Bringing guiding outdoors

How to adapt programme activities for outdoor guiding

24 March 2021

From 29 March, more units in England will be able to meet outdoors again.

As more of us return to face-to-face guiding, we want to help you feel confident running outdoor sessions safely. That's why this month we're focussing on adapting more programme activities from the Have adventures theme, so that you can get outdoors with your units. 

We have included suggestions to make the activities safer under COVID-19 restrictions, but do make sure that you check the guidelines for your country, and add any necessary details to your risk assessment to ensure that the activity is suitable for the space you are doing it in. 

We also want to reassure members that outdoor guiding is not mandatory for anyone during this time. If meeting virtually is still what works best for your unit, or simply feels safer for the moment, that's ok too! We are continuing to produce resources and activities to help you deliver guiding in whatever way works best for your unit, whether face-to-face outdoors, or virtually. 

All of the following adaptations are included in the adjustment ideas spreadsheets on our website, but we wanted to feature them here too. If you don't own the activities already, we've indicated which packs they're included in, and whether they're available as a free download or to purchase from our online shop. 

Rainbows

Trails and trackers (30 mins - UMA Pack 1) 

Learn how to lay a trail for others to follow.

Find a large area with access to sticks, stones and leaves. Follow the activity as on the UMA card, with the following adaptations:  

  • In a small group, each girl should collect her own items.
  • Choose one girl to make an arrow out of her objects, then all point to the direction it is facing. As a group decide where your trail will go, then each girl can make her own arrow at 2m intervals, leading to the object.
  • Once all three groups have completed their trail, each group can move around and see if they can follow the trail another group has laid. 

Buy the UMA pack

Bug Hunt (30 mins – UMA Pack 5) 

Take a look around and see what creepy crawlies you can discover.

Follow the activity as on the UMA card, with the following adaptations:

  • You can either choose one girl in each small group to do the writing/drawing, or give each girl paper and pens so they can do their own list.
  • In small groups, explore each area and give each girl the chance to look for minibeasts, and count how many they see.  

Buy the UMA pack

Brownies

Super soaked (60 mins – July 20 magazine) 

Create your own squirting elephant and discover the compass points.

Follow the activity as on the UMA card, with the following adaptations:

  • Brownies can create their own elephant super soaker. Instead of squirting another Brownie when playing the game – mark a spot on the ground or wall for each girl to try to spray with water.
  • To maintain social distancing, you could split the girls into groups of four/five, and then swap in the last person to get to each point on the compass, so that everyone has a go.

Download the activity

Dancing in the rain (45 mins – UMA pack 9)  

We all know that sometimes the British summer can be a bit of a wash-out, but that’s not a reason to stay inside! Get outside and create a rain dance!

Follow the activity as on the UMA card, with the following adaptations:

  • Make sure each girl has their own umbrella, as well as suitable waterproof shoes and clothing.
  • Brownies can work on their own parts of the dance individually, before coming together as a small group of three or four girls to put their dance together, ensuring that they can maintain social distancing.

Buy the UMA pack

Guides

A-Z in nature (20 mins UMA pack 5)   

Get outside and investigate nature to fill the alphabet.

Follow the activity as on the UMA card, with the following adaptations:

  • Give each Guide their own sheet of paper and pencil; Girls can work individually to explore the area around them and see how much of the A-Z sheet they can complete.
  • Split into groups of three or four and find a space away from the other groups. As a team read out each person’s list and decide on the most unique item that has been found – this is your team choice.
  • Come back together as a unit, and call out each letter – which team found the most unique things?

Buy the UMA pack

Penny hike (60 mins – UMA pack 9)  

Follow the coin and take a walk around your local area.

  • Each girl will need to have either a coin or a dice. Split into two/three groups depending on the adults you have.
  •  You may need to plan to meet at a suitable outdoor space instead of a shop/café, depending on local restrictions.
  • Complete the activity as written on the UMA card, and see which group can get to the meeting place first.

Buy the UMA pack

Rangers

Land art (45 mins – UMA pack 3)

Create your own artwork, inspired by your local landscape and using only natural materials.

Follow the activity as on the UMA card, with the following adaptations:

  • Give each Ranger their own paper and pencil, and together discuss your local area and its landscape. Everyone can write down words that describe it.
  • In groups of three or four, girls can discuss what kind of installation they would like to make, and sketch out their ideas. Together, they can use the natural materials around the space to create their installation.

Buy the UMA pack

Tic tac H20 (30 mins – UMA pack 9)

Play an old favourite, with a very wet twist…

Split into groups of three/four – you may wish to have two games going on at the same time if you have more than eight girls. Play the game as on the UMA card, with the following adaptations:

  • Each girl needs to have their own cup, and one/two cones. Place the home bucket in the middle (2m away) from each girl in the team.
  • Girls have to run to their home bucket one at a time, fill up their cup and then fill up the empty bucket. Once it is full, they can place a cone in that square.

Buy the UMA pack

We hope these ideas give you some inspiration on how to adapt more programme activities for outdoor guiding! We'll be adding more adaptations to our adjustment ideas spreadsheets every month to help you out.