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Meeting | Burns Night


Part 1 | Introduction


What happened?


Part 2 | What is Burns Night?


What happens on the evening?

What is haggis?

Piping in the haggis

Address to the haggis

Part 3| For the Evening | Shortbread



Ingredients | For the biscuit dough

Ingredients | For additional flavour

Step 1 | Beat butter and sugar

Step 2 | Add flour and mix into a dough.

Step 3 | Roll out your dough

Step 4 | Make a design

Step 5 | Bake

Step 6 | Cool

Step 7 | Art and science

Part 4 | Bring To The Evening | Design a Tartan!


Create your own tartan

Make a Loch Ness Monster

Scottish Flag or Thistle

Part 5 | Scottish Words

Can you guess the word?

Part 5 | Snow Poem


From The Meeting

About This Page

Part 1 | Introduction ↑

Welcome ↑

We are going to do some activities connected with Burn's night in this meeting.

This will include:

What happened? ↑

We all had a good evening, and made some really good looking Shortbread.

Some of the cubs had also had a go at the "something Scottish" challenge:-

Wordsearch ↑

We also had a go at the following wordsearch (Julian put it on screen share and allowed the cubs to annotate it by drawing lines through the words).

Part 2 | What is Burns Night? ↑

Explanation ↑

"Burns Night" is a celebration in Scotland of their national poet, Robbie Burns.

It is celebrated on the 25th January, which is the date of birth of the poet.

It is celebrated all over the world.

You can find out more about it here:

Burns Night

Burns Supper

What happens on the evening? ↑

The guests eat a dish of haggis, neeps and tatties.

"neeps" are mashed swede.

"tatties" are mashed potato.

What is haggis? ↑

"Haggis" is minced internal parts (heart, liver, and lungs) of a sheep or young cow (a calf), mixed with fat, onion, and oats, and boiled in the animal's stomach!

It was a hunter's boil in the bag method when hunting away from home.

However, haggis bought in a shop today is not in a stomach!

Piping in the haggis ↑

On the night, the haggis is brought on on a platter to the tune of "Scotland the Brave" on the bagpipes:

Full Screen


Address to the haggis ↑

There is then read out Robbie Burns' poem, "Address to the Haggis" before the food is served:

Full Screen


Part 3| For the Evening | Shortbread ↑

This is an easy recipe for Shortbread.

Introduction ↑

We will not have time to make a Burn's Night supper!

But we will have time to make some shortbread.

Shortbread is a simple sugary biscuit that originated in Scotland.

The first printed recipe was in 1736, from a Scotswoman named Mrs McLintock.

Make sure you have some Irn-Bru to drink with them!

Equipment ↑

You will need:-

1. An oven

It should be pre-heated to 180 degrees C.

2. A baking tray

You can put some baking paper on to it if you want to stop any sticking or keep any flavour of the tray off the shortbread.

3. A Tablespoon or Soup Spoon

A large spoon that an adult would eat desert or soup with.

4. A Bowl

For mixing the dough in.

5. A Wooden Spoon

Use for mixing.

5. A fork – for decorating

You can use fork pricks in the dough to create some designs!

5. A knife – for cutting

We cut the dough whilst it is still a little soft, as soon as we take it out of the oven.

It hardens as it cools.

Ingredients | For the biscuit dough ↑

The tradition is (by volume};

For a small number of biscuits I used the following (double for more):

Fine grained caster sugar is better, but normal granulated sugar is fine.

Ingredients | For additional flavour ↑

If you want some additional flavour, here are some different options:-

Step 1 | Beat butter and sugar ↑

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon.

Keep firmly stirring with the wooden spoon until you have a pale-yellow firm cream of butter and sugar.

Step 2 | Add flour and mix into a dough. ↑

Add the flour to the bowl.

If you are using any zest or carraway seeds, add these too.

Using a wooden spoon (or your hands) mix the flour into the butter until it forms a dough.

Add any vanilla essence you are using at the end and mix into the dough.

Step 3 | Roll out your dough ↑

There are different options here.

Option 1 | Roll out and cut out biscuits with a cookie cutter

With this option, you roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1cm thick, and then cut out your biscuits with a cookie cutter.

