You will need
- Coloured pens or pencils
- A4 card
- Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
- Sticky tape
- Poly pockets
- Computer or device with internet access, as needed
Before you begin
- This activity works best if you’ve already completed some adventurous activities. Newcomers will need some idea of what activities the group have completed as part of your programme, so try to fill them in.
- This activity could also be run in the run-up to an adventurous activity you’re doing, to prepare everyone.
Plan your mission
- Introduce some different adventure activity or action examples, like climbing a hill, to the group by running a quick game.
- Once this is finished, split everyone into small groups and have each group choose an activity that they’ve all taken part in.
- Give each group paper and writing materials, and have them find a space to work. They should now think about the ways the activity they’ve chosen might affect the environment. This should account for all aspects of running the activity, from getting ready to taking part. Note down each stage of how the activity was run and have a think about them.
- Start making leave-no-trace mission cards. Each person should take a sheet of card and use their list of actions to come up with a way of reducing the impact on the environment caused by the activity. They could use the examples below or go online and do some research.
- On one side of the card, they should write a checklist of things to do while packing or before they set off on the adventure. This could include cleaning equipment or packing food in containers to stop any rubbish being dropped.
- On the other side of the card, they should divide it into a 2x2 grid by drawing central horizontal and vertical lines. In each square, write an action that they should do while taking part in the adventure. This could include picking up any litter or sticking to footpaths. Everyone should be creative with this and try to think specifically about the activity their group is working on.
- Decorate the cards and slot into clear poly pockets. Seal the open tops of the pockets with some sticky tape.
- Thread through string, so that the cards can be tied securely onto a rucksack.
- Run the game from the beginning again (step 1), but this time use actions or activities that are good or bad for the environment in the game.
- Encourage everyone to remember to look at their card on their next adventure, both while they’re packing and getting ready, and while they’re taking part to make sure they reduce their impact.
Spending time outdoors with friends is very important. It’s one of the most entertaining parts of being in Scouts, but it’s also a responsibility. You don't want to be the last people who are able to take part in that adventure. Mission cards are a simple way to remember this responsibility. Following an activity, reflect on how everyone has used their cards, and ask whether another group could come along now and take part in the same exact adventure, and enjoy it just as much.
Baden Powell said that we should try to leave the world a little better than we found it. How can we apply this when we’re out on adventures? Is the place you’re going perfect to begin with, or can you do something to make it even better for the next people to come along? This might require you to pick up some litter and not leave anything you’ve brought along behind.
- Online safety
Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.
For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.
As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people