Activities for the Adventurers

#NoMissedSchoolDays activities intend to increase the global consciousness and equality, for example paying more attention to menstrual health and hygiene in scouts so that everyone is able to participate regardless of whether one is menstruating or not. The aim of these activities is to promote equality and, among other things, to increase the understanding of gender diversity and to reduce shame and prejudice linked to menstruation and menstrual health.

The aim of these activities are to increase knowledge on menstruation and to make them part of everyday life. After finishing these activities, the adventurer is able to talk about menstruation with their own leader and to take them into consideration in their own life and close circle. The adventurer knows how to deal with menstruation in camp conditions. They also explore the effects of menstruation in other parts of the world. The Adventurer learns to take into account the negative prejudices (stereotypes) and stigmas associated with menstrual health in their surrounding society and to protect oneself from them and to contribute in their own way to eradicate these from the society.

The #NMSD Scout bagde includes five (5) compulsory and one (1) voluntary activity.

The Scout Leaders instructions for the #NoMissedSchoolDays activities
Before leading the activities, the leader must learn about the project, its goals and the Leader’s Instructions.

Compulsion: compulsory

Objective: after finishing the starting activity the scout has learned new things about Uganda, #NoMissedSchoolDays project’s partnership country.

Description: The meaning of this starting activity is to familiarize the participants with Uganda, the country where The Guides and Scouts of Finland together with Uganda Girl Guides Association and Uganda Scouts Association have a co-operational project. The aim of this project is to increase equality and decrease the number of girls dropping out of school due to menstruation. This activity intends also to create a safe environment for the scouts through common rules.

The group starts to complete the #NMSD scout badge by exploring Uganda and by creating its own #NMSD rules. The first step for the group is to make the #NMSD rules and do the “Get to know Uganda” activities, which are both mandatory. After completing these activities, the group can proceed to its own age section’s activities.

1. The group’s #NMSD rules

You can find the instructions for this in the Scout leader’s manual (section directions for the #NoMissedSchoolDays activities).

2. Get to know Uganda (duration approx. 1 hour)

The scout leader prints out the map of Africa and the Ugandan flag, and cuts them into pieces (for example into eight pieces). The pieces are then hidden around the meeting place / appointed area and the participants will look for them. After this the participants will assemble the puzzles. Can the participants recognize Uganda’s flag or find the country in the map? The group will mark Uganda in the map and think about what they already know about the country.

The group gets to know Uganda as a country. This activity can be held in a library or as a playful information retrieval competition to find out the answers. Imagination is allowed! The group will find out the answers to at least the following questions:

  1. What is the capital of Uganda?
  2. How do you recognize the Ugandan flag?
  3. What is the currency used in Uganda?
  4. What languages are spoken in Uganda?
  5. What is the form of government in Uganda?
  6. Who is the ruler in Uganda?
  7. What animal species live in Uganda?
  8. What is the time difference between Finland and Uganda?

Answers to the questions and some additional information about Uganda:

  1. Capital: Kampala (1.5 million inhabitants)
  2. flag: there are three colours in the flag, which represent Ugandans (black), the sun (yellow) and brotherhood (red). In the flag there are six horizontal stripes and, in the middle, a grey crowned crane.
  3. currency: Ugandan shilling
  4. languages: English, Swahili (in addition Luganda and local languages)
  5. form of government: republic
  6. President Yoweri Museveni (2021)
  7. animal species: for example. mountain gorilla, chimpanzee, lion, leopard, giraffe, zebra, hippopotamus, crocodile, rhino…
  8. Time zone: UTC+3 (so 1 hour before Finnish wintertime and same time in the summer)

If the group wants, they can gather all the material and information from this activity and write them down on a big cardboard (e.g., glue the map and the flag, write the answers to the questions, draw and colour animals, cut pictures of fruit from advertisements etc.) and leave the poster on display on the wall of the meeting place.

3. Ugandan skills -activity (duration: approx. 1 meeting/ per skill)

The group continues to get to know Uganda, the partnership country of the project, by learning new skills. They can make either paper beads or traditional Ugandan food. The group, if they want and have enough time, do both activities.

Option 1: Ugandan paper beads

Ugandans make beautiful beads from waste paper. These beads employ dozens of people and bring livelihood to hundreds. They are sold in many countries and for example in Finnish online stores for crafts. The group can also get to know Caring Hands, an association that operates in Finland, among other countries, and focuses on improving employment in Uganda.

On the internet the group can find different types of instructions to make the beads by using keywords like “paper beads”. If the long beads seem too much work, the group can make earrings or a bracelet! Between the paper beads you can also put other kinds of beads that you have in hand at the meeting place, like for example wooden beads.

Examples for instructions:

Option 2: Ugandan meal

The group prepares a Ugandan meal and enjoys it together. There are two recipe options: Rolex, a Ugandan omelette roll or Matoke (mashed plantain) with peanut stew. The group can choose the recipe they prefer or that suits them best. The recipes have a lot to do even for bigger groups as long as you divide tasks for everyone.

Put on some Ugandan music in the background while you are cooking or enjoying the meal!

Recipe 1: Rolex-omelette with chapati bread

Rolex is a classic Ugandan street food in which a vegetable omelette is rolled together with chapati bread into a delicious snack. Rolex is suitable for breakfast, lunch or even an evening snack!

