Pedalos

Includes: Outdoors, Water

Age:
4+
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Pedal on water

Sitting in your pedalo you can peddle your way to exploring a pond or lake.

Overview

Pedalos are small unpowered craft for 1 to 4 people. They work by paddle wheels being turned to drive the craft forward. Most are powered by a pedaling action, but small single-person craft are often powered by turning a hand wheel or crank on either side. All those in the craft are seated. Pedalos are designed only for shallow water. 

To take girls on pedalos, you will need to find a safe venue and a reputable local provider.

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.

Pedalos may be used on ornamental or shallow boating lakes without instruction and without buoyancy aids provided that girls are in sight of a leader at all times, the lake is managed and a leader in the group has the ability to rescue from water, treat for hypothermia, and can administer CPR. 

This only applies if girls are able to stand up in the water and there is no flow, nor should it be affected by wind.

We recommend at least one adult with up-to-date knowledge of water safety and rescue techniques, such as the Girlguiding water safety training module. 

Pedalo activities must not take place on classified water.

If doing this activity abroad, 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.

The leader must

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

Inspect water for visible signs of 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 they suspect infection. On the day of the activity, advise participants to cover cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters to help prevent infection.

See our guidance on water activities.

Adult to child ratios

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, physical ability or other factors.

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: 1:5, minimum of 2 adults
Brownies: 1:8
Guides: 1:12
Rangers: N/A, with leader permission

Qualified adult/participant ratio

We recommend at least one adult with up-to-date knowledge of water safety and rescue techniques, such as the Girlguiding water safety training module.

Forms

  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities