Rock pooling

Includes: Outdoors, Water

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Mini watery habitats

Explore the wonderful world below the waves and spot small creatures that lurk in the rock pools.


Girls can explore the rock pools revealed in low tide for crabs, small fish and sea creatures. You could even make this into a scavenger hunt to see how many creatures you can find!

This activity is for Rainbow’s through to Rangers, if doing this activity with the older sections talk to them about how you could make it more challenging and adventurous to make sure they are still being taken outside of their comfort zone.

Approved: 11 April 2023
Version: 1

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. 

We recommend at least 1 adult with up-to-date knowledge of water safety and rescue techniques, such as the Girlguiding water safety training module.

A lifeguard must be as part of the risk assessment.

Finding a lifeguard

Contact your local swimming club, the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) or the Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) for information on booking a lifeguard.

  • Check the tide and make sure that you have factored the timings into the activity. This activity should only be done at low tide.
  • Make sure that safety rules and alarm signals have been explained to the girls. And that girls understand that they need to follow instructions immediately.
  • Make sure girls wear protective shoes such as wellington boots or jelly shoes with rocks, limpets and barnacles on the rocks. Feet need to be protected.
  • Follow water safety guidelines and make sure that the responsible adult helpers are familiar with them.
  • Girls must be paired up, stay in these pairs and be responsible for watching each other using the 'buddy' system.

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 water confidence 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 2 adults)
  • Brownies 1:8
  • Guides 1:12
  • Rangers: N/A

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.