The group can also, if they prefer so, watch a Ugandan man prepare a rolex in his street kitchen for a customer (4 min.). Notice the man’s skilful knife handling but do use a knife only against a chopping board! 

  1. do first the Rolex (6 pcs)
  •       1 red onion
  •       2 plum tomatoes
  •       3 dl shredded white cabbage
  •       3 carrots
  •       1 green pepper

Start by peeling the carrots and chopping the tomatoes and the pepper into slices or small cubes. Grate the cabbage and carrots by using the biggest blade of the grater or for example with a peeler. Mix the vegetables and take six big tablespoons of the mixture and save them for a later phase. Chop the onion into fine cubes but do not mix it with the vegetables yet.

  1. then do the chapati breads.
  •       7dl of flour
  •       3 ½ dl water
  •       1 teaspoon of salt

Prepare the chapati breads. Measure the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Add water gradually while mixing the dough until it's smooth. Roll the dough into a bar on a floured table and divide it into six pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and roll them out into a few millimetres’ thick pancakes, that are just a little smaller than the frying pan in use. Heat the pan and fry the chapati breads one-by-one on both sides until they have brown spots on the surface. The first side will cook in about four minutes, the other side in about two. Move the prepared breads under a cloth to wait.

  1. finally prepare the omelette mixture
  •       12 eggs
  •       salt
  •       oil for frying

Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them with a fork. Add the chopped onion and most of the vegetables. Season with salt. Pour 1/6 of the egg mixture into an oiled frying pan. Make sure that every omelette has both eggs and vegetables. Flatten the omelette into the frying pan and let it cook until golden brown. Flip the omelette carefully. Lift the omelette on top of a chapati bread and spread on top a tablespoon of the fresh vegetables that were moved aside to wait in the beginning. Add a pinch of salt if you wish and roll it into a wrap.

Fry and fill the rest of the wraps.

Recipe 2: plantain puree with peanut stew

In this meal you prepare puree from plantains and peanut stew.

Instructions for the plantain puree:

Matoke is puree prepared from plantain and is a traditional everyday food in Uganda. It is served by itself with sauce or as a side with either meat, chicken, or fish meals. You can find plantains in Finland at the fruit and vegetable section in well-equipped grocery stores.

The group can watch a video of a Ugandan woman preparing plantains. The English video (7,5 min) is available on Youtube.

Matoke (4 persons)

  •       6 plantains
  •       ½ dl milk or plant-based cream
  •       2 tps butter or margarine
  •       salt and grounded white pepper

Boil the plantain. Put the plantains into a pot with peels on and pour water on top of them until they are covered. Boil them under the lid for 25-30 minutes. Take the plantains out of the water and let them cool until you can peel them. Mash the plantains. Add milk or plant-based cream, butter or margarine and season with salt and white pepper. Attention be aware that white pepper is a strong spice! You can heat matoke before dining.

Peanut stew (4-6 persons)

  •       1 onion
  •       1 small, sweet pepper
  •       1 crushed garlic
  •       salt, pepper, paprika powder, chili
  •       7 ½ dl vegetable stock
  •       1 carrot
  •       1 small sweetpotato
  •       2 tomatoes (chopped) or equivalent amount of canned tomatoes
  •       2 ½ dli peanut butter
  1. Peel the carrot, the onion and the sweet potato. Slice up the vegetables.
  2. Mix all ingredients except the peanut butter in a pot
  3. Boil on a mild temperature until cooked
  4. Lower the temperature, add the peanut butter, and let simmer for a couple of minutes.

Stir often while it cooks.

Compulsion: Compulsory

Before instructing this activity, remember to recall the instructions in the #NMSD-scout leaders guide and repeat the #NMSD-rules with your group. In this way you make sure that you and your group have safe, including and comfortable scout activity.

Goal: Adventurer gets basic information about menstruation and menstrual health as well as learns in a safe environment to discuss matters that might feel hard.

Description: In this activity you get to know menstruation through game and play by playing the Kahoot-game, which deals with basic menstruation matters. Start the activity with an energy release game.

Duration (estimate): 30 minutes

Where it can be done: At the meeting place

Leader’s tasks:

  • The leader creates a Kahoot-account before hand and gets to know the Kahoot-questions as well as gets prepared to handle discussion that rises from the questions. Below, you can find remarks that have been gathered for discussion support. The leader should also remind adventures in the last meeting that they need their own smart phone next time.
  •  You can find the Kahoot-game from, to play it the leader must create their own account for free (sign up/log in). You can find the menstrual game from the Kahoot-platform with the search word “#NoMissedSchoolDays”. If the leader so wishes they can explain that some questions have multiple answers. It is also good to emphasize that some questions might be difficult and that even adult don’t know enough about menstruation.
  • Right answers are bolded in the answer below.
  • After each question it is good to stop and discuss immediately the possible feelings and thoughts the question might have raised (for example what menstrual cycle is or why does pregnancy affect menstruation).
  • Additionally the leader needs 1-2 table spoons, a drinking glass full of water and a handful of tissue paper. The group will do a small demonstrative test during the activity.

Before starting the game:

  • Adventurers need smart phones to answer the questions. If everyone doesn’t have their own smart phone or it feels safer, the leader can divide the group into pairs for the duration of the game.
  •  Logging in to the game happens through and by typing the game pin that shows on the screen on one’s phone. Additionally, a larger screen is needed where the questions and options are visible (computer/additional screen).

