You will need
- Scrap paper
- Pens or pencils
- Cones or markers
- Chairs, as needed
Before you begin
- You could use this activity to help everyone get involved with planning your next weekend away. Don’t forget to check out our nights away guidance too.
- You could try a game of Okay, no way! as a fun way to introduce the idea of environmental conservation too.
Introduce the impacts
- Start by introducing the topic on environmental conservation. Explain to everyone that they’ll be focusing on the impact that tourism can have on local environments.
- Give out the cones or markers, one per person. Everyone should spread out across the activity area and place their cone or marker on the spot they’re standing.
- Ask for a volunteer to go first and remove their cone from the game. Have them think of one impact of tourism and shout it out.
- When they’ve done this, everyone should switch from one cone to another. The person who shouted should try to reach a cone too. One person should be left without a cone, and they should shout out another impact. Continue playing until lots of ideas have been shared.
Act your impact
- Now, split into groups of four or five. Everyone should think about the ideas that everyone shared in the game. Talk about any common themes, like food, travel or activities.
- Each group should choose one theme that was discussed. This could be a location, campsite or landscape, or something like food, travel or a specific adventurous activity.
- Groups should come up with a short sketch that demonstrates some of the actions and the impact they have, based on their chosen theme. They should focus on the negative impacts for now. Give everyone 10 minutes to do this.
- Have each group perform their sketch. Everyone should discuss the actions and impacts they’ve just seen. Encourage everyone to think about what could be done differently to reduce these particular negative impacts.
- If there’s time, the groups can perform again, but this time swapping out the negative actions with the ideas they came up with to have a positive impact on the local environment. These can be performed and discussed in the same way.
Time for action
- Everyone should return to their groups and talk about ways that they can be better tourists the next time they go away.
- They should think of specific trips that they have upcoming, or make one up, and write a list of practical ideas and challenges that help reduce the overall impact of the trip on the place being visited.
- Build these ideas into your plan and take the challenges with you. These could be made part of your activity programme, or points could be awarded for certain tasks that people complete during the time you’re away.
As a group, you might travel to different places to camp and take part in other adventurous activities, but it’s really important to spend some time thinking about the impact you can have too. Ask everyone if they learned anything new in the activity. Has anyone thought about the impact of their activities before? See if working in their groups helped them to come up with any new or interesting ideas about this.
This activity was a good chance to think more about making responsible choices and trying our best to do the right thing. But it’s not just about trying to reduce the negative impacts. Next time we’re away, let’s try and make an effort to leave the place we’re visiting better than how we found it. Challenge everyone to put some of their ideas into action next time they’re out with the group, their friends or their family.
- 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.