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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

Go on a mindfulness walk

First suggested by 40th Rochdale Scouts
Head outside, take a deep breath, and pay attention to the moment as you practise mindfulness and connect to the natural world.

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You’ll need

  • Backpack
  • Snacks
  • Pens or pencils
  • A4 paper
  • Water bottles

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.

Planning this activity

  • Choose an appropriate outdoor area such as outside your meeting place, a nature reserve, woodland area, riverside, canal, or park. If you’re going to meet at a location other than at your usual meeting place, make sure parents and carers know exactly where you’ll be, what people may need to bring, the day, the location, and what time to drop off and collect everyone.  
  • Make sure everyone knows to come dressed for the weather. Don’t forget to check the forecast and be prepared for it to change.  
  • It’s important to check the sunset times, making sure that you’ll have sufficient light throughout the activity. It’s best to run this activity on lighter evenings, such as in summer. 
  • Remember to have suitable supervision, an InTouch process in place and activity consent forms. It’s important to make sure that anyone with medication, including an inhaler, brings it with them and gives it to a volunteer, too. 
  • Make sure the area you visit is accessible for everyone, choosing a suitable place for drop off and collection. You may need to think about avoiding steps or steep gradients or including frequent breaks. 

Introducing the space

  1. Everyone should head out to the outdoor space or meet at the chosen venue.
  2. Explain any boundaries of the walk and where any no-go zones are if people are allowed supervised exploration of the walking area.
  3. Tell people how they can use the space respectfully, without disturbing the wildlife or other people enjoying the site if you're in a public space.  
  4. Remind people to be calm and quiet, so you don’t disturb wildlife, and not picking any flowers or plants. They should handle wildlife gently, take litter home and put things back where they were found to make sure wildlife isn’t harmed or damaged.
  5. Tell everyone where adults will be on the walk and what people should do if anyone in their team needs help.
  6. Explain the signal to stop and how long the walk will go on for. A long blast on a whistle works well as a signal for everyone to pause on the walk.
  7. If walking in a public space, young people should be paired up so no young person is left alone and they should run or move together.

Go on a mindfulness walk

  1. Explain that mindfulness is all about paying attention to the moment in a non-judgemental way. It can help people connect to their bodies and can also reduce stress.
  2. Head out on their walk, following the route. An adult volunteer should explain each of the mindfulness letters along the walk.
  3. At the end of their walk, ask everyone think about which activities helped them relax and feel connected to the world around them. Could they fit any of the things they did into their day-to-day lives?
  • Find a spot to sit with an interesting view.
  • Paint, draw, or illustrate the landscape. Take the time to look at the shapes, colours, and textures that make up what you can see.
  • If the weather’s not great, you could take a photo or make a quick sketch to finish off at home.
  • As you walk, collect natural items that you could use to create some kind of art to remind you of your mindfulness walk. Don’t pick anything up unless you’re sure it’s safe – check with an adult if you’re not sure. Don’t take anything from living plants.
  • You could create art at the end of your walk or when you get home.
  • For more inspiration, check out Leaf animals, Park life portraits, and Feel the view. These activities were written before coronavirus, so you’ll need to adapt them to work socially distanced.
  • Phones are great – they help us stay in touch with friends, capture memories, and even find our way from A to B. They’re also important to have on a walk in case there’s an emergency. At the same time, phones can stop us paying attention to the world around us.
  • Most of us use our screens on a daily basis. Try to walk a section of your route without using phones (or any other technology with screens). Does it feel different?
  • Find a place to stop for a few moments. Be totally still and silent and watch the world go by – did you see anything you’d have missed if you were rushing past or looking at a screen?
  • As you walk, spend some time enjoying each other’s company. It can feel like there’s a lot to worry about at the moment, so it’s important to do things that take care of your wellbeing.
  • Chat with your friends, find a space for some basic yoga poses or share some things that have made you smile recently.
  • During the walk, take the time to notice the different textures around you.
  • How does the ground feel underneath your feet? Is it hard or soft? Are the lumps and bumps? What sound do you make when you move?
  • What about nature – can you feel the crunch of a leaf or the smoothness of a stone? Make sure people don’t touch things others have already touched and wash or sanitise your hands often.


This activity gave everyone the chance to value the outdoors. How was this different from other walks or hikes people may have been on before? Did people interact with nature differently?

Perhaps people noticed different things or used their senses differently. How did being connected to the natural environment make people feel?

Hopefully, it also boosted people’s wellbeing. Which of the letters did people find most useful for boosting their wellbeing?

Perhaps some people found it really helpful to collect things along the way while others enjoyed unwinding. How could people use some of the things they tried in their day-to-day lives?

For example, everyone could think about how they could spend some time relaxing offline if they play a lot of video games or use social media.


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.

Hiking and walking

Follow the guidance for activities in Terrain Zero, or the guidance for each the adventurous activity.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast, and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

  • It’s up to you who takes responsibility for route planning – some young people may need a helping hand, while others will be ready to make their own decisions.
  • It’s also up to you how you include the mindfulness letters. You don’t have to follow these suggestions exactly.
  • Make sure your route’s accessible for everyone. You may need to think about avoiding steps or steep gradients or including frequent breaks.
  • If anyone doesn’t want to try any of the activities, that’s OK. Mindfulness is an individual thing and different people find focus and peace in different ways.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.