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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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Make stained glass poppies

Mark Remembrance together by making these poppies. Place them in your window to share with your community.

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You’ll need

  • Scissors
  • Red tissue paper
  • Black tissue paper
  • Laminating pouches
  • A laminating pouch carrier
  • A laminator
  • Hole punch and string (optional)
  • Sticky tape (optional)

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Remembrance honours people who serve to defend our democratic freedom and way of life. We unite across faiths, cultures and backgrounds to remember the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. We will remember them.

  • We remember the sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
  • We pay tribute to the special contribution of families and of the emergency services.
  • We acknowledge innocent civilians who’ve lost their lives in conflict and acts of terrorism.

Remembrance doesn’t glorify war and its symbol, the red poppy, is a sign of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future. Wearing a poppy isn’t compulsory but it’s greatly appreciated by those who it’s intended to support. When and how you choose to wear a poppy reflects your individual experiences and personal memories.

Remembrance unites people of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds, but it’s also deeply personal. It could mean wearing a poppy in November, joining with others in your community on a commemorative anniversary, or taking a moment on your own to pause and reflect. Everyone’s free to remember in their own way or to choose not to remember at all.  

  • Armistice Day is the 11 November. It marks the armistice agreement that bought an end to the fighting of the first world war.
  • People pause at 11am on the 11 November to remember service and sacrifice past and present.
  • The national service of Remembrance happens on the closest Sunday to 11 November, which is known as Remembrance Sunday. Each year people gather at the Cenotaph in London and other memorial sites.
  • We call the whole period around these dates Remembrance. There’re many ways to take part in Remembrance

In 2023, the Royal British Legion remembers the Service of those who work to protect us and our ways of life. Whether in the Armed Forces, Emergency or Civilian Services, past or present, we remember who has served, how they served and why it’s important that we continue to remember them.

     

Setting up the laminator

  • Set up the laminator in a safe place, away from any young people, and allow it time to heat up.
  • Remember, laminators can get hot to the touch, so an adult volunteer may choose to feed the pouches into the laminator themselves. Always use a carrier to protect your laminator.

Running this activity

  1. Gather everyone together and explain that they’ll be making some poppies to display as window decorations for Remembrance.
  2. Give each person with a laminating pouch, then give them some red and black tissue paper.
  3. Everyone needs to tear small pieces of tissue paper. These then need to be placed inside the pouch in the shape of a poppy. It doesn’t matter if the edges are rough or if they poppies don’t seem to be round in shape. Tell everyone should be able to fit two poppies onto one laminating pouch.
  4. People could add their initials to a piece of tissue paper so they can tell which is theirs when they're done.
  5. They then need to very carefully close the pouch. If anyone closes the pouch too quickly, they’ll move or disturb the pieces of tissue paper.
  6. With adult supervision, or to be completed by an adult, the next step's to place the pouch into a carrier and carefully pass the sheets through the laminator.
  7. Once the sheets have been laminated and have cooled down, people need to cut the poppies out. They should try to get as close to the edges of the tissue paper as they can, without cutting into the poppies themselves.
  8. Once completed, you could use sticky tape to display the poppies in a window and watch the light pour through! You could also use a hole punch to make a hole in the poppy and thread some string through to hang them up.
  9. Why not put all the poppies together in a circle to make a window wreath display?

Reflection

This activity gave everyone the chance to think a bit more about the poppy as a symbol for Remembrance.

Do people usually see lots of poppies around in November? Did anyone already know what they mean? Do people think it’s helpful to have a shared symbol, such as a poppy, to mark or represent important occasions, such as Remembrance?

In this activity, everyone thought about Remembrance and how it links to their lives. What did people find out about Remembrance? How did it make them feel? How are people going to take part in Remembrance this year if they choose to?

Safety

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.

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. 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.

Hot tools

Tools, such as irons and glue guns, produce a lot of heat. Never touch the hot metal parts. Use them under adult supervision and on a suitable surface, protecting it if necessary. Never leave hot tools unattended and be careful near combustible materials such as wood, textiles, or paper. Make sure there’s a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit (with items to treat burns) nearby. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use. You may need to use gloves and safety goggles with glue guns.

  • As a group, or in small groups, take a moment to discuss Remembrance. Ask everyone what it means to them and what they think it means to us as Scouts. For more information about Remembrance, see our Royal British Legion partner page.
  • You could add words or messages to the poppies to show a deeper understanding of Remembrance and Service.
  • You can use glue sticks to help stick down your tissue paper, but only use a very small amount.
  • You can have people work in pairs to make their poppies, so anyone who may need extra help can be supported.
  • You could have the tissue paper already ripped into small pieces for anyone who may struggle to rip the paper.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Why not make a wreath out of your poppies and take it to lay at a Remembrance Day parade? You could also make some poppies to sell in your local community to raise money for the Royal British Legion, too.