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Scout’s Own: be-leafs

Just like plants in a garden, believes and values have roots, stalks, and leaves. How does your garden grow?
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • A4 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils

Scouts have always taken moments to reflect together. A Scout’s Own is the perfect opportunity for everyone to spend time sharing a topic. Scout’s Owns are often themed, for example, the theme could be friendship, using resources wisely, or a special occasion such as new year. They should be informal and they shouldn’t take ages – most can be done in 15 minutes.

It’s up to you exactly what your Scouts’ Own looks like and what you include. The best Scouts’ Owns get everyone involved with the preparing and presenting – it’s not something that adults do for young people.

If you’re looking for a helping hand planning your first few Scouts’ Owns, this activity is one example of what you could do. It’s usually helpful to think about including an opening, reading, activity, music, reflection, and closing. You don’t have to stick to this – find out what works best for your group. Whatever you do, make sure it includes everyone and is culturally appropriate.

Opening

  1. The person leading the Scout’s Own should make sure that everyone who’s presenting feels comfortable and knows what they’re doing. If they need to, they should take some time to reassure people.
  2. Everyone should gather together and get comfortable wherever they are.
  3. The person leading the Scout’s Own should introduce the opening thought – in this example, the Scout’s Own will focus on how skills, attitudes, beliefs, and values make everyone unique. Just like a plant, different aspects of all of these things can look and feel different for everyone.

Reading

  1. The person leading this section should hand out copies of the reading they’ve chosen. One between two is usually OK.
  2. The person leading this section should read through the reading. Everyone else should follow the words along.

Some plants

All plants have a humble aim: to survive and grow;
but every plant is different, that’s something we all know.
Some plants welcome insects, with flowers blooming bright;
others have thorns to give a mighty floral fight.
Some plants have deep roots, to take water from the ground,
others have big leaves to gather rain that tumbles down.
Some plants stand alone, on the hills and mountains high,
other plants cling on tight before they wind and climb.
Some plants bear tasty fruits for animals to eat,
Others can be poisonous – they’re the ones to leave.

Grow yourself activity

  1. Everyone should get some paper and coloured pens or pencils.
  2. Everyone should imagine that they’re a plant. They should draw or write their features on their piece of paper. How does their plant represent them?
  1. Everyone should come together as a group and share their plants. What do they have in common?
  2. Everyone should think about how their plants could help them to support each other. How could they use their talents to support others with the things they find tricky?

Fruits and thorns thoughts and closing

  1. Everyone should think about how different people are a bit like different plants – they all have unique skills and features that they use for different reasons. How can people do their best to have a balance of fruit and thorns?
  2. Everyone should think about how plants can work together – for example, it’s not helpful if one plants takes all the light and leaves others in the darkness. How can everyone help each other to succeed?
  3. Everyone should think about how when people share their beliefs and values, they often find that they have things in common. There are often times people can help and support each other. It’s important to remember that everyone’s equally important – get the light that you need, and help others to get what they need too.
  4. The person leading the section should thank everyone for taking part in the Scout’s Own, whether they took a big or small part in planning, leading, or joining in.

Reflection

This activity was all about developing beliefs. Do people often have the chance to reflect on what they believe, and what makes them unique? How did people feel about sharing their beliefs with others? How did people feel when they heard other people’s beliefs?

This activity was also about caring. Unlike plants, people get to choose many of their actions, though lots of factors shape the things they do. How could people choose to grow certain aspects of themselves to help others?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.