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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Colour palette places

First suggested by WWF
Capture the colours of the rainbow in local wildlife, as we examine nature in all its forms.

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You’ll need

  • Copies of the colours and nature sheet, one per group
  • Devices for taking photographs (eg a camera or smartphone)
  • A device for printing photographs
  • Means of transport to a local natural space, if needed
Colours and nature
PDF – 469.2KB

Before you begin

  • The person leading the activity should plan a trip to a local natural space. Set some boundary limits and ground rules. If you have a choice, you could ask the group which place they’d prefer to visit.

Run the activity

  1. Everyone should get into small groups at the meeting place. The person leading the activity should assign one adult or leader to each group, and give them a device for taking photographs if they don’t already have one suitable for the activity. Give out copies of the 'Colours and nature' sheet to each group.
  2. The person leading the activity should see if the group can remember all the colours of the rainbow. See if anyone knows any natural places where there are lots of colours like these. Make sure that everyone is familiar with the photo-taking devices and knows how to zoom in and out.

    For the purposes of this activity, indigo and violet can be blue and purple.
  3. Explain to everyone that they’ll be looking for the colours of the rainbow in nature, by taking photos of plants and animals that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. While one person takes the photos the rest of their group should look around for the colours, but everyone should take turns taking the photos.
  4. Go to the chosen natural place and set up a spot to use as the group's base. Remind everyone to be aware of their surroundings as they look for the colours on the 'Colours and nature' sheet. Everyone, including the adult or leader assigned to each group, should look out for hazards, such as rough ground or standing water as they go.
  5. Everyone should begin looking around for the colours. Everyone in each group must have a go taking photographs, while the rest of the group act as ‘spotters.’ Try to find all six of the colours on the sheet, but look out for other colours too. See how many of these you can photograph. Check each picture to make sure that the colour is clearly captured.

    The adult or leader in each group should make sure that everyone stays within the limits of the area you’re visiting. These should’ve been set when planning the trip and agreed with everyone before setting out. If wildlife or objects are outside these limits, either take a long distance photograph or use the zoom feature on the picture-taking device to get a closer look.
  6. Give everyone 20 minutes to find and photograph all the colours. If there is time left over, everyone can search for other colours to photograph. Leave 5 minutes for the groups to show what they’ve found to one another.
Logo containing the words Scouts for SDGs. The O in Scouts is made up of 17 coloured segments, representing the 17 goals.

This activity helps contribute towards some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the SDGs, and how Scouts across the world are getting involved.


The group have taken some photographs of plants and animals representing the colours of the rainbow. Was anyone surprised at how many of the colours they found? Was anyone disappointed not to see more colour? How might more colours be introduced into a natural environment? Why is this a good thing?


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.

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.

Hiking and walking

Follow the guidance for activities in Terrain Zero, or the guidance for each the adventurous activity.

Phones and cameras

Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.

Near water

Manage groups carefully when near water. The guidance on activities near water will help you to keep your group safe.

You could add more colours for the spotters to look for, or different shades of the rainbow colours, if there’s time. Some of these are likely to be more common than others, depending on where you are.

Those with mobility issues will need help with any difficult terrain (eg on a shingle beach) and close-up perspectives. Plan out the trip with accessible paths and additional support for members of your group.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

The group should think of ways to make different environments as colourful as possible. You could come up with ways of making urban areas more colourful, such as planting wildflowers on verges or roundabouts.

When thinking about ways of doing this, consider the needs of local wildlife. An insect that relies on yellow flowers for camouflage will like yellow flowers in its backyard, for example.

Discover more at

Allow the group to choose what kind of environment to visit, if there’s a choice.