Divide the group into smaller groups of about five Pioneers each to go on a walk. Make sure there’s at least one adult with each group and that each group has a notebook and pen.
Each group should set off in different directions or at staggered intervals from your starting point, having agreed a time to all meet back there at the end.
At each junction, the group decides which way to go by flipping a coin – heads or tails for left or right. What to do if there are more than two paths? If there is an even number of paths, flip for the left pair or right pair, then flip again for paths within that pair. If there’s an odd number, flip for left pair v. right, then paths within the left pair.
Carry on until you have gone a long way from your starting point. You may be lost, or fed up of going around in circles! Or maybe you have come back around to somewhere you’ve been before. Discuss, draw and take pictures of what you can see on the way – plants, wildlife etc. Is there any litter or pollution?
Write down what you find in your notebook.
If you find yourselves walking further and further away, you will need to make a decision to turn back at a suitable point so that you get back to the start in time to meet the other groups.
When you get back, give each group a sheet of paper and ask them to draw a map of their walk.
As a slightly easier option, they could colour the route they took on a photocopied map.
Share the maps and photos from each group and tell the others about the things you observed along the way.
Can the other groups recognise where the photos were taken?
- How observant would you say you are?
- Did drawing / noting / taking photos make you look more closely?
- What things did you see which you wouldn’t normally notice?
- Is the area more interesting than you thought?
- Why should we take the time to look at our environment?
- What can we do with the information we find out (e.g. arrange a litter pick, write to the paper etc, display a photo exhibition)?