Questions and their explanations:

1. What causes menstruation?

a) Old hormones exit the body b) Old ovaries exit the body c) Old mucous membrane of the uterus exits the body d) Old egg cells exit the body

  • If an ovary has not been fertilized and attached to the uterine wall during the menstrual cycle, the old membrane exits the body. The hormones that cause the surface membrane to exit also cause menstrual pains.

2. How many days does a normal menstrual cycle last (approximately)?

a) 20 days b) 28 days c) 5 days d) 7 days

  • In regards to this question it is relevant to understand what a menstrual cycle means. Sometimes it is mistakenly thought to mean the duration of the monthly leak, but in reality menstrual cycle is the whole cycle from the start of the first leak day to the beginning of the next leak. The duration of the cycle can vary! A normal cycle is said to last 23-35 days.

3. Which of the following is not true?

a) You can get pregnant during menstruation b) The amount of the menses is about a liter c) Menstruation is a normal part of puberty d) You can swim during menstruation

  • a) Getting pregnant during menstruation is small, the chance still exists. (Therefore, the so-called safe days, i.e. time when the fertilization of the egg is unlikely, should not be used as birth control. For example unregular menstrual cycle and the sperm cells ability to survive in the body for days make it hard to estimate the time of the safe days. Because of this the use of other contraceptives is important!)
  • b) There is not quite this much blood! More about this later.
  • c) Menstruation is a sign that the body functions correctly.
  • d) With for example a tampon or a menstrual cup you can swim. Their use might however require some practicing. If the pains or other symptoms are not strong menstruation does not usually limit normal life. Exercising during menstruation is also a good way to ease menstrual pains, because it produces comfortable feelgood hormones in the body called endorphins!

4. Which of the following is a common symptom of PMS (i.e., premenstrual syndrome)?

a) Soreness in breasts b) Stomach problems c) Emotional sensitivity d) Desire to listen to Abba

  •  d) Menstruation may include a variety of physical as well as hormonal symptoms, but listening to Abba is not usually included.
  • c) A lot of PMS symptoms are joked about (“she must have her period because she’s so angry”) and such an acknowledgment can seem really annoying to someone. Not everybody has varying emotions because of menstruation, but some have irritability and mood swings. This should be treated empathetically, as hormones affect the condition of menstruators in many ways. The emotions of others should not be underestimated by saying that all emotional tosses are due to menstruation. Emotions can also be based on something other than menstruation, even if it’s time of month.

5. At what age does menstruation usually begin?

a) 9-13 b) 10-16 c) 11-12 d) 15-17

  • The onset of menstruation is very individual, with some starting before the age of ten and some much later. So it’s not worth stressing if your period starts sooner or later than with other guys. What is important, however, is that menstruation can be talked about openly and as part of adolescence changes.

6. What can be the reason if menstruation is late?

a) Menstruation is stuck in traffic b) Pregnancy c) Stress d) Change in wight (e.g weight loss)

  •  a) Menstruation and traffic have nothing to do with each other
  • b) As the egg fertilizes, it does not ext as a leak. There will be no actual bleeding during pregnancy, but some women may experience spotting bleeding, especially from early pregnancy.
  • c) and d) It is important to remember that reasons other than pregnancy can affect the regularity of the menstrual cycle.
  • In general, the length of the menstrual cycle can vary, so it is common for menstruation to be a little “early” or “late” even if they usually are regular.
  • Note! Especially in the early years of menstruation, menstruation can be irregular for a long time.

7.How many menstruations a person with a uterus* has approximately during their life?

a) 1000 b) 80 c) 200 d) 450

  •  Menstruation usually begins at the age of 10-16 years and ends in menopause (approx. 40-50 years).

*  The term is used because not everyone who has a uterus may feel that they are women and on the other hand because not everyone who experiences themselves as a woman has a uterus. This is part of gender diversity.

8. What kinds of menstrual protection exist?

a) Tampons b) Menstrual cup c) Menstrual pads d) Menstrual underware

  • Usually the most familiar protections are tampons and pads, but many new, often more ecological options have become more common

9. The amount of the menstrual leak in a month (during one leak) is about

a) a teaspoon b) 2-4 tablespoons (15ml/tablespoon) c) 1,5 deciliters d) two deciliters

  •  Sometimes the amount of menstrual bleeding is often imagined to be much higher than the reality. 1-3 tablespoons of blood a day for 2-7 days is quite a bit, a total of about deciliter. However, it is good to remember that the amount of menstrual bleeding varies from individual to mild to clearly more abundant, as well as from the day of bleeding.
  •  The amount of “normal” menstrual bleeding is about 20-80 ml, after which we talk about heavy menstruation. If the leak falls even in the middle of that variation, deciliter is not terribly close to the average amount of leak.

> The group does a little test in at this point! The group illustrates the average menstrual bleeding rates for themselves. The group measures 1 tablespoon of water and absorbs it into paper. Next, the group measures 3 tablespoons of water and absorbs the amount of water into the paper. The group is still trying to measure the maximum amount of menstrual bleeding that is considered normal, i.e. about 80 ml. The leader measures and finally absorbs 5 tablespoons of water into the handpieces. Did these amounts feel a lot or little? The leader recalls that these amounts of water are spread over 2 to 7 days of leakage.

