Badge Support | Water badges


New Water Badges Blog

Need some support completing the Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge and Water Activities Activity Badge? Read on for some activity inspiration.

There are loads of amazing adventurous activities your Scouts can do to complete their water themed activity badges, and plenty of opportunities from Beavers up to Explorers. Network members can get involved too by arranging a water activity event at their closest Scout Activity Centre.

Olympic champion and gold medal winner Joe Clarke first became interested in canoeing on a kayaking trip with Scouts, so gaining these badges could end up sparking a lifelong passion!

Not sure which activities count towards the Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge? Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, power boating, kiteboarding, surfing, yachting, motorcruising, narrowboating, rowing, white water rafting, traditional rafting, and stand-up paddle boarding are all possibilities. Take a look at our activity A-Z guide for more information about these activities.

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.

Surfing General Blog

Some Scout Activity Centres and Scout Scotland National Activity Centres run water activities. There’s also 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’s available in your local area. Local support includes your Assistant County Commissioner (Activities), District Adviser (Activities/Water Activities), 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, make sure you take a look at the permit scheme to find out if you’ve got the right knowledge and experience. Remember that there are still loads of water activities you can do without a permit! Take a look at these water activities you could plan into this term.

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 by arranging for their permit holder to take your Group out on the water.

Remember that everyone needs to be properly dressed and equipped for the activity and weather conditions. You should also make sure to follow the activity rules in chapter nine of POR.  Make sure you know each young person and adult’s swimming ability, and refer to the specific rules for water activities for guidance. 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


Beavers Time on the Water Staged Activity Badge

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 encourage teamwork and coordination on the water. Once they’re used to being on the water, you could encourage your Beavers to build a raft using this raft building advice and go rafting.


Trying out these activities will also help them towards their My Adventure Challenge Award by trying out two adventurous activities.


Cubs Water Activities Activity Badges

While continuing to clock up their time on the water, Cubs can develop their interests and skills further as part of their Water Activities Activity Badge. For this badge Cubs first need to explain the safety rules for all water activities, and they then have the option of either reaching a certain standard in an activity, or taking part in two water activities. If your Cubs choose the second option, you could organise a trip to your local coastal area to take your Cubs surfing and scuba diving. You don’t need a permit for surfing, so you could rent some boards and spend as long as you like practicing your best moves. Why not use the next couple of months to fundraise and turn it into an epic adventure camping trip!

Coast Water Blog

Scouts Water Activities Activity Badges

For Scouts working towards their Water Activities Activity Badge, the bar is raised and they have the opportunity to further develop their skills, by  reaching a set level of ability in either snorkeling, surfing, water skiing, yachting, scuba diving or kite surfing.

UK Headquarters can also provide alternative requirements for other water sports, so get in touch via 

Surfing Water Blog

Explorers Water Activities Activity Badges

This badge provides some great opportunities for Explorers to really challenge themselves. They have a choice of four challenges based on either power boating, narrow boating, kite surfing or wind surfing. Each option requires Explorers to gain an adventurous activity a permit in that particular water sport and then show that they can fulfill the requirements of the relevant external organization’s award.


They can develop their experience even further by working towards an Activity Plus or Instructor Activity badge.


An extended voyage on a narrow boat could also be their residential experience for the Queen’s Scout Award, or provide an opportunity to work towards their Nautical Skills Staged Activity Badge!

Explorer Water Blog


18-25s can still get involved with water-based activities when they reach Network age. There are many virtual badges that can be achieved, including bell boating, canoeing, dinghy sailing, dragon boating and yachting. Network members could use a journey completed on water towards their Queen’s Scout Award or DofE award. They can even set up their own project and organise a Tall Ships experience. Network members can really challenge themselves by gaining a permit and leading activities for other sections.


You’ll find all of our previous badge blogs collated here

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