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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

Sharing shoebox

Create your own sharing shoebox to tell everyone what you got up to.

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You’ll need

  • A4 paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • PVA glue
  • Shoebox(es)
  • Photographs
  • Craft materials (optional)

Before you begin

  • This activity is designed to be run after you’ve taken some action as part of a community project. 
  • Print off some pictures of the group taking action, or gather materials showing the actions that were taken.

Story time

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle.
  2. Someone should read The Camel Library
  3. After reading the story, everyone should take some time to reflect on it as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you reflect in the pink box below.

Mahadiya and her friends used to go to school regularly. But during the Covis-19 pandemic, all the schools in her small village in Ethiopia closed.

Around 26 million children in Ethiopia haven’t been able to go to school because of the pandemic.

Mahadiya was worried that she would forget what she had learned. She worried she would have to start working, and would not be able to return to school when it opened again.

What do you enjoy the most about nursery or school?

Mahadiya lives in the Somali region of Ethiopia, which has lots of hot deserts. How hot do you think deserts get?

In lots of villages, packages aren’t sent by car, train or aeroplane – they’re delivered by camels! Do you know what camels look and sound like?

When schools in the area closed, wooden boxes filled with books were strapped to camels and sent across the region. People call this the camel library.

21 camels, each carrying almost 200 books, have visited over 22,000 children in 33 villages.

Hassen travels with the camel and the books, helping the children they visit to learn by reading.

Mahadiya is still sad that she is missing out on school, but she loves that she can continue to read. She is still following her dreams of becoming an engineer, thanks to the camel library.


Taking action

  1. Everyone should think about what the group has done to support refugees and displaced children. If people have taken actions since your last meeting, or done anything at home or at school, they could share some ideas. If you have resources people made, or photos and videos of them taking action, consider sharing them with everyone.
  2. Everyone should talk about what it was like to take action and why it was important.
  3. Everyone should think about what they what learned about refugees and displaced children.
  4. Someone should make some notes about the things the groups talk about, or some important words or ideas that you can look at again later.

Sharing shoeboxes

  1. Everyone needs a piece of paper and something to write with.
  2. Everyone should write down or draw the things they can remember about the actions they took to support refugees and displaced children.

They could draw pictures of the project they completed or write down anything they learned about. Use the ideas or words discussed in the first part of the activity to give everyone some ideas.

  1. Everyone should place their papers into a shoebox, along with any pictures or items to do with your project. Larger groups can split everything between two or more sharing shoeboxes.
  2. Everyone should help to decorate the shoebox(es) by drawing patterns or sticking photos to the outside.
  3. Keep your sharing shoebox in your meeting place to show any guests or new members what you did.


This activity was about being a citizen by helping members of our communities, and communicating ideas that are important. The activity explores how we can tell the world about some of the things we’ve done to support refugees and displaced children.

Story time

  • What do you enjoy the most about nursery or school?
  • If you could send one thing by camel to help someone what would it be?

Taking action

  • What actions did you take to support refugees and displaced children?
  • How did you do it? How did the actions make you feel?
  • Did you learn anything new?
  • How did your actions make a difference for someone else?

Sharing shoeboxes

  • What was your favourite part of the project?
  • What was one new thing you learned?
  • Did you enjoy drawing pictures and writing words to share?
  • How did it feel making something to share with others?


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.

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.

Step it up by splitting into small groups and having the groups create and decorate their own sharing shoeboxes.

Take and print off as many photos as you can to help remind everyone of the project. Consider writing down words or phrases that relate to the project for group members to copy or draw on and decorate.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Take it in turns to take the sharing shoebox home or to a relative’s house to show them what you did to support refugees and displaced children.

Find out more about refugees and displaced children on Save the Children's website