10. In Uganda they might also use what as a menstrual protection?

a) Banana leaves b) Nothing c) Old clothes d) Paper

  •  For example, in the partner country of the #NoMissedSchoolDays project in Uganda, it is sometimes necessary to use unusual menstrual pads from a Finnish point of view. This may be due, for example, to the fact that families cannot afford to buy any kind of menstrual pads, which can lead to school absences. The #NoMissedSchoolDays project aims to reduce menstrual or gender dropouts. However, it should be remembered that some families have significantly more resources to obtain menstrual pads as well. The wealth of families varies in Uganda in the same way as in Finland.

11.  It is important to talk about menstruation because…

a) They are a natural part of life b) So many prejudices are linked with them c) Biology is interesting! d) They can come to scout camps!

  • a) Menstruation is a part of the development of puberty just like the lowering of one’s voice! Everyone’s bodies change and menstruation is no exception.
  • b) Unfortunately, talking about menstruation is associated with a lot of prejudices and misunderstandings in Finland as well. The subject may be approached in different ways: some find it embarrassing to speak out during menstruation, some uncomfortable or disgusting. In some countries, there are also very harmful beliefs about menstruation that can have a strong impact on schooling and the future.
  • c) Scouts have always been keen learners of something new, so it’s also good to consider biology and the social implications of menstruation together.
  • d) Menstruation can begin in the middle of a tent trip. Then it is important that all members of the local group have a basic understanding of how to take care of menstrual health in camp conditions. Hopefully after this challenge, in addition to the factual information, there will also be a “first aid kit” for menstruation in the local group that will accompany you to all camps!


At the end of the Kahoot, there is a final discussion:

  • How did playing the Kahoot game feel in general?
  • Did many things come as a surprise?
  • What would adventurers like to know more about?
  • Why is menstruation sometimes hard to talk about?
  • With whom can you and could you talk about menstruation (for example, guys, scout leaders, parents or family members, a school nurse)?
  • Why should everyone know about menstruation, even those who do not have menstruation?

Compulsion: Compulsory

Before instructing this activity, remember to recall the instructions in the #NMSD-scout leaders guide and repeat the #NMSD-rules with your group. In this way you make sure that you and your group have safe, including and comfortable scout activity.

Goal: The adventurer knows the products related to menstruation and their uses. Getting to know products everyday breaks the taboos and prejudices associated with them. After doing the activity, the adventurer understands that menstrual health products are commonplace and talking about them is natural.

Description: The activity includes three different exercises (Kim's test, Pelle Peloton game and memory game), through which the introduction of the products takes place alongside play and competition. There is enough to do for one meeting.

Duration: One meeting

Getting familiar with the products (15-30 min)

Where the activity can be done: At the meeting place or at camp

Materials: Menstrual hygiene package (pads, biodegradable pads, tampons with and without applicators, menstrual cup and cleaning products, cloth pads)

Adventurer leader procures menstrual hygiene products (pads, tampons (with / without applicator), a menstrual cup and its detergents / instructions for use, cloth pads) for the group and places them on the floor or table that is visible to everyone. All members of the group stand around the products. The products and their uses are reviewed, after which Kim's test is played. Most commonly, Kim’s test has objects that are only visible for a short time. After that, the test subjects must remember what objects were on display and / or in what order they were. After playing Kim’s test, there is an unloading discussion of the activity.

Kim’s test can be carried out in many ways. In addition to visual attention, memory based on, for example, hearing or touch can be tested. Kim’s story is considered a traditional scout story, so if Kim’s story is unfamiliar to adventurers or there is otherwise plenty of time, adventurer leader will read Kim’s story to adventurers first.

Kim's story

Kim, aka Kimball O’Hara, was the son of a sergeant of an Irish regiment serving in India. Kim’s parents died when he was an infant and he was left in the care of his aunt. All of his playmates were indigenous and through it he became familiar with their language and customs. Kim befriended an old wandering priest and traveled all over North India on his journey.

One day he happened to meet his father’s old regiment marching and as a curious character decided to visit their camp. Initially, when soldiers found Kim investigating the camp, he was arrested on suspicion of theft. As the soldiers' investigation proved Kim to be the son of a former regiment, the regiment took Kim into their care and raised him. All his free time, however, Kim dressed in Indian outfits and spent his time among the locals as one of them.

After a while, Kim became acquainted with, among other things, Mr. Lurgan, who was not only a merchant of old gems and other rarities, but also a government spy. The jeweler soon noticed Kim’s extensive knowledge of the customs and habits of the local population and realized that he could train Kim to be a handy helper for the government’s secret service. To train Kim, Mr. Lurgan gave Kim various attention tasks and advised him to memorize even the smallest details. The jeweler started by showing Kim a tray of different gems and let Kim look at them for a minute.

He then covered the tray with a cloth and asked Kim to tell how many stones there were on the tray and to describe them. At first, Kim only remembered a few gems, and couldn’t describe them very accurately, but after a while of practice, he learned to remember an amazing amount of detail. The same was true of many other objects presented to him in this way. After a wide range of training, Kim became a member of the secret intelligence service and was given a secret token for his job with a neck locket with a phrase inscribed in a special way.

The story is based on Rudyard Kipling’s original story and is adapted from the B-P’s Scout Boy’s book from 1961. Based on Kim’s adventures, Baden-Powell got the idea for that teaching method and began using it as part of scout education.

