Badge Support | Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge

Time On The Water Badge Blog

Need some support completing the Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge? Read on for activity ideas to do along the way.

There are loads of amazing adventurous activities your Scouts can do to complete their Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge, and plenty of opportunities from Beavers up to Explorers.

The Royal Navy have supported The Scout Association for many years, and in 2017 we had the pleasure of introducing them as our partner for the Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge. They provide discounted access to courses, training and residentials; take a look at the Royal Navy partnership page for more for more information.

Not sure which activities count towards this badge? Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, power boating, kiteboarding, surfing, yachting, motorcruising, narrowboating, rowing, white water rafting,traditional rafting, and evenstand up paddle boarding are all possibilities. Take a look at our activity A-Z guide for more information.

Some Scout Activity CentresandScout Scotland National Activity Centres run water activities. There’s a useful list of water facilities and training centres to refer to.

If you’re looking for some hands-on support,have a look at what is available in your local area.. Local support includes your Assistant County Commissioner (Activities), District Adviser (Activities/Water Activities), your Regional Adviser (Activities) in Scotland,and the Manager of the Activity Permit Scheme who can tell you who in your area has a permit.

If running a Scout-led activity rather than externally-led activity, make sure you take a look at the permit scheme to find out if you’re suitably equipped to do so. But remember that there are still loads of water activities you can do without a permit!

Why not ask a nearby Sea Scout group if you can join in with some of their water-based activities? Lots of groups are willing to help either by offering equipment and a bit of advice, or you could arrange a time for their permit holder(s) to take your Group out on the water.

Asyour young people try out new activities and complete more sessions, they will gain a badge. Their target numbers are 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 35 and 50.

Remember that you must all be properly dressed and equipped for your activity and the weather conditions. You should also make sure to follow the activity rules in chapter nine of POR.



Even your youngest Beavers can get out on the water.For Beavers, each session should last about one hour, so you could start off with some rowing to encouraging teamwork and coordination on the water.


Don’t let a permit stop you from creating your own water-based activity outing. On class C waters, you don’t need a permit for canoeing, kayaking or dinghy sailing: just someone who has the appropriate skills and knowledge to lead the activity, and to complete a risk assessment. This blog lists a load of great activities you don’t need a permit for.Class C waters are ‘safe inland waters which are less than 100m wide where flow causes little effect (including swimming pools)’.Take a look at this directory which shows classifications of waterways in UK

For Cubs, sessions on the water should last 1-2 hours, so you’ve even more time to practice and try out new activities.


For Scout age young people, the bar is raised and sessions should last 2-3 hours. If you live near the beach (or don’t mind the journey to your nearest stretch of sea), why not take your Scouts surfing? You don’t need a permit for it, and with a substantial 3 hours to play with, there’s hope somebody may even manage to stand up on the board. (Have faith!)

Remember, you will need to follow the swimming rules, which are outlined in POR Rule 9.52. All adults in Scouting with an interest in swimming and water safety are encouraged to take part in the RLSS Water Safety Management Programme. More details are available here.


There are some great opportunities for Explorers to really challenge themselves and clock up their sessions on the water by taking part in a sail training experience aboard a tall ship.Organisations such as the Discovery Sailing Project and Adventures Offshore areperfect for Explorers to get involved with.An extended voyage could be their residential experience for the Queen’s Scout Award, and could also provide an opportunity to work towards their Nautical Skills Staged Activity Badge


18-25s can also get involved with water-based activities. Although Network members cannot achieve the Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge, don’t forget about the many virtual badges that can be achieved, including Bell Boating, Canoeing, Dinghy Sailing, Dragon Boating and Yachting. Network members could use an extended voyage towards their Queen’s Scout Award,DofE award or even set up their own project using to organize a Tall Ships experience. Network members can really challenge themselves by gaining a permit and leading activities for others.


Get support for other Activity Badges:

                            Athletics Activity Badge

                            Camp Cooking Activity Badge

                            International Activity Badge

                            Global Issues Activity Badge

                            Naturalist Activity Badge

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