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Guides Emergency Cooking and Rationing and Cooking for Guides

We have just completed our first of these at a local Guide Group, it was a great success and a lot of fun, lots learnt about history and traditions, hardships, working as a team, planning, cooking skills and so much more. The whole exercise is run as a competition between patrols.

The objects of this exercise:

1. Understanding rationing during WW2.

2. Planning and co-ordination.

3. To light a fire and make a cup of tea within 20 minutes (preferably hot!).

4. To make a hot cooked meal for four people, using only what was available in times of rationing.

5. Cook something to go with the meal, (pudding, bread dampers, an accompaniment) .

6. To clear away and wash up everything.

The activities take place over two evenings:

Evening 1

To start with we do a 30 minute talk/presentation with hundreds of original photos of what Girl Guides did in WW2, focusing on the Blitz, the results and what the Guides did to help with providing emergency cooking, help and refreshments for victims and helpers. We cover rationing, what was on ration what was not, how it all worked and a general overview, plus ideas on how to cook on a open fire.

For the remaining time of the meeting, we give them a list of non-rationed goods, some basic ideas, several original recipes, along with a planning list (who does what, buying the food, what to cook, who lights the fire, food prep, etc.).

Evening 2

We returned to watch/advise with the challenge and to mark it. The winning patrol will be presented with a prize.

The results

Our last one of these challenges was great fun and we think the girls learnt a lot from it (in fact feeback from the leaders said the girls were talking about it for weeks afterwards). 3 out of four Patrols managed the cup of tea within the time, all patrols made a good hot meal, two of them making up their recipes within rationed goods.

We had a good thick vegetable stew, potatoes, carrots and peas, nice corn beef hash, a macaroni, cabbage and vegetable stew, and something I am not quite sure but it had potatoes, swede, turnip with some sort of pasta!

We had the most amazing dampers made by one patrol, who became the winners, well cooked dampers (bread cooked on sticks) served with strawberry jam, with hand picked local raspberries and blackberries, accompanied with sliced apple (presentation to equal anything from Masterchef).

Winners received a large tub, of chocolates, with a souvenir wooden spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read these before making an enquiry or booking, most of the answers are below, however please ask if you cannot find the answer you are looking for:

Do you charge?
We are non-profit making and talks are free, however due to the current high cost of fuel we sadly have to ask for help with our travel costs (at 35 pence per mile) and if you wish to make a donation to help with our other expenses (software and photo licenses, equipment, etc) it would be appreciated. The amount for travel expenses will be agreed at the time of the booking.

How many Guides can you talk to?
We have a maximum of 25 Guides (please discuss with us if you have more than this).  We have a minimum of 6 Guides – perhaps if you have a small group you might consider inviting another pack to join in. 

What do you provide?
Projector, stand, screen.
A small display of 1940s memorabilia.
Lists of non-rationed foods, sample recipes and planning list.

If your hall has a projector, HDMI connection or screen please let us know.

What do we need to provide?
Address, Post Code and clear directions to the hall.
Contact details including phone number.
Number of Guides and any who have special needs (this is to make sure we are fully inclusive).
4 x 6ft tables (if this is not possible we can bring 2 tables, but need advance notice).
Electric point
Help transporting to and from the car is much appreciated.
A space where patrols can light fires, fire wood, equipment (to be discussed).

Do you have DBS checks?
No, we do not have DBS checks. We have been advised by the agency that we are not entitled to get DBS checks as we are not a company or affiliated with a charity or church. However, Karen is a registered Brownie leader.

We do not expect to be left alone with the children at any point and at least one other adult must be in attendance at all times.

How do I make a donation?
Donations may be made using any of the following:
1. Bank Transfer: 
Payee Name: Doing Their Bit
Account Number: 13225895
Sort Code: 04-03-33
2. By cheque to Mr B Wiles, 85 Church Road, Long Hanborough, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 8JF

How do I book a talk?
Please e-mail contact@doingtheirbit.co.uk with your request.  We aim to answer e-mails within 1 day. We do not accept bookings by phone.