Includes: Mountain Climbing, Rock Hopping, Outdoors, Adventurous activities, Land

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Walking meets climbing

When using your feet just isn't enough to get across rocks, you have to get your hands involved. If the girls in your unit love to climb or walk, then scrambling is the ideal next activity for them.


Scrambling is the ascent or descent of rough, rocky terrain in a mountain environment. It can vary in difficulty and, depending on the level, different instructor qualifications are required.

Discover the great outdoors and gain confidence to lead your girls with Mountain Training walking courses for NGB awards to take girls scrambling.

Scrambling is an adventurous activity and should follow the adventurous activity policy and procedures.

Approved: 13 March 2024
Version: 1.1
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.

The activity instructor must hold the appropriate level of qualification for the terrain from one of the following:

The above guidance is for summer conditions only, where no snow or ice is expected to be encountered. To take girls scrambling in winter conditions, you must follow the guidance for Ice Climbing

If the NGB award holder is a Girlguiding volunteer then this qualification should be listed on GO and the qualification must have been re-validated for use with Girlguiding in the last 5 years.

If you're unfamiliar with scrambling qualifications or if any alternative qualifications are held by instructors, please consult your outdoor activities adviser or email [email protected] to ensure the instructor's qualification is suitable.

If scrambling abroad, the above qualifications and regulations may not be applicable. Contact your walking adviser, or email [email protected] for more guidance.

When scrambling in the natural environment, if anyone is under the age of 18, the provider must be licensed by the Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority (AALA).                               

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 implementation of Adventuremark as a suitable adventure activity accreditation scheme for activity providers in Northern Ireland. Alternatively you could ask your local outdoor activities adviser to recommend an approved provider.

The instructor must ensure:

  • The physical and psychological safety of each participant
  • The protection of the environment through which the activity group passes
  • The recognition of rights of way and the respect of other land users
  • The adherence to their standard or normal operating procedures

If scrambling abroad, the above qualifications and regulations may not be applicable. You'll need to make enquiries about the reputation and safety standards of the activity provider. Contact your international adviser or outdoor activities adviser, or email [email protected] for more guidance.

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: Not a Rainbow activity
  • Brownies: 1:8
  • Guides: 1:12
  • Rangers: 1 qualified adult supervising 

Qualified adult/participant ratio

  • Scrambling without safety or technical equipment: 1:6
  • Scrambling involving safety or technical equipment: 1:4

Ratios should be agreed with the instructor. Where ratios differ, you should follow the stricter ratio.