Washing Line Planning Method

This is a great method to help a group plan a term or a badge.


  • At least one piece of paper per Guide
  • One pen per Guide
  • 4 lengths of string/rope/washing line
  • Pegs

Hang each length of string in a different corner of the room, or around four chairs to make a square. Make sure all the Guides know what theme their activity ideas should follow.

Each Guide should think of an activity idea and write it on their piece of paper. They then peg this piece of paper on to the first washing line. If they have more than one idea, great! Use another piece of paper and peg that one on too! The more ideas they have, the better.

Guides should then select another idea that is hanging on the first washing line and their instruction is to “add to” the activity idea. What other activity could be done at the same time? Can she think of anything to make the idea better? Eg, if the idea is to have a sleepover, the Guide might add “watch a movie” or “eat a midnight feast”. She then pegs it on to the second washing line.

She then selects an idea already on the second washing line and answers the questions Why is this activity a good idea? What will be learned? It then gets pegged to the third washing line.

Finally, ideas of the third washing line need to have an estimated time frame and the required equipment listed before they get moved to the fourth washing line. Once ideas are on the fourth washing line, they should have had contributions from 4 different Guides.

At any stage in this process, Guides are easily able to see what stage each idea is at and they can help themselves to ideas that are still waiting to be completed.


  1. Line 1: initial ideas
  2. Line 2: What will make this more fun?
  3. Line 3: Why is this activity a good idea? What will we learn? How does it fit the theme?
  4. Line 4: How long will it take? What equipment is needed? When can we do this? Where do we need to be to do this?