After the activity (approx. 15min)

Next, the products are gathered together again and assembled around them. Adventurers are allowed to ask questions related to the products. The purpose is to make adventurers realize that mind-boggling questions are allowed to be asked. In addition, the adventurer gets information about menstrual hygiene products as well as the opportunity to discuss them in a safe environment.

  •       Have you seen such products somewhere, for example at home?
  •       What kind of menstrual pads could you ask for if you or a friend, for example, needed one at school? What about at home or in scouts?
  •       With whom can you and could you talk about menstruation?

Pelle Peloton, approx. 30min

Adventurers are divided into pairs or small groups. Each group is given a menstrual hygiene product and given about 5-10 minutes to come up with an alternative name and purpose for the product. At the end of the time, each pair / small group in turn introduces the new product and its name to the others. The purpose of the activity is to lighten the atmosphere and create opportunities for wonder and discussion.

Fun to know: The precursor of the tampon was invented according to stories in ancient Egypt? A roll of papyrus was then used, which was softened by soaking in Nile River water. The first menstrual pads were developed in France in the early 20th century by nurses. Nurses worked in military hospitals during World War I and invented the use of cellulose bandages for wound dressing as menstrual pads.

Memory game (approx. 15min)

Adventurers play in pairs or small groups a memory game related to menstrual hygiene products, which can be found in the material bank.

Information about menstruation and menstrual protectives:

  • Today, women's menstruation begins earlier and lasts longer. Everyone’s need for protectives is personal and varies over a lifetime. For example, childbirth or heavy menstruation increase the need to use menstrual pads.
  • A person wearing disposable menstrual pads can wear tens of thousands of pads over their lifetime. They can also cost up to thousands of euros over a person's lifetime. In Uganda, the price of one package of menstrual hygiene products can be up to a week’s salary.
  • In countries in the global south (located mainly in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean), girls may have to be out of school for up to one-fifth of the school year due to their period. In Finland, this would mean an absence from school of about two months. Such time has a significant impact on learning. In countries in the global south, menstrual pads may not be affordable, not available, or schools do not have adequate sanitation facilities to provide menstrual hygiene.
  • Non-biodegradable menstrual pads remain in the ecosystem even longer when worn by the wearer. In the absence of adequate sanitation (e.g. rubbish bins), menstrual pads cause significant inconvenience when clogging drains, thus increasing maintenance costs.

Compulsion: Compulsory

Before instructing this activity, remember to recall the instructions in the #NMSD-scout leaders guide and repeat the #NMSD-rules with your group. In this way you make sure that you and your group have safe, including and comfortable scout activity.

Description: The purpose of the activity is to introduce adventurers to taking care of menstrual hygiene in scouting. After doing the activity, the adventurer knows how it is possible to take care of menstrual hygiene at the camp site and knows that taking care of menstrual hygiene is possible and important also during the trip. The intention is for the adventurer to know that there are leaders in the local group who they can talk to safely on trips and camps. The aim of the activity is also to draw the attention of the leaders and the local group to the possibilities of taking care of menstrual hygiene in camping conditions. Talking about the topic in scouting helps to reduce the taboos associated with menstruation as well as reduce the feelings of shame associated with it, among other things. The purpose is to make menstruation a daily and normal thing, even in scouting and on camps. Menstruation should not prevent you from local group trips and camps.

Goal: The adventurer knows that it is safe to talk about menstruation to the leaders in the camp and that the local group is prepared for the menstruation of the campers.

(Attention to the leader: One of the goals of the activity is also to develop the activities of the local group, so the leader should get acquainted with the situation in his / her own local group before arranging the activity and agree with the other leaders of the local group).

Duration: Approximately 1 hour.

Where it can be done: The activity takes place at the local group’s Kämppä?? or other camp destination.

  • It is a good idea to start the activity with an exercise game where you can release energy. An example is a toilet seat tag, where the tagger catches other children in a confined area. When the tagger catches the player by touching, he/she stays in the kneeling position and raises the hand up and shouts “toilet seat”. Other players can save him/her by sitting in the “toilet seat” on the friend’s knee and pulling the toilet, i.e. lowering the friend’s hand.


Instructions for the activity:

The adventurers are divided into pairs (or groups of three if necessary). Pairs are given tags that say “toilet,” “toilet queue begins,” “washroom,” and “waste disposal.” The pairs go to attach the tags to the places where they think they are. It doesn’t matter if no place was found for all the tags, they will be discussed later as the activity progresses.

After this, the adventurers gather again and go around the campsite together (taking into account the toilets, washing facilities and waste disposal), considering how the care of menstrual hygiene in the camping conditions is arranged at the campsite. After the leader has gone through the campsite with the adventurers, the group discusses together what is needed to maintain menstrual hygiene in the camps and how the hygiene has been taken care of in their own campsite. The group discusses how to work on an trips, camp, or hike if your period falls at the same time with them.

The group discusses the following matters with the leader’s guidance:

  • Where on the trip can the menstrual pads be changed and how others should be allowed time in peace in the toilet and remember to queue further away from the toilet.
  • How can you wash at the campsite if necessary and what is needed for it? Can washing be done in the sauna? If there are no separate washrooms, what is needed to maintain hygiene (e.g. hygienic wipes)? It is important that others allow others to wash alone if necessary, if there is space and opportunity. This is important to note in all camping activities whether you were menstruating or not.
  • Where can products be disposed of?
  • What to do if your period starts unexpectedly?
  • What to do on hike during menstruation?

