Challenge events

Includes: Ten Tors, Dragnet, Peak Assault Outdoors, Nature and the great outdoors, Walking

Age:
10+
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An extreme group challenge

Work as a team to overcome a series of challenges as you find your way to checkpoints in unfamiliar countryside. Are you up to the challenge? You’ll have to either beat the clock, elude your leaders, navigate the unfamiliar … or perhaps all three!

Overview

Challenge events are where girls have to complete a certain challenge as a team. It could be finding their way through unfamiliar countryside, doing a night hike, completing specific tasks within a certain time, or something completely different.

The idea is that girls are challenged, and taken out of their comfort zone in the great outdoors.

Although the challenge could be unfamiliar to girls, the leader should be familiar with the route and the challenges it poses.

Approved: 5 May 2021
Version: 1.0

Content owner: Adventure team

Planning checklist

If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity at an external venue/location, 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 about any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your commissioner.
  • Get a copy of the public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Check you hold the relevant qualification (if one is needed) to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the needs of your group.
  • Get 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.
  • Ask for a copy of the venue's safety guidelines and risk assessment (if relevant).
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Consider the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions and plan the session accordingly.

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. 

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.

The relevant national governing body is Mountain Training UK (MTUK)

A commercial provider you are using must be licensed with the Adventure Activities Licencing Authority (AALA), which ensures that the instructor qualifications are appropriate for the area. Ask for a copy of these qualifications before you book.

A volunteer leader must hold the appropriate walking qualification for the classification of countryside which may be encountered and this must be up to date on and listed on GO.

When joining an event, think about the effects it will have on the environment. This includes the natural environment as well as local residents, neighbours and farmers who might be impacted. If you have any concerns, for example you're worried about the effects of hundreds of people all taking part at once, find a more appropriate or considerate way to fulfil the challenge.

If using a commercial provider they must be licenced by the Adventurous Activities Licencing Authority (AALA) if anyone in the group is under the age of 18 and any part of the route is more than half an hour from an accessible road or refuge. Confirm the provider’s listing and what activities they are covered for on the AALA website.                                                                                                                                                                                    You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure. AALA and LotC are not applicable in Northern Ireland, but Sport Northern Ireland confirm the Adventuremark as a suitable adventure activity accreditation scheme for activity providers in Northern Ireland. Or you can ask your local outdoor activities adviser to recommend an approved provider.

If any girl is under the age of 14, the group must have at least 4 walkers. Groups should be no bigger than eight.

Each participant must:

  • Have had training relevant to the walk being undertaken, and have the necessary physical ability.
  • Be suitably clothed, equipped and prepared for the intended route, bearing in mind changes in weather and other possible incidents.
  • Carry a completed health information form.

Include all: If a girl has a medical condition that affects her ability to take part, tell the instructor and make adjustments so she can take part safely.

Activity ratios

The ratios below are given as a maximum. These must be considered as part of the risk assessment. This may lessen due to any medical conditions, lack of experience, terrain and countryside classification, participants with mobility issues or other factors.

The group size should be appropriate for the planned walk and this will depend on the route and the experience of the participants.

Leadership team ratio

As this activity will take place outside of your usual meeting place the leadership team adult to child ratio is mandatory.

  • Rainbows: Not a Rainbow activity
  • Brownies: Not a Brownie activity
  • Guides: 1:12
  • Rangers: N/A, with leader permission

Qualified adult to participant ratio

If the event is taking place in Open countryside or above:

  • The qualified adult will determine what size of group is safe. There must be enough qualified adults to ensure the safety of all participants. This will be determined by the risk assessment taking into consideration the terrain, weather and experience of both the qualified adult and other participants.
  • A group size of four to eight is recommended. Girlguiding Walking Scheme Level 2 and Level 3 holders must always appoint a competent adult deputy. This is recommended for all leaders.
  • A qualified adult may supervise more than one group simultaneously. She can determine the number of and size of groups that she can safely manage. And she retains overall responsibility. Further guidance on remote supervision can be found in the remote supervision guidance notes from Mountain Training.

After training and practical experience:

Guides and Rangers can take part in challenge events without an adult group leader,  as long as they are supervised by a suitably qualified adult. A supervisor ensures the participants' safety and wellbeing during the event, but does not have to be with the group at all times.

A Ranger or young leader who holds, or is working towards, a Lead Away permit can run an overnight hike or expedition for a small group of Rangers and young leaders as long as she has the approval of her leader. See Girl-led residentials  for more details.

Forms

Collect information from members on their health needs when planning to attend or organising a challenge event.