Stick sheets of sugar paper round the room with parts of the programme on (‘meet new people’ etc). Give each member of your section 3 stickers. Get your section to run around the room reading the paper and voting with the stickers. They can put all on one or split them. This will give you an idea of your section’s interests.
Pair young people up and give them a prompt (paper plates) to discuss for 2-5 minutes. Get them to then move on and discuss their idea with a new person. You can repeat this over and over – they may need paper to make notes. At the end they should write their idea for an evening out on a strip of paper.
Try the snowball fight from the YouShape resource. This is very popular even with the older sections
Give them clear parameters on the type of ideas you’re looking for eg – ‘1 hour and a half indoor session’, “day trip”, “sleepover theme”.
Give each young person a number of tokens, every time they speak they hand over a token. This helps make sure the more confident young people don’t dominate the decision making.
5 ways to…. Deal with repeated or silly suggestions
Don’t dismiss them – no matter how silly! This might discourage any quiet YP from speaking up.
Ask them ‘how would that work?’ This gives them a chance to explain themselves out of the idea OR to give you a fantastic way of adapting it!
Remember – if they are repeating the same things:
you’re doing a great job because they love it; and/or
they might not actually know any other games or activities
Give as full a version of the repeated suggestion as you can. For example have a wide games night, or a football themed evening, once the young people know they’ve been listened to the repeat requests often stop.
Incorporate a limit to the number of times a game can be run in a term. For example write the name of each game they know on a lollipop stick and pop in a jar. Each time you play game the section can choose from the jar but once it’s been played its put away until the jar is empty.
5 ways to… Adapt an idea
Go small! If they want to visit the seaside can you bring it to them? Sandboxes and paddling pools galore! If they want to visit the moon have a space themed night.
Go big! Ideas that won’t work in a meeting will often make a great basis for a day event, trip or nights away experience.
Look at the essence of what they want. Is it to get out on the water? Meet someone? Eat? Can you extract that and work it in to your programme.
Use the suggestion to theme another activity for example an alien themed wide game or pirate themed team building activities.
For older sections ask them to run it for a younger section.
10 games to Google
Steal the bacon
Poison (Dodgeball adaptation)
The hand game
Cat and mouse
Twos and Threes
Young people first: Safeguarding and Safety in Scouting