The group can watch the #NMSD International Menstrual Day (May 28) remote activity on Instagram, which allows everyone to assemble a menstrual hygiene kit, or a “period bag” at home for scout camping during menstruation. The group can also agree to make a period bag as part of a group meeting or outing.

Compulsion: Cumpulsory

Before instructing this activity, remember to recall the instructions in the #NMSD-scout leaders guide and repeat the #NMSD-rules with your group. In this way you make sure that you and your group have safe, including and comfortable scout activity.

Today, adolescence and as well as menstruation begins even earlier and therefore also with more adventurer scouts. Many scouts have experienced the onset of menstruation unexpectedly on in scouting, because “unexpected situations” for the body, such as a scout camp, hike, or trip, may trigger menstruation even outside of a regular menstrual cycle. It is also good for adventure leaders to be aware of this.

Goal: The adventurer understands that menstruation is a natural part of development. The adventurer prepares for the start her own or a friend's period and knows how to act in the event of a surprise. The adventurer understands that you can turn to an adult and rely on a friend. The adventurer learns that hygiene is possible in a variety of circumstances, and menstruation does not have to prevent participation.

Description: Together, the group implements a menstrual-themed story. In the story task, adventurers learn about the sudden onset of menstruation and coping with it in different circumstances through word art. The fun of the story is meant to break the taboos around the subject.

Leader’s task: The director prints the story in advance of the meeting because it is easier to complete the story and improves readability. If there are two shampoos, one can fill the story while the other directs the adventurers to a fun-breaking energy game. If the group has one leader this can help adventurers play the beginning and fill in the gaps in that time.

Duration: 30 minutes

Place: At the meeting place, outside

The leader asks the adventurers to come up with two imaginary protagonists for the story, an imaginary local group, and 42 adjectives (descriptive words that answer the question what something is like, e.g., soft, round, yellow, happy). The second protagonist of the story (1st) should be biologically a girl, but the gender of the other person (2nd) doesn’t matter. No group member's name is used. The leader fills the attached story with words invented by the adventurers and finally reads the story aloud to them. At the end of the story, it is a good idea to set aside time for possible questions and unpack the task, for example, with the help of questions to the director.

Story begins...

(1:                        ) _______________ camp day.  

_______________ and _______________ camp morning began to dawn and _______________ sunshine woke up (1:                        ) who was sleeping in a _______________ hammock between two _______________  pines. It was the morning of the second camp day at (3.                            ) local group’s summer camp. (1:                        ) rubbed her _______________ eyes and yawned. Suddenly she heard the   _______________ leader’s wake up call. ”Good morning _______________ campers! Prepare to raise the _______________ flag!”  

(1:                        ) watched how the  _______________ flag rose to the  _______________ pole and enjoyed the _______________ sunbeams on her back. She enjoyed being right there and then, at this _______________ scout camp. The _______________ leader explained  the_______________ program for the next day. After the _______________ breakfast they would embark on a night hike. (1:                        ) started to feel a little nervous, but then she remembered that last summer’s hike was actually the _______________ camp’s best part. (1:                        ) _______________ scout friend (2:                        ) looked at his/her friend and put their thumbs up. (1:                        ) and (2:                        ) went to pack their _______________ backpacks according to the  _______________ leader’s instructions and got ready for the _______________ hike. At the same time they reminisced earlier hikes that they had done together and the _______________ adventures that happened.  

(1:                        ) was almost ready to leave and thought that it would be good to go the _______________ outhouse before leaving. While sitting on the edge of the seat (1:                        ) was surprised. Her underwear was red. ”What on earth, they weren’t supposed to start during camp.” (1:                        ) thought. What would she do now? (1:                        ) hadn’t packed any _______________ meanstrual pads to the camp. (1:                        ) bright mood was turning dark. And the las thing she wanted to do was to leave for the _______________ hike. Actually, she wanted to go home already, away from the _______________ camp. (1:                        ) folded some toilet paper and put it in her underware. She felt uncomfrotabel. (1:                        ) went to tug the sleeve of her  _______________ scout friend (2:                        )  who was waiting at the _______________ camp gate. ”I can’t go, I’m sick and I want to go home.” ”What do you mean you can’t go, we have been waiting for this.” (2:                        ) was wondering a bit disappointed. ”Well, I just can’t. I want to go home.” ”What’s happened? Why can’t you? You know, you can tell me.” continued (2:                        ). ”Well I have THEM!” (1:                        ) said with a _______________ voice. ”Oh you mean your period? You should have said. That doesn’t matter, does it?” (2:                        ) was encouraging his/her friend. ”Do you have pads?” he/she continued. (1:                        ) shook her head in response. ”Well, neither do I, but we can ask the leader. I’ll come with you if you want.” ”Thanks” (1:                        ) said and smiled timidly.  

