Raft building

Includes: Outdoors, Nature and the great outdoors, Team building and friendship, Water

Activity time:
1 meeting


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Will it float?

Raft building takes all sorts of skills... communication, logic and teamwork. And then there's the excitement of finally pushing it out onto the water to see if it floats with you sitting on it!


Raft building uses communication skills, creativity and teamwork to build a raft to carry the team on a river or lake.

Planning checklist

Safety notes

See safety regulations for more information on raft building safely.

The Leader may allow rafting to take place on water that is not classified without either the Leader or participants holding a qualification, provided the conditions are safe on the day of the activity and adequate supervision is provided.

If the water is classified, the instructor must hold qualifications for the water classification, and relevant water safety cover must be in place.

The HSE provides guidance on instructor skills and experience for raft building. Seek advice from your Outdoor Activities Adviser or [email protected] if you are unsure about instructor qualifications.

To do raft buildilng, girls must be able to:

  • swim 50 metres
  • keep afloat for five minutes in the clothes normally worn for the activity.

Girls may fulfil these rules wearing a buoyancy aid or life jacket when either is required for the activity.

Include all: If a girl has a medical condition that will affect her ability to swim, ensure that you inform the instructor and make provision to allow her to participate safely.

The Leader must:

  • make sure that safety rules and alarm signals have been explained to the girls, and they understand that instructions must be obeyed immediately
  • make sure the required buoyancy aids/life jackets are used
  • follow water safety guidelines and ensure that the responsible adult helpers are familiar with them.

Water should be inspected for signs of visible pollution, for example rubbish, blue green algae or chemicals.

Make sure girls and parents are aware of the dangers and symptoms of Weil's disease and what action to take if infection is suspected. On the day of the activity participants should be advised to cover cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters to help prevent infection.

For more information, see our guidance on water activities.

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed

Girlguiding activity centres for Raft building