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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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Our Olympics

Pair some Olympic-level organisation with some great Games as we explore what goes into making this historic event.

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You’ll need

  • Scrap paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
  • Access to the internet
  • Sports equipment, as needed

Before you begin

  • This activity should ideally be run across two sessions, with the first session spent planning your Games and the second spent taking part in your Games.
  • For anyone working towards their Scouts Athletics Activity Badge, this is a great opportunity to include some sports in the Games that fulfill some of your requirements. See what equipment is available for you to do this.
  • If your meeting place has internet and computer access, the group could do independent research on the parts of the Games that they’re responsible for. If not, we’ve provided some links to information that can be printed before the first session for the groups to use.

Run the activity

  1. In the first session, explain to everyone that they’ll be planning their own Olympic Games. Have everyone share what they know about the Olympics, whether it’s to do with the events themselves, the history, where it originated or the opening and closing ceremonies. Talk about what makes the Olympics special and different to other sporting events.
  1. Split into groups of three or four people. Each group should pick one element of the event to plan themselves. The person leading the activity should go between the groups to hear their thoughts and make sure that no two groups are doing the same thing.
  1. Once everyone has settled on what they’ll be doing, they can begin planning and getting together the resources they need for the second session, where they’ll be managing that part of the event.
  2. Save the closing ceremony for everybody to share what they’ve learned about the Olympics from this activity. Discuss how sport brings nations together like nothing else, how it sits outside of war or political tensions and promotes peace and goodwill between different countries and cultures.
  • This group’s challenge is to design and make an Olympic torch. They should be able to use the torch to carry in the flame (a candle or LED light) to open the games. They could also design a ‘cauldron’ or a fire to light to signify the start of the games.
  • The basic design should include a candle, instead of lighting the torch itself, so it can be safely carried. Don’t forget that if you’re using a real flame, an adult will need to check the plans and make sure there’s a risk assessment in place before the ceremony. You could also use an electric torch or LED candle instead.
  • Remember: the relay isn’t a race, it takes place before the games begin and it’s all about spreading the message of peace and working together to get the flame to the stadium.
  • Before the ancient Olympic Games began, messengers were sent out to announce an Olympic truce or peace, so that all wars were called off and everyone could travel to Olympia for the games. The truce began seven days before and lasted until seven days after the games, so everyone could travel safely to participate or watch the games, and get home again.
  • Today, the United Nations still calls on member states to observe the Olympic truce for the same period. Like the messengers proclaiming the truce, the runners carry a message of peace on their journey. The flame relay goes from Olympia to the cauldron at the Games’ stadium and stays lit until the closing ceremony.
  • Have a look at some more information on the official page here.
  • The challenge for this group is to research and design their own medals for the Games. They should think about the design and what it represents, and also the materials they’ll use. See if they can create some sustainable medals from recycled or natural materials.
  • The Games began over 2,700 years ago in Olympia and originally the winners were given a wreath of leaves and competed for the glory of their city. In the modern Games, athletes now compete for a gold, silver or bronze medal.
  • For the Summer Olympics in Tokyo 2021 they’ve even used a recycling initiative to mould each medal from metal extracted from recycled consumer electronics over the past two years.
  • Don’t forget that the Games are all about promoting peace and understanding. This group should think about how they could incorporate these ideas into their designs.
  • Have a look at some more information on the official page here.
  • This group should plan and run the opening ceremony for their Games.
  • All Games start with the opening ceremony and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron in the stadium. It’s a chance for the host nation to showcase their uniqueness and celebrate peace and understanding, before the start of the Games. They should think about the group and what makes you stand out: your culture, history and achievements.
  • The ceremonies usually include things like flag-bearers, a parade of participants, an official opening of the games, the raising of the Olympic flag, the speaking of the Olympic oath and lighting the Olympic flame.
  • Have a look at some more information on the official page here.
  • This group will decide what sports or events everyone will take part in for their Games.
  • They’ll need to know how much time they have and what equipment is available, as well as how everyone will score points and whether they have a good mix of individual and team sports.
  • They should plan some physical games or challenges based on Olympic sports. They could also check out the Scouts Athletics Activity Badge and try to work towards those requirements too!
  • The Olympics is about being inclusive. As well as the summer and winter Games, they run Paralympic Games, Special Olympics and the Youth Games. Make sure that you include events that everyone can take part in!
  • In recent years, a refugee team has entered too. Think about how this might help contribute to peace and understanding.
  • Have a look at some more information on the official page here.


In your closing ceremony, share what you’ve learned from this activity. You could do this gathered around your Olympic flame. The Ancient Greeks believed that fire was sent from the Gods as a gift to people. Just like a campfire, the Olympic flame engages everyone and becomes a focal point for all of us. When the torch relay goes through your town, you’ll certainly know about it! Why might the flame and the Games themselves bring this communal spirit to citizens of the world? Did you feel an extra sense of responsibility to your group and everyone else to make your part of the Games as impressive as possible?

The goal of the Olympics is to build a peaceful and better world through sport. They exist to bring hope and togetherness by throwing a bridge over continents and standing above differences like race, culture or political system. Everyone should think about how the Olympics can contribute to international peace and understanding. How can each part of the Games help to work towards this in the real-life Games?


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.


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

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.

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.

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe. Take a look at our online safety or bullying guidance. The NSPCC offers more advice and guidance, too. 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 CommandAs always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare, including their online experiences, follow the Yellow Card to make a report.

Run a simpler Games by just planning and running one or two parts of the event described in the instructions.

You could extend the planning session and ask groups to present their parts of the Games to your ‘Olympic Committee’ and answer any questions. Use this time as a chance to learn more about how countries make bids to the International Olympic Committee to host the Games.

Make sure to add sports that everyone can take part in, you can check some advice on participating in different sports from Activity Alliance here.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

You could run another session to complete the rest of the requirements for the Scouts Athletics Activity Badge.

Everyone got to leave their own individual stamp on the event, by contributing in their groups to bringing one important piece of the Games to your meeting place. They could even decide what elements they worked on and which were included in the event.