(1:                        ) left her _______________ backpack leaning against a _______________ pine and asked her friend to wait. (1:                        ) starts looking for the _______________ leader and spots her cleaning this morning’s _______________ porridge pot. She’s nervous. It feels difficult to go talk about the  _______________ matter to the leader. Is this embarrassing? (1:                        ) thinks and walks slowly. The leader spots (1:                        ) and stops his/her chores. The leader waves (1:                        ) over and says: ”I can see that something is bothering you. Do you want to talk?” (1:                       ) explaines that in the outhouse she noticed that her period had started and that she didn’t prepare for them while packing. ”Don’t worry.” the leader says. ”That’s really common among girls in the scouts. Even just the camping conditions can mix up the menstrual cycle. I always have a few pads with me, you can have them.” (1:                        ) is still wondering how she’ll do on the hike and on the rest of the camp. ”There’s not even an inside bathroom here and I don’t know about going to the bush either.” (1:                        ) and the leader talk for a moment about taking care of menstrual hygiene during camp and (1:                        ) calms down. It feels good that the leader regards the matter in a natural and relaxed way. The _______________ leader promises to go to the store and bring a package of _______________ pads to the night checkpoint. She/he also promises to have them ready for the rest of the camp for (1:                        ).   

(1:                        ) leaves from the  _______________ leader to the tent to change into clean underwear and at the same time grabs a waste bag and a pair of spare underwear. ”I can do this even if this isn’t a nice thing! Maybe the thought about going home was a little rushed.” (1:                        ) thinks. She walks back to the_______________ camp gate, where (2:                        ) is waiting for her. ”Let’s go!” (1:                        ) shouts and smiles. The _______________ friends look at the  _______________ map they got and head towards the first _______________ checkpoint.   


Questions for the discussion:

  • What kind of feelings did this story bring up?
  • What tips would you give the protagonist for the next camp?
  • What was the role of the friend in this story? And the leader's?

Compulsion: Compulsory

Before instructing the activity, please remind yourself of the #NMSD - leader’s guide’s instructions and go through the #NMSD - ground rules. This way you will ensure a safe, considering and pleasant environment for scouting.

Objective: After doing this activity, the adventurer will recognise some gender-related stereotypes and preconceptions. The adventurer understands that stereotypes are harmful for different genders and produce certain limits, expectations and responsibilities, which is why they tend to describe different genders in a very narrow way. After the activity the adventurer will understand that being sensitive and showing emotions, as well as acting wild and boisterous is allowed for everyone, regardless of sex or gender.

Description: The group identifies gender-related stereotypes. It will think about why stereotypes exist in the first place. The adventurers will notice that not many clearly gender-related attributes exist.

Supplies needed: A pen per pair. Questions for checkpoints and boxes for the answers (e.g. an envelope) and the answer sheets.

Length: 2 hrs approximately

Where: Hut / meeting place

Educational objectives: Seeing difference as wealth, the ability to put oneself someone else’s shoes

The leader’s job

The leader’s job is to create a safe environment for conversations.

Before the activity, it is also good for the leader to bring up to date their own attitudes and ensure they are open, as well as understand the harm of strengthening stereotypes. In addition, it is worth for the leader to familiarize with gender diversity, for example through using the link down below (*). Dealing with gender stereotypes, gender diversity is often disregarded, although discussing stereotypes it is also necessary to talk about diversity. The leader must understand that handling the topic requires sensitivity (e.g. with language) and during the activity, it is necessary to pay attention that one does not accidentally strengthen the stereotypes. One well known and harmful idea is that boys and men shouldn’t cry. In reality, everyone regardless of gender should have the opportunity to express themselves safely.

(*) You can familiarize yourself with gender diversity using for example this website by Sukupuolenosaamiskeskus

The group will begin with Move like… game to let off steam (see the material bank - Games to let off steam), after which it will continue to the checkpoint route.

Part 1

The leader will set up a checkpoint route with 5 different checkpoints regarding the topic. The adventurers will go through the route in pairs. In each checkpoint, there is a beginning of a sentence that the adventurers will finish using their own imagination (e.g. ‘Boys never…’). The adventurers will leave their answers to a box or an envelope located at the checkpoint.

Tip: When it’s dark, the route can be turned into an orienteering track using reflectors.

Part 2

The leader will collect the answers and remove possible duplicates. If necessary, the leader will add a few stereotype examples. The adventurers position themselves on a line and the leader will read out loud the adventurers’ sentences as claims. Everyone who thinks the sentence is true will position themselves in the other end of the line (e.g. to the left) and everyone who thinks the sentence is not true, will position themselves in the opposite end. One can position themselves anywhere on the line, based on their own view. After each question the leader will ask the adventurers positioned in different spots to give some explanations for why they chose that place (e.g. ‘Why do you think the boys never cry?’)


In the end, the group will ponder upon the stereotypes within the group, and think about the possible consequences of them. It ought to be emphasized that there are no right or wrong answers in the conversation. The stereotypes can also be torn apart or burned on a campfire to symbolize that it is worth abandoning such ideas.

Examples of sentences to the checkpoints:

  • Girls like…
  • Boys like…
  • Boys/men never…
  • Girls/women never…
  • Boys are often interested in…
  • In Uganda, girls…
  • Finnish boys always…
  • Boys clothes are…
  • Girls always have…
  • Girls are skilled in…
  • Mothers are…
  • Men are (occupation)...

Examples of stereotypes:

  • Boys don’t cry.
  • Girls like pink.
  • Boys are interested in football.
  • Girls like dancing.
  • Mothers are gentle.
  • Fathers drive cars.
  • Women are nurses.
  • Presidents are male.
  • Girls don’t fart.

