopped following their value. 
  2. They don’t need to buy anything – this part of the activity is just about finding out the cost. They should keep track of the prices by writing them down or putting them into a calculator or two.
  3. Depending on how you’re meeting, people could use the internet to find the prices on supermarket websites or you could have print-outs of common ingredients and their prices. Alternatively, the person leading the activity could arrange for everyone to go to the supermarket together or people could go to the supermarket between meetings with a responsible adult and bring in receipts. 
  4. Each team should work together to add up the total price of their menu. This isn’t a maths test – people can ask for help or use a calculator.


Step 4: serve your budget 

  1. Each team should choose a creative way to share what they’ve found. They could make a list to show how much it cost, create a map of where their items have come from, or make a collage of the people they’ve supported.  
  2. Everyone should share their creations and chat about what they found.
  • What was different in each budget? 
  • How easy was it to find what you needed? 
  • What was the difference between each team’s prices?  
  • What would happen if everyone chose to spend money in this way? 


What have people learned about where their money choices go? What have they learned about making sure everyone is catered for? 

Does anyone think they’d like to keep supporting certain values, such as in the future when they’re grown up and in charge of the food shopping? What would happen if everyone did this – what impact would it make?


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.

Give each group a price limit and see how much they can buy while sticking to that budget. 

Some people may need help with adding up prices. They can use calculators or ask for help – the important thing is that they get used to making choices.

Make sure that there’s no judgement about people’s dietary requirements or choices of value. For example, there are lots of reasons why some people might not be able to buy organic products or follow a vegetarian diet 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Next time you’re buying resources for a meeting or camp, choose a value to guide your spending choices.

Take a look at more money skills activities.

The young people should choose the value their group will support in their group. They can work together to make sure a variety of values are represented.