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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

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Discover what this means

Discover what the Scout Promise means

Explore the different parts of your Promise by acting out some of Aesop's fables.

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You’ll need

  • Copies of the different versions of the Scout Promise
  • Copies of the Promise fables sheets
Promise fables
PDF – 97.1KB

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.
  • 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.

Explore stories

  1. Gather everyone together.
  2. Going round the circle, people should take it in turns to share their favourite story and a little bit about it. You could give everyone 30 seconds or a minute. You may want to think about examples of stories in religions and myths, as well as books and fairy tales.
  3. People may want to talk about what happened, and how it made the characters feel. They could also talk about what the characters learned, and what the reader could learn from the story.
  4. Tell everyone that stories often have a meaning and a purpose.
  5. Everyone should think about the meaning and purpose of the story they chose. Did it make them laugh, Did it make us feel happy or sad or inspired? Did it teach us lessons about life? 

Learning about fables

  1. Explain that a ‘fable’ is a type of short story. The characters are often animals. The story teaches people a lesson about right and wrong. The lesson is often called the ‘moral’ of the story.
  2. The most famous fable writer was called Aesop. He lived in ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago and his most famous fable was 'The tortoise and the hare'.

Practise the fables

  1. Everyone should choose the version of the Promise that’s right for them, and then everyone should say their Promise out loud at the same time. It doesn’t matter if different versions overlap.
  2. Now, divide everyone into four groups, with a confident reader for each group. This could be an adult volunteer, parent or carer helper or young leader.
  3. Give each group a fable and ask each group should find their own space.
  4. The reader should read out the fable
  5. When the story's been read, the group should talk about its meaning. Some questions could be written down for them to answer, such as:
  • What do the characters do?
  • What is the moral of the story?
  • Which part of the Scout Promise do you think this story links to? Does it show us to be kind, be helpful, love our world and do our best?
  • Why do you think that's an important part of being a Scout?
  • How do you think you can you be kind, helpful, loved your world or do your best every day?
  • What have you done to keep your Scout Promise this week by being kind, helpful or doing your best?

Acting out the fables

  1. When you've discussed the fable, everyone is going to act their story out for the rest of the group.
  2. Everyone should work together to decide who will play who. You might want to have a narrator too.
  3. Everyone should have a role or everyone should vote (or let a young leader or adult volunteer decide) if more than one person wants a role.
  4. The narrator should read out the story and the group should act it out.
  5. If a group wants to use their imagination to change the story or create their own fable, that’s OK.
  6. It’s up to each person whether they want to mime or speak.
  7. Everyone should be as creative as possible and, if they have time, could use any items as props or scenery.
  8. Each group should practise a few times.

Putting on a show

  1. When everyone's ready, gather people together.
  2. Everyone should sit together so they can see an empty space at the front.
  3. The first group should move into the empty space and act out their story.
  4. Everyone else should watch carefully and listen respectfully. They can clap at the end.
  5. At the end of each performance, everyone else should try to guess the moral of the each group’s story. The group should give hints if people need them. It doesn’t matter if people don’t guess the exact words if they get the general theme.  

Saying your Promise

  1. You may want to use this activity as part of an Investiture or as a Promise renewal.


Each group might want to remind everyone what their fable was about, and how it linked to the Scout Promise. The stories taught us to be kind, be helpful, love our world and do our best.

This activity also helped you to respect others and the world around you. Do you think respecting others is part of the Scout Promise? How can you show you respect other people?

Do you know any other stories (books, films, plays, or musicals) where people learned to respect others? Do you have an example of when you kept your Promise or respected others?

This activity was also a chance to build friendships. How did the different friends treat each other in the stories? How do you think it made the characters feel? Did this activity give you a chance to make friends with other people?


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.

Everyone else could also guess the part of the Promise that a group’s story relates to.

Groups can be as imaginative as they like—they may want to change some of the dialogue of their plays, or add in extra actions.

No one has to share an example of a story if they don’t want to.

People can take whatever role is right for them. If anyone doesn’t want to perform, they could play a role in a pair, or maybe they could act as a director instead.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Why not meet requirement three of the Beavers Creative Activity Badge by making props or masks for your fable stories? You could try junk modelling with clean items of recycling.

Everyone can come up with their own stories if they want to. The fables are just there for guidance, or as a backup if people get stuck.