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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Coastal alphabet hunt

Explore the seaside by working as a team to finish a coastal alphabet.

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You’ll need

  • Pens or pencils
  • Clipboards
Alphabet hunt worksheet
PDF – 82.7KB

Before you begin

  • Involve the group in deciding where to go; they may be eager to visit a specific type of place.
  • Don’t forget to do a risk assessment, and invite parents and carers (and Young Leaders) to come with you.
  • Decide as a group where around the coast you’d like to explore, and the features everyone would like to include.
  • Plan a route that includes a variety of areas such as shoreline, the built environment, and features such as dunes and cliffs.

Get ready to search

  1. Everyone should split into groups of three or four; an adult should join each group.
  2. The person leading the activity should give each group a copy of the 'Alphabet hunt worksheet', a pen or pencil, and a clipboard (or something else to lean on).
  3. The group should talk about the kinds of things they may find for each letter, and where they may find them.


  1. The group should set off on the walk, working together to spot an item beginning with each letter of the alphabet. When they spot an item, they should jot it down, along with where they found it. Each group should explore all around, looking high, low, under, and behind things.
  1. Each group can go their separate ways as long as everyone is in sight of each other and each group stays with their adult. Groups could give each other clues, for example, telling another group to ‘look in that rockpool for something beginning with c’ if they’ve spotted a crab.
  2. Each group should meet back at an arranged place at an arranged time. Everyone should share their results with the other groups.


This activity was all about trying new things, as everyone explored an area in a different way. For some people, the seaside may have been a familiar area. Did anyone know the place well, or was it new to everyone? Even if people knew the area, they probably haven’t explored it like this before. Everyone should talk about the things they found; people could focus on a certain letter. Did all of the groups find the same thing for the letter, or did some groups find different things? Did people notice things they may not usually have found? Each group should share the most unusual or interesting thing they found. When people look closely, even familiar places can hold surprises and new treasures.

This activity was also about being a team player. How did each group work through the list together? Some people may have worked through the list in order, while others may have found the items first, then filled in the list. Did any of the teams disagree about decisions, such as which way to go? What did teams do if people disagreed?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast, and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

Hiking and walking

Follow the guidance for activities in Terrain Zero, or the guidance for each the adventurous activity.

Near water

Manage groups carefully when near water. The guidance on activities near water will help you to keep your group safe.

Set a challenge before you start walking. For example, you could challenge groups to find a certain number of things for their list, or even to complete it!

Make sure the route is accessible for everyone.

The people in each group can take it in turns to write, a more confident writer can write it all, or the adult with each group can write.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

You could invite a local coastguard, RNLI volunteer, or boat owner to talk about water safety and what to do in an emergency. This could also count towards their Safety Activity Badge (or even their My World Challenge Award, if the visitor is someone who serves their local community).

One person could lead their group as part of their Teamwork Challenge Award.