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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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Everything you need, nothing you don’t

Decide what essentials you need to pack for your adventurous activity in this fun group game.

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You’ll need

  • Winter gear, such as thermals, a flask, hand warmers, fleeces, woolly hats, woolly gloves and winter overcoats.
  • Summer gear, such as sun hat, shorts, T-shirts, sunglasses and sun cream.
  • All-weather gear, such as waterproofs, toothbrush, hiking boots, gaiters, survival bag, rucksack, tent, sleeping bag, snack bars, roll mat, hiking poles, water bottle, flask, first aid kit, whistle, torch, a map and a compass.
  • Unneeded items, such as a dressing gown, slippers, a wheely suitcase, a tv remote, or trainers.
  • Hoops, cones or markers.

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 can be found here.  Don’t forget to 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. 

Setting up this activity 

  • Spread out all the clothing and equipment in the middle of the meeting place.  
  • There needs to be enough of the same item for one per group, though they don’t need to look or be the same. For example, if there are 4 groups, make sure you have 4 rain jackets for a rain-based scenario. 
  • If there's not enough clothing or equipment for one per group, consider printing out pictures or writing the names of items on pieces of paper. You can then put these in the middle of the room.  
  • Put out a marker, such as a hoop or a cone, for each group to stand or sit by. 
  • Create a list of scenarios that might be experienced during an adventurous activity, including what the weather or time of day might be. You should think about including different lengths of time too, with anything between a couple of hours and a two-day expedition. 

Scenario suggestions

Scenarios could include:  

  • A week-long summer cycle trip around Bath and Bristol 
  • A cloudy day walking in the Cairngorms 
  • A night stargazing in spring on a beach in Devon 
  • An autumn day climbing in Snowdonia 
  • A night hike in the Lake District 
  • A spring afternoon canoeing in The Wye Valley 
  • A day snowboarding in Aberdeenshire in the winter

Weather conditions could include: 

  • Sun 
  • Clouds 
  • Rain 
  • Wind 
  • Snow 
  • Hailstones 

Introducing the activity 

  1. Gather everyone together in a circle. 
  2. Tell everyone that you’re going to play a game about packing for an adventure.  
  3. Ask everyone to name one thing they recently took on an adventure day, camping or on a holiday. 
  4. Explain that when we go on an adventure, we have a choice between the items we want to take and the items we need to take.  
  5. Tell everyone it’s important to prioritise packing the things we need first. We always need to have the correct equipment for the environment we’re going into and the activity we’re doing. We also need to have the right equipment for the season and the weather, including any changes to them. Taking time to think about and pack for these things will help us to stay safe and healthy when out and about.  
  6. Explain that there are always some bonus things we may want, but don’t necessarily need, so we need to be careful when it comes to packing. 

Explaining the game 

  1. Explain that everyone will be divided into groups.  
  2. Each group will be based in a corner or space at the side of the meeting space. 
  3. A scenario for going on an adventurous activity will then be read out. 
  4. From the information given, each group will need to decide what they’d need take with them from the equipment provided. Before you begin, you may want to chat through the items spread out across the meeting place and what they are or could be used for. 
  5. When the scenario has been read out, one or two people from each group should go to the centre of the activity area.  
  6. The pair or person will have a certain amount of time, such as two minutes, to collect the equipment that they think is needed for that scenario. The rest of the group could help by shouting out items they can see. 
  7. Tell everyone that some items are there as ‘wants’, rather than ‘needs’ to trick them, so they shouldn’t be prioritised.  
  8. When chosen, the equipment should be taken back to the group. It should be laid out in front of them. 
  9. Once time is up, ask each group what items they collected.  
  10. For each correct ‘need’ item for the scenario, the group could get a point. The team with the most points could win. 
  11. Any ‘want’ items that could be well explained by the group as to why they’re a ‘need’ could also get a point. 
  12. Bonus points could be given for correct items, as well as creativity, logic, problem solving, imagination, teamwork and communication. 

Playing the game 

  1. When everyone is ready, give everyone their first scenario and start the timer. 
  2. Groups have two minutes to collect their equipment and take it back to their area.  
  3. When the time is up, ask each group about what they've chosen and why.  
  4. Give out the points for each team and make sure there is a way to record the scores. 
  5. When finished, everyone should put everything back into the middle of the room 
  6. Read out the next scenario and repeat the process. 
  7. Each group should now send one or two different people to collect the ‘need’ items from the centre of the activity area.  
  8. Groups should continue to swap roles for each subsequent scenario, so everyone gets a go. 
  9. The group with the most points could win.  


Understanding how to pack appropriately for an adventurous activity helps you stay safe, healthy and comfortable when you’re out and about. It’s always important for us to choose what we need over what we want.  

It can be easy to overpack when thinking about an adventurous activity, as never guarantee what’ll happen when you’re outdoors and the weather can change quickly. However, it’s important to only take the essentials, especially if you are carrying your own bag. A heavy bag with too much stuff can become uncomfortable! 

Did you see or pack any items in this game that you'd have usually taken that you won’t on your next adventure? 

What should you do if you lose a piece of essential equipment on an adventure? How about a piece of non-essential equipment? 

You had to discuss and work together to decide on the correct items for each scenario. How did your group agree upon the best equipment?  

Sometimes the most suitable equipment isn’t available. How did you solve this to help your imaginary hiker cope with the scenario? 


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.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

  • To make the game harder, you could reduce the time people have to collect the items. You could also limit the number of items people can collect.  
  • To make it harder, you could add changes to the scenario halfway through.

Make sure all equipment is accessible for everyone. Anyone who’d prefer not to take part could take on another role, such as scorekeeper, time keeper or reading out the scenarios. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Everyone could draw or collage an image of the clothes and equipment they’d take for an imaginary, scenario-based weekend expedition or camp. You could then have your young people go through all their items and decide what they really need and what they don’t.  

Young people could come up with some of the scenarios.