Aiding questions:

  1. Why are these example stereotypes bad at picturing males and females?
  2. Are cars boys’ or girls’ toys? What about dolls? Why is it a common thought that boys play with cars and girls with dolls? → Conversation about ‘objects being objects’ and gendering them is often a result of culture and upbringing. Everyone should be able to play with the toys of their preference.
  3. Why are there no girls’ or boys’ colors?
  4. Where do the stereotypes, or generalisations or preconceptions come from?

> Stereotypes are related to upbringing and the point of time. Preferences change with time, and gender doesn’t make a difference to the things one can like. For example, everyone regardless of gender wore stockings in royal courts 100 to 200 years ago.

  1. Why are stereotypes harmful?

> Some people can think that they should live according to them, for example think that every girl should like pink even if they actually don’t. It takes courage to speak out one’s opinion when others expect you to think otherwise. This is why these things should be talked about, so that others wouldn’t demand you to think or act in a way that feels strange to you. No one is to be bullied, left out or called names because they are different to what others expect them to be.

Compulsion: Voluntary

Before instructing the activity, please remind yourself of the #NMSD - leader’s guide’s instructions and go through the #NMSD - ground rules. This way you will ensure a safe, considering and pleasant environment for scouting.

Objective: The adventurer understands what kind of effects menstruation can have on school attendance and this way to their future. The adventurer realizes that there are things regarding menstruation that we can identify with regardless of our origin, but also notable differences that are pronounced between high income countries (e.g. Finland) and low income countries (e.g. Uganda).

Description: The board game illustrates the life of Ugandan school children and the effect of menstruation on attending school. The aim of the game is to try and get through a school year and move onto the next grade. However, school attendance and success can become disturbed by unexpected situations, and at worst they can force one to drop off from school. After the game it is important to have a conversation about the emotions and thoughts raised during the game. If needed, the group can do some of the relaxation exercises presented in the #NMSD - leader’s guide.

You will find the #NoMissedSchoolDays - board game, game cards and the instructions for playing in the Material bank - page #NMSD-game board.

Compulsion: Voluntary

Before instructing the activity, please remind yourself of the #NMSD - leader’s guide’s instructions and go through the #NMSD - ground rules. This way you will ensure a safe, considering and pleasant environment for scouting.

Objective: The adventurer has the courage to talk about menstruation with their peers and leaders. They know how to consider menstruation in their own life and in their inner circle. They are also aware of the effects of menstruation elsewhere in the world.

Description: The group shall go through what they have learned by making a poster. The aim is to summarise, structure and encourage the adventurers to independently think about the themes they have learned while doing the activities for this badge. Placing the poster where others can see it can also act as a conversation opener in the troop. Hanging it up on a toilet wall allows everyone to explore it in peace.

Length: 1-1,5 hours

Where: Hut / meeting place

The leader’s job: The leader instructs and helps the adventurers so they can get started and know how to carry out the exercise. The leader guides the idea generation so it stays on the right track, and participates in the conversation as a safe adult.

Instructions for this activity:

The group shall plan a poster (or more) regarding menstrual health and equality and place it on the wall of the toilet in the hut or the meeting place. The activity can benefit from the information on the project’s website and all knowledge and materials acquired throughout the challenge. The posters don’t need to be purely informative, as the idea is to encourage creativity by visually bringing up the challenges with menstrual health and equality. The activity works well more closer to the end of the badge process. The posters can also be presented in the troop’s events and in social media by using the hashtag #NoMissedSchoolDays. 

Move like… (5-10 minutes)

The group should have enough space either inside or outside for moving around freely, and agree on the area within which one can move. The leader challenges the participants to imagine themselves outside the limits of their own bodies, focus on what they are doing instead of following others, and move in the space in specific ways the leader instructs. Before moving to the next movement, the leader should allow everyone enough time to carry out the current move the way they prefer. The leader can take part by setting an example of the movements. If there are two leaders, the other one can act as an example and the other can focus on leading the exercise.

  • Run in the space like an olympic athlete who’s just won the 100m sprint
  • Fight like an oriental warrior
  • Soar gently like a feather
  • Build a gate for campsite like a scout
  • Move around like a professional dancer
  • Cheer like you would when Finland wins the ice hockey World Championships
  • Stand in the space solid as a rock
  • Box in the space like a professional boxer
  • Move around just the way that feels good in this moment

Tag - toilet seat edition

The chaser tries to tag the others within a predefined space. When the chaser tags a player by touching them, the player freezes in knee stand position, lifts their other arm up and shouts ‘toilet seat’. The players who are still free can save the player in toilet seat position by sitting on their knee like they would sit on a toilet and ‘flushing the toilet’ by lowering their arm down.

The menstrual cycle

Supplies needed: Pack of menstrual pads

The game is a modified version of the traditional Finnish game ‘tervapata’. The players stand in a circle, facing the centre of the circle. The players in the circle place one hand behind their back, palm facing upwards. One of the players remains out of the circle. This player gets a pack of menstrual pads and begins to go around the circle. Once in a while they touch a hand of a player in the circle and say ‘this is not for you’. After touching a few hands, they suddenly leave the pack in one player’s hand and say ‘this is for you’. Then the two players begin to run the opposite directions around the circle, and the one who makes it back to the empty spot first gets to keep the spot. The one who got back to the spot last continues to move around the circle with the pack of menstrual pads, repeating what was done before.