Activity | 10 best winter adventures
Winter is very much here. It’s cold and dark but these months can reward you and your Scouts with some truly exciting adventures, both inside and out.
Make the most of wintry weather conditions to try a host of hillside activities or use the long dark nights to inspire and prepare Scouts for activities to come in the summer. Make sure you choose an activity which is relevant to your young people, accounting for their age, ability, experience and interests.
5 great outdoor activities
Keep everyone safe during these adventurous winter activities by:
- Making sure everyone is dressed appropriately and will stay warm and dry, whatever the weather.
- Be aware of hidden dangers, and thoroughly briefing your group before the activity so that you are fully prepared in case of an accident.
- Making sure you use a reputable provider, as they will have skilled instructors and quality equipment.
1. Ice skating
Get your skates on! Take advantage of ice skating rinks while they’re still here this winter. Most ice rinks offer deals and discounts for groups and often have additional equipment, such as animal-shaped skating aids, to help younger members or those with additional needs to take part.
The classic winter ritual, and whether indoors or out, sledging is great fun for all ages. Create your own sledging runs in fields or campsites. Before you start, clear the run of any fallen timber or other obstacles, and check that sledges won’t hit anything at the end. Alternatively, visit your local snow centre for some indoor tobogganing.
3. Build a snow Scout
If heavy snowfall presents the opportunity, seize the chance to get your Scouts outside and play! Why not build snow Scouts and make the most of the snow before it melts? Mould the figure from giant snowballs then decorate your snow Scout’s face and finish off by tying your Group’s necker around its neck and naming it.
4. Ice climbing
Fancy battling your way up a frozen waterfall? Ice climbing presents a genuine challenge for older Scouts. It’s a test of strength, endurance and skill, using crampons and ice picks to scale an ice wall. The thrill is definitely worth it! Many climbing centres and Scout activity centres offer this as an activity, and if they don’t have real ice, then dry tooling is sometimes available, presenting a great chance to learn the skills without enduring the cold.
5. Skiing and snowboarding
Unarguably the ultimate winter activities. As well as being incredible fun and a technical challenge, skiing and snowboarding also offer Scouts the chance to learn about mountain safety. Get down to your local ski centre and find out what deals they can offer to get you and your Scout Group out on the slopes. There are dry and real snow ski slopes across the country and ski resorts in Scotland and northern England: visit skiclub.co.uk to find a slope near you.
5 fun indoor activities
1. Get creative
The winter months are a great time of year to encourage your Group to get creative by putting on or taking part in a gang show, making movies and short films or forming a singing group. Ask your section what they’d like to do and make it happen. Why not take a trip to your local pantomime, support others in Scouting by attending a gang show or get involved in community shows and light displays.
2. Indoor regatta
In partnership with Canoe England, we’ve put together some great preparation activities to help your Group get ready for the fun they’ll have out on the water later this year. Best of all, they can be done in the comfort of your HQ. Download the information and resources pack from Canoe England.
Turn your Scouts into swashbuckling crusaders. Fencing is a great activity to offer in your meeting place. It gives young people a chance to develop their co-ordination and balance as well as helping you to forge links in the community with other providers. Find out more from British Fencing and inspire your Scouts with this short video.
Why not get in touch with your local shooting team and run shooting activities at your local campsite or even at your meeting place? Remember to visit scouts.org.uk/a-z for rules and guidance.
5. On the radio
Have you got Scouts who are interested in broadcasting, media and DJing? Give them the chance to produce their own radio shows, which could be played on Scout Radio. For more information go to scoutradio.org.uk.
Let us know how you get on. Post pics of your winter adventures on our Facebook page.