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Module J - Communicate it!

Module J - Communicate it!

Below are optional activities for running this module. However, it's important to run activities and methods that best suit your ESYLs, ensuring you fulfil the aim and objectives of the modules.

Communication is key to everything we do in life. It impacts how we build relationships and influence other people’s actions. Having strong communication skills and being able to express ideas can open up opportunities.


This module aims to make you aware of the importance of different communication styles and the impact that the way you communicate has on others. It will look at how you can adapt your style to suit your audience, whether you’re in section meetings or leader meetings. It will also look at how to talk about the skills you're gaining through Scheme whenever talking to other people both inside and outside of Scouting.


By the end of this module you'll:

  • understand how important effective communication is between leaders and young people in the section
  • adapt your communication style to suit the activity or situation
  • explain how tone and body language can affect how you communicate with others
  • be able to communicate how what you're learning and the experiences and skills you're gaining through completing the Scheme can be used in other Scouting and non-Scouting activities.


For this module you'll need:

  • a blindfold/scarf
  • an object of your choosing as treasure for the Instructor and Seeker activity
  • pens
  • paper
  • small boxes
  • pieces of flipchart
  • Appendix L - number game
  • Appendix M - skill builder


Start the session by introducing the module and its aims and objectives.

(suitable for groups of 3+, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Choose one person to play the role of the seeker, who is blindfolded, and one to play the role of the instructor. Have the rest of the group line up at the end of the room.
  2. The instructor should stand in the middle of the room facing them. The instructor is not allowed to turn around.
  3. The seeker stands with their back to the instructor and the rest of the group in the top half of the room.
  4. Place a treasure object somewhere in the seeker’s area of the room. Everyone other than the instructor and seeker should see where it's located.
  5. The rules of the game are:
    - the instructor can speak but cannot use gestures or see where the treasure is hidden
    - the rest of the group can see where the treasure is hidden but cannot speak
    - the seeker can neither see the treasure nor speak
  6. The aim of the game is to get the seeker to find the treasure. The group should use gestures so the instructor can tell the seeker where to go (i.e. left, right, back or forward).
  7. Follow the seeker to make sure they stay safe throughout the game.
  8. After the game, ask the ESYLs to feedback on what was difficult about the task for each of the roles. How did body language/gestures affect the game? Why are clear instructions important?

(suitable for groups of any size, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Pick out a number of ‘trigger words’ from a short story and write them up on a piece of flipchart paper. For example, if you were reading ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, you could maybe write ‘bear’, ‘porridge’, ‘forest’ and ‘cold’. You'll need to choose a different story for this activity. Choose something ESYLS are not likely to know already.
  2. Tell the group that you'll be reading out a story. Every time the group hears one of these trigger words, they will need to perform a certain action. With the example above, every time they hear ‘bear’, they might have to stand up and sit down again. Afterwards, you'll be asking them questions about the story.
  3. As you read the story, ESYLs will have to keep carrying out the action for each trigger word. Keep a relatively fast pace and see how focused the ESYLs are. How many of the words do they respond to?
  4. At the end of the story, ask ESYLs a series of questions. How many did they get right? Was it hard to listen? If they struggled to concentrate, what distracted them? This exercise demonstrates how you need to stop what you’re doing and give the other person full attention in order to listen properly.

(suitable for groups of 4+, approx. 15 minutes)

  1. Ask the ESYLs to get into pairs and give them the scenarios from Appendix L. They should not share their scenarios with others.
  2. Each pair should act out their scenario whilst only using numbers to portray their emotions. They cannot use any other words but should count up instead of using words and they should use action, tone of voice and gestures to help them. They can be as dramatic as they wish.
  3. Can the others guess what scenario they had? What does this tell the ESYLs about tone and gestures/ body language?

 (suitable for groups of all sizes, approx. 10 minutes)

  1. Explain that open and closed questions can help to steer a conversation and can be very useful when working with young people to check for learning or understanding.
  2. Give an example of a closed question. Closed questions are questions that elicit a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in the response (eg ‘did you have a good day?’, ‘do you understand?’).
  3. Then, ask the ESYLs if they can turn a closed question into an open question. How can they
    encourage young people to give longer answers? For example, rather than asking ‘did you have a good day? ‘they could ask ‘what did you do today?’. Instead of asking ‘do you understand?’ they could ask ‘can you explain the task to me?’ What are the pros and cons of both question types?

