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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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Play this bigger version of a traditional throwing game from Israel. Ready, steady, throw! Where will your gogo go?

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You’ll need

  • Scissors
  • Permanent markers
  • Something to mark lines (for example, chalk, masking tape, or rope)
  • Large cardboard box
  • Lots of small beanbags or balls

Before you begin

  • Gogo’im traditionally uses apricot pits (stones) and a small box like a shoebox, but for this bigger version, we’re using balls and a large cardboard box.
  • On one side of the cardboard box, cut out holes of different sizes. Give each hole a points value from one to six, with the smallest hole worth the most points. You could draw the number of balls next to the number, to show the value of the number.
  • You’ll need a lot of balls to play this game. If you don’t have enough, try making your own by scrunching up pieces of scrap paper, or filling old socks or balloons with rice or lentils to make simple beanbags. Or, you could adapt the game so teams collect points, keeping track of their score after each turn.
  • Consider bringing in some apricots for everyone to share, and take a look at the pits usually used in this game.

Story time

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle.
  2. Someone should read The Roman Game by Jess Connett. This story is about learning how to play a game from a different country.
  3. After reading the story, everyone should take some time to reflect on it as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you reflect in the pink box below.

Joshua had gone to Darius’ house after school. They were having fun playing football in the front garden when it suddenly began to rain. They ran inside to stay dry.

The water was pitter-pattering on the windows. They watched it for a while, but it showed no sign of stopping. Joshua was feeling bored.

“Darius, have you got something we can play?” he asked.

Darius thought for a moment. “Well, we can’t play football because we left the ball outside and now it’s really wet.

“And we can’t play tennis in case we break something. My mum will be really mad at us.

“But we’ve got some board games. Let’s look.”

They opened up the cabinet and saw the games stacked up in their boxes.

Joshua read the name of the first game slowly: “Dacii si Romanii. I’ve never heard of this one, how do you play?”

“These are my mother’s games,” Darius explained. “She is from Romania. We play them as a family together. They are really fun! In that game you are soldiers, either the Roman army or the Dacians. You have to cross the river Danube to capture the enemy’s fort.”

Darius pulled out another box, called Tintar. “This game is my favourite,” he said. “The Romans brought this to Romania 2,000 years ago. Shall I teach you how to play?”

Joshua nodded and they went to the table to set up the square board. Joshua had the blue tokens and Darius had the yellow tokens. Darius showed Joshua how the aim was to get three tokens in a row.

Soon Joshua got the hang of it and they were having great fun.

Darius’ mum came in to see what they were doing. “You were so quiet I was worried!” she said.

“We’re just playing Tintar, mum,” Darius said. “I taught Joshua how to play it.” Darius put down another counter.

“Everyone used to play it at school when I was a girl. It was a very popular game,” said Darius’ mum. “I used to be very good.”

Darius put down his final counter. “Yes! I’ve won!” he said. “Good game, Joshua. You did well for your first time. But I am the champion!”

“Now you have to play the champion of champions,” said Joshua.

He got up from his seat and let Darius’ mum sit down to play. “And after that, can you teach me another game?”

By Jess Connett

Let’s play gogo’im

  1. The person leading the activity should introduce the game and where it comes from.
  1. Everyone should split into two teams and each team starts with an equal number of balls. The person leading the activity should keep the rest of the balls.
  2. Each team should sit one behind the other in two separate lines. Decide which team will start first.
  3. The person leading the activity should put the box on the floor, and place a marker in front of it for everyone to stand behind when throwing.
  4. The first person can come up to the marker and try to toss a ball into the box. If the ball goes through a hole, the team wins that number of balls.
  5. The game continues, alternating between the teams, until everyone has had at least one go.
  6. Both teams should count how many balls they’ve got. The team with the most balls wins. Adults can help with the counting, and making sure everyone knows it’s the taking part that counts.
  7. Everyone could think other games they could play with all the balls they’ve won.


This activity was all about trying new things and being a citizen by exploring other cultures. It was also a great chance to practise some counting and moving our bodies.

The Roman Game

  • How did Darius help Joshua in the story?
  • Did you like the sound of the game they played? Would you like to play it?

Let’s play gogo’im

  • Did you enjoy playing this game from Israel?  Would you like to try more games from different countries?
  • Was it difficult to get the balls through the holes?


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.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Decide how many attempts everyone gets on their turn, and how far away from the target everyone has to throw from.

To make it the game easier, instead of using a box with holes in try using different sized containers, like buckets and tubs, to throw the balls into.

For older ages you might want to play the more traditional way, where you win the gogo’im from the other team’s collection.

You can play this game either sitting or standing, and the distance someone throws from can be adjusted if needed.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Tell your family or friends about the game you played.  Can you remember what country it comes from? Do they know any other games from other countries?

Everyone could share their ideas about what other games they’d like to play.