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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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Host a Scouts’ Own

Hosting A Scouts’ Own is the perfect way to reflect on all of the opportunities Scouts brings.

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You’ll need

  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Paper luggage tags

What's a Scouts’ Own?

Scouts have always taken moments to reflect together. A Scouts’ Own is the perfect opportunity for everyone to spend time sharing a topic.

Scouts’ Owns are often themed. For example, the theme could be friendship, teamwork, sportspersonship and taking part, peace or kindness. They can also be held for a special occasion, such as New Year, Remembrance, or at the end of a Nights Away or jamboree event. 

They should be informal and they shouldn’t take a long time – most can be done in 15 minutes.

It’s up to you exactly what your Scouts’ Own looks like and what you include. The best Scouts’ Owns get everyone involved with the preparing and presenting – it’s not something that adults do for young people.

Always find out what works best for your group. If wanted you could also include a promise renewal. Whatever you do, make sure it includes everyone, and is accessible and appropriate to all backgrounds.

If you’re looking for a helping hand planning your first few Scouts’ Owns, we’ve put together an example structure, including an opening, reading, activity, music, reflection, and closing.


  1. Make sure that everyone who’s presenting feels comfortable and knows what they’re doing. If you need to, offer reassurance or help people to practice.
  2. When everyone’s ready, gather everyone in a circle.
  3. The person leading the Scouts’ Own should introduce the opening thought. For example, you could say: ‘When people think about Scouts, they usually focus on the previous meeting’s activity, what they’ll be doing next, and how much they’re looking forward to their next trip. Scouts is much more than the regular activities, though – it gives people the chance to make long lasting friendships and to join a worldwide family of friends’.

Reading and activity

  1. Hand out copies of any chosen readings. You can have one between two or one per person. 
  2. The chosen speakers should read through the chosen reading. Everyone else can follow the words along.
  3. Give everyone a luggage tag and a pen. You could use some paper or card cut into shapes instead of luggage tags.
  4. Everyone should write what friendship and Scouts means to them on their luggage tag. It’s up to them if they put their name on it too.
  5. Everyone should tie their tag somewhere, such as onto a shared tree. You could choose somewhere that everyone can see.

Music, reflection, and closing

  1. Give everyone a copy of the lyrics, and BSL and makaton signs if needed, for the music they’ve chosen. You can have one between two or one per person.
  2. When everyone’s ready, play the song and encourage everyone can join in.
  3. Everyone should think about what they wrote on their luggage tags. Some people could share what they wrote if they are happy and comfortable to. It’s OK if people want to keep part or all of what they wrote private.
  4. Ask everyone to think about what it means to be a good friend, even if we don’t know someone that well, and how this relates to our Scout Promise to help others. 
  5. Ask everyone to choose one thing they can do to be a good friend. You could encourage them to reflect on their own friends and set a friendship challenge for themselves. For example, it could be making friends with someone who’s new to their school or who looks lonely, saying sorry to a friend they upset, or doing at least one good thing for different friends each day this week. 
  6. Older Scouts could reflect on how they are a good friend and what they could do to be an even better friend, such as knowing when to say sorry, being selfless, or including someone who’s alone at lunchtime.
  7. Remember to thank everyone for taking part in the Scouts’ Own, whether they took a big or small part in planning, leading, or joining in.

Example inspiring readings for a friendship themed Scouts’ Own

Who are Scouts?

Scouts are do-ers and give-it-a-go-ers. We question and listen and form wide open minds. We take a deep breath and speak up. We think on our feet. We see the big picture. We get back up and try again. 

We have fun with our friends and make new friends. We do our best. We care for each other and those around us, individually and as a team.

We’re joined in our values and our Promise. We’re kind and helpful and we love our world. We grow our friendship circle beyond borders and we broaden our perspectives.

We’re united into something big. We make a positive difference, together. We’re Scouts and everyone’s welcome here. 

Here’s to our Scouts

Here’s to our Scouts,

The scarf rollers and crate stackers.

The kayakers and midnight snackers.

Here’s to our badge earners

And skills learners.

Here’s to our fire lighters

And up all nighters,

Our bright sparkers

And singing in the darkers.

Here’s to our optimists and the look on the bright siders.

Here’s to our friends and values that guide us.

Here’s to our Scouts.

Example song suggestions for a friendship themed Scouts’ Own

With a Little Help from My Friends - The Beatles

John Lennon / Paul McCartney. © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.

What would you think if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away?
Does it worry you to be alone?
How do I feel by the end of the day?
Are you sad because you're on your own?

No, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?
I need somebody to love
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love

Would you believe in a love at first sight?
Yes, I’m certain that it happens all the time
What do you see when you turn out the light?
I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, get high with a little help from my friends
Oh, I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends


This activity was all about developing beliefs. How did people find spending time reflecting on what they think and believe? Do they think it’s important to take time to reflect? Why?

This activity also gave everyone the chance to brush up on their communication skills. Some people spoke in front of a big group which can sometimes feel daunting. Well done to anyone who did their best to challenge themselves. When else might it be useful for people to be able to share their thoughts or opinions? People could think about now or in the future. 


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.

No one has to speak in front of the group if they don’t want to. They could help in other ways such as organising the order people speak in.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

The best Scouts’ Owns are the ones that young people prepare and present. Why not use this activity as guidance for them to make their own? There are plenty of websites full of readings, poems, proverbs, and even prayers from around the world.