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Tent tales

This funny story about three Beavers teaches you how to pitch a tent. Will you learn from their mistakes when it's your go?
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Tents

Before you begin

  • Make sure you have enough older young people or adults – you may want to invite parents and carers along to help.

Listen in-tents-ly

  1. Everyone should sit in groups of about four or five people. There should be as many groups as there are tents to pitch.
  2. The person leading the activity should read the story of ‘The three Beavers’ below.
  3. The person leading the activity should ask each group at least one question to check they listened and understood. Each group should talk to each other and then answer.

Pitch and strike

  1. An adult should join each group.
  2. Each group should work together to pitch the tent. They should work together to help each other remember what comes next.
  3. Everyone should check the tents are secure and safe for sleeping in. Perhaps everyone could share a hot drink by the tents, like the Beavers in the story.
  4. Each group should follow the steps from the story in reverse to strike (take down) their tent.


This activity gave everyone a chance to develop the skills they need to put up a tent. They learned by listening to a funny story, and then giving it a go for themselves. The three Beavers in the story kept making mistakes because they didn’t read the instructions carefully, they didn’t listen to each other, or they rushed through each step. Can anyone thing of another thing that’s important to remember when pitching a tent?

Camping is a great way to explore the outdoors; it’s a chance to love the magic of being in nature. Before you go on a night away it’s important to be prepared. Can anyone remember the names of the different parts of the tent? Can everyone work together to remember how you pitch and strike it? What would happen if people missed out a step? The tent could fly away (like it almost did in the story!) or it could collapse on people’s heads in the middle of the night.


Poles and long objects

Be careful when moving poles or long items. Take care if the ends are sharp. Have appropriate supervision for this activity.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.