(suitable for groups of all sizes, 15 minutes)

  1. Ask the ESYLs about whom they might have to communicate with in their roles. Ask them to think about how they want to come across to these different people. How could they use their body language and tone to help them come across well?
  2. Ask them to imagine that a Cub Scout is having a nosebleed. They are the first to notice. What should they do and who do they need to communicate with? For example, they may need to speak to the Cub Scout themselves, while also alerting the section leader and keeping all of the other Cubs calm.
  3. In this scenario, ask them about how their tone might change. Will they adapt it to suit each audience?
  4. To develop this activity, you could encourage one of the ESYLs to take on the role of the Cub Scout and another to take on the role of the section leader. Invite the others to react in different ways.
  5. Although this activity can get dramatic, it highlights the impact that your communication style has on others. Acting calm in a potentially stressful situation can help others to feel calm, which is very important when working with younger sections.

Activities - Talking about skills

(suitable for groups of all sizes, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Explain that ESYLs will be looking at how they communicate what they are learning through the Scheme and how they talk about the Scheme with other people from inside and outside Scouting. Get some paper. On each piece, write down the name of a different ‘audience’ ESYLs might come into contact with. You could include:
    - a friend at school
    - a teacher
    - a parent
    - someone interviewing an ESYL for a job, apprenticeship or higher education opportunity (adapting as appropriate)
  2. Place the pieces of paper up on the wall where everyone can see them.
  3. Split ESYLs into pairs and ask them to think about how they would explain the Scheme to each different audience. Which information is most important to highlight and why?
  4. Gather some Post-it notes. Ask them to write down the three things they think are most important for each audience to know, and to stick them on the relevant wall. Does every pair come up with the same ideas?

(suitable for groups 4+ - this activity can be scaled time wise depending on the area you use)
This activity will take a little more preparation and can be run as either an orienteering activity or a treasure hunt, depending on the resources and area you have access to.

  1. Cut the activities ideas featured in Appendix M into strips.
  2. Next, cut out the skills words in Appendix M and put five of them into a small box. Fill three boxes. In this activity, the ESYLs will need to search for the boxes and bring back three of the five skills most relevant to the activity they have been given. For example, for the activity strip ‘running a game with a section’, you might put the skills of organisation, planning, dedication, time keeping and creativity in the box. The ESYLs would then have to think about which three skills are most prevalent.
  3. Ask the ESYLs to get into small groups of around 4-6.
  4. Give each of the small groups the first of the activity strips from Appendix M and a map with either an x marked on it or with coordinates for the first box.
  5. Using the map, the small group should then find the pre-hidden box with the skills inside it.
  6. Once they reach the box, they should take three of the five skills they think are most relevant for the activity they were given. They should bring the skills back to base camp and write them onto a flipchart.
  7. They should then get the second activity strip to find the second box.
  8. Once they have completed all three boxes, they will have a list of nine skills on their team’s flipchart.
  9. The different groups can compare their charts. Do they have the same ideas?
  10. The aim of this activity is for the ESYLs to think about what skills they have gained and to have active discussions about how they have gained these. By using three examples of what they have done in the Scheme, they are able to draw out nine relevant skills.

(suitable for pairs, approx. 15 minutes)

  1. In this activity ESYLs can practice selling their skills to each other.
  2. Ask them to get into pairs and ask one of the ESYLs to volunteer to go first.
  3. Give them one of the activities from Appendix M. They have one minute to talk about the activity and the skills it develops or demonstrates. They should think of as many links to different skills as they can.
  4. The person who is not doing the talking should have the skills checklist from Appendix N. Every time one of the skills is mentioned, they should tick it off.
  5. At the end, ESYLs should reflect together on what they ticked off, and talk about the different skills each activity developed or demonstrated.
  6. The ESYLs can then swap around so that they both have a go with a different activity.

Resources and Support

The resource ‘Get Ahead’ has guidance on how young people in Explorer Scouts and Scout Network can write about the different skills they have gained through the programme, including through completing the ESYLs Scheme.

Conclusion of Module J

Summarise the module by revisiting the objectives. Ask the ESYLs whether they feel they have covered all of the objectives satisfactorily.