Put them onto the baking tray.

Option 2 | Flatten to a disc in the baking tray

Put the dough ball straight into the baking tray and flatten it by hand to a large 1cm thick disc.

Try to keep the thickness uniform. Any thin edges may overcook and burn.

(We will cut the disc after cooking).

Step 4 | Make a design ↑

Use your fork to make dents in the surface of the dough with your own design.

Step 5 | Bake ↑

Bake for about 20 minutes.

The key points:

Step 6 | Cool ↑

Leave the biscuits to cool in the baking tray.

It is important to leave them for 5 to 10 minutes.

They will harden and become biscuits as they cool.

Step 7 | Art and science ↑

Whether you have a good biscuit is a mixture of:-

If it doesn't work the first time, try again!

Part 4 | Bring To The Evening | Design a Tartan! ↑

Introduction ↑

Bring along or wear something Scottish to the meeting (if you can)!

Some ideas in this section.

Create your own tartan ↑

A Tartan is a cloth patterned with criss-cross lines, with multiple colours.

The designs were originally just linked with Scottish regions.

Only more recently have they been adopted by clans (family groups).

Here are some examples:

Why not create your own Tartan design and send a picture in?

Here are some templates you could print out and colour in.


Make a Loch Ness Monster ↑

You could make a loch (lake) ness monster.

The loch ness monster (or "nessie") is a mysterious sea creature which people believe lurks in Loch Ness:-

No one has proved Nessie exists. But it is more exciting to think that Nessie is there, somewhere!

You could make Nessie from lego or paper:

Scottish Flag or Thistle ↑

You could make a Scottish flag:-

… or thistle

Part 5 | Scottish Words ↑

Can you guess the word? ↑



Nae or Naw



An instruction to be quiet!


"Be quiet!"




Your bum!

"The wee yin fell right on his bahookie."

"The little one fell on his bum."


You're shy!

"Dunna be blate; glaep yun down!"

"Don’t be shy; eat up!"

Braw or Barry

Excellent or great!

"It’s a braw day for a dauner."

"It’s a lovely day for a walk."



"Clean your trainers (sneakers). You look clarty."


A snuggle or cuddle!

"It’s awfy dreich; it’s a day fur coorieing in under the covers."

"The weather is awfully dreary; this is a day for snuggling under the covers.


A right mess or tangle.

"Ma heidphones are aww fankled."

"My headphones are all tangled."


Cheeky or bold.

"He’s pure galllus, that yin."

"He’s very cheeky, that one."



"Dinnae be so glaikit – dae something!"

"Don’t be so thoughtless – do something!"


Clever, cunning.

"Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie."

"Small, sly, cowering, fearful animal."


To talk nonsense.

"Awa – yer havering!"

"Get away – you’re talking nonsense!"


A lad.

"Far hiv ye been, loon?"

"Where have you been, boy?"


A girl.

"Alright, hen?"


Looking a bit ill.

"She’s looking awfy peelie-wally."

"She’s looking awfully pale."

Part 5 | Snow Poem ↑

Introduction ↑

As it has been snowing recently, we should create our own collective poem in honour of Robbie Burns.

I have produced some verses below, and your challenge is to either select your preferred second line, or make up your own. You can take a screen shot of your version.

Frozen Rain!

(Julian Turner)

Verse 1

This weekend I woke with a fright!

Verse 2

It's been snowing! Hooray! Hooray!

Verse 3

I'll build a snowman!

Verse 4

I'll go on my sledge, down a slope!

Verse 5

Then I'll have snowball fights!

Verse 6

Quick, Quick, I must get out there!

Verse 7

First something for my head!

Verse 8

Now something for my hands!

Verse 9

Perhaps a scarf, for my neck!

Verse 10

I'm losing time, something for my feet!

Verse 11

And finally a coat. Where did I put it?

Verse 12

At last, I'm out!

Verse 13

Oh no! It has taken me too long to get out of my bead, ee!

From The Meeting ↑

Here is the version we made up at the meeting.

About this page


This page was created by Julian Turner, Section Assistant Leader, Falcon Pack, 1st Ripley Scouts, Derbyshire, UK.

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