Feast or Famine Banquet

Date started
: 10 March 2012
Date completed: 10 March 2012
Number of Cubs: 38

Challenge Report
Dinner time on camp seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get the Cubs thinking about those less fortunate than themselves. After a busy day on camp the Cubs were all very hungry when they arrived in the dining room ... and were not very happy when the discovered that it wasn't yet time to eat. We talked to them about what was meant by the words "feast" and "famine" and we discussed the fact that some people in other parts of the world had very little to eat. We all agreed that it wasn't fair - and that we were very lucky to live in a "feast" country, where we always have plenty to eat. 

Then came the bad news. To see how it feels to be one of the unlucky people in the world the Cubs were all going to pick a piece of paper out of a hat. The paper would either say "Richest", "In the Middle" or "Poorest". The richest Cubs would have a feast of sausages, mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli, with delicious gravy, and they would get brownies for pudding. They would sit at a tables, laid with cutlery and drinks, and they would be served by the leaders. While everyone else was cooking they would have free time. The "middle" Cubs would have to prepare their own dinner. They would be given some potatoes, some tuna and a stove. They would be allowed to sit at a table and they would get a fork to eat with. The poorest Cubs would have a small amount of plain rice to cook. They would have to sit on the floor and eat with their hands. 

The Cubs were all very worried when it came to be their turn to pick. Some of them were overjoyed when they picked out a "Richest" ... others were in tears at the thought of surviving on plain rice alone. We asked the CUbs how they all felt. The richest ones were pretty happy, though a few of them felt slightly guilty (not very many of them!!). We asked if any of the risch Cubs would be willing to swap places with the poorer ones, but we didn't have any takers. The in-the-middle ones were pleased that they weren't the poorest but the ones who didn't like tuna were rather unimpressed. The poorest Cubs felt pretty awful - they didn't think it was fair, though they were generally more upset about not getting free time than about having to survive on rice!

Once everything was cooked we asked the richest Cubs to come back in and they were served their delicious sausages. We told the poor Cubs that they couldn't start eating until all the risk Cubs had their meals as the rich Cubs were more important than them. At this point one of the rich Cubs took pity on his poor friend and gave him a small piece of carrot. Several of the other poor Cubs saw what had happened and started asking the rick Cubs for vegetables - before we knew what was happening their was almost a riot on our hands as the poor Cubs swarmed around the rich ones, begging for a piece of carrot! We managed to get them calmed down and sitting on the floor but the rick Cubs were left a bit shaken by the experience.

At that point we admitted that we weren't really going to make them survive on rice, potatoes and tuna (though we told them that they should have considered themselves lucky to be eating at all) and we allowed them all to sit at the tables while we served up sausages, together with the rice and potatoes that they had prepared. They were extremely relived but all agreed that they had learnt a lot more about how it would feel to be in a country were you don't have enough to eat, knowing that others are able to eat well every day.