Artificial tobogganing

Includes: forest rollercoaster Outdoors, Land

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Whizz through the forest

Girls can get the sensation of tobogganing on purpose built runs through nature. Twists, turns and thrills on a sled as you feel the wind through your hair.


This activity includes:land theme icon.png

  • purpose built inclined, guided downhill track typically through forests, down hills and round trees. Girls go down a purpose-built track on a sledge/cart pulled by gravity and controlled through pedals or levers.
  • Purpose built track with rail system which guide the direction of the toboggan run. Girls go down the purpose-built track on a sledge/cart pulled by gravity and controlled through pedals or levers

To take girls on this activity you should find a reputable company and check with them any age, height and weight restrictions before booking. You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: AALA, Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure. Another way of verifying the quality of the provider is by checking it has certification with the ISO 19202-1 Standard.

Approved: 4 January 2022
Version: 1
Content owner: Adventure team

Planning checklist

If you're working with an external provider or external instructors to run this activity outside the unit meeting space, follow these extra steps. 

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your local commissioner.
  • Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable).
  • Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
  • Get copies of the instructor qualifications and public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the requirements for your group.
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

There are no official qualifications for artificial tobogganing but the activity leader should have in-house training that covers:

  • The course
  • Safe sledging skills
  • How to handle the sledge/cart correctly
  • Speed limits
  • What to do in an emergency

If artificial tobogganing abroad, the above qualifications and regulations may not be applicable. The Leader will need to make enquiries about the reputation and safety standards of the activity provider. Contact your International adviser or outdoor activities adviser, or email Volunteer Support for more guidance.

We are aware of popular artificial tobogganing centres internationally (including Czech Republic and Switzerland) that many Girlguiding units have taken girls too. It is extremely important that you conduct thorough risk assessments when planning these trips. Contact your international adviser in the first instance when planning these trips so they can advise further. If using an external provider you must get a risk assessment from the provider and review this and raise any concerns with the provider.

If you are doing this abroad, make sure it’s covered by your travel insurance provider.

The leader must remain on the coaster/toboggan station for the duration of the activity and must ensure:

  • Girls are briefed and understand how to safely use the equipment and the challenges of the course.
  • If at any time you feel uncomfortable or unhappy about the behaviour and/or ability of any of the girls’ taking part in this activity to follow the safety instructions, you should stop it immediately. 
  • Appropriate safety clothing must be worn and determined in a risk assessment of the activity.
  • The track must be clearly marked with separation/boundary between participants and spectators.
  • If using an activity provider the provider must have public liability insurance to a sum of £5 million.

The ratios below are given as a maximum and ratios must be considered as part of the risk assessment, this may lessen due to any medical conditions, lack of confidence, physical ability or other factors.

Leadership team: girl ratio

As this activity will take place outside of your usual meeting place the Leadership team adult: girl ratio is mandatory.

Rainbows 1:5 (minimum of two adults)

Brownies 1:8

Guides 1:12

Rangers: N/A