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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
Supported by Rolls-Royce

It’s a-sprout time

Watch a plant as it grows, making sure it has what it needs to thrive.

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You’ll need

  • Camera or phone
  • Pens or pencils
  • Plants
  • Poster-sized pieces of paper
  • Plan ahead and let everyone know what equipment they’ll need to do this activity online at home. You could think about safely delivering the equipment to group members if it’d be appropriate and manageable for your group.
  • Remind everyone to care for their plants over the next few months and plan in some time to show off the plants in your online sessions.
  • Check out the advice on using Zoom and other popular digital platforms and the guidance on being safe online.

Know your plant

  1. Everyone should discuss what plants need to grow well. In particular, plants need a good supply of:
    • water
    • sunlight
    • fresh air
    • nutrients in the soil.
  1. Everyone needs a plant to monitor and care for. Make sure everyone knows which is theirs.
  2. You could have grown the plant from seed, or you could buy them.
  3. Everyone should create a poster for their plant. This will be updated as the project continues. Leave space for drawing pictures, sticking photos and recording measurements.

Start the monitoring

  1. Everyone should give their plant some water and record how it looks on their poster. People can use words, measurements, photographs, or drawings.
  2. Everyone should monitor and regularly water their plant over the next two months. They should record the plant’s progress on the posters.
  3. If anyone’s plant isn’t thriving, they should reconsider how much water, light and air it is getting. Everyone should pull up any weeds that grow near it.
  4. After two months, everyone should share their posters with the rest of the group and discuss what they found from monitoring their plants.


This activity was about caring about the impact of your actions. What happened when you gave the plant too much water, or two little? What happened if you had forgotten about your plant and left it on its own – could it have survived? What did you learn when you were taking care of your plant?

This activity was also about valuing the outdoors and looking closely at the living world around us. If your plant survived the two months, how does that make you feel? What could you grow next? If your plant did not survive, what went wrong? What could you change to help it grow better next time?


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.

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.

Consider sharing a plant in small teams or as a whole group if looking after one each is too much. Try growing a variety of different plants to see which are easier or more difficult to look after.

Some young people will be less confident writing or drawing. Give a range of ways to record the progress of your plants. This might make the review at the end even more interesting.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Why not use the seeds from the first badge requirement? Broad beans and rocket are good options